(Travis & Lisa's front yard.)
The word local floats around Crested Butte like rumor mail in Hollywood. Who is a local? Do you have a local’s discount? What is the meaning of being a local?
It’s always been interesting to me to see how Coloradans take pride in being a local and are easy to push upon those non-natives that they are indeed not locals. So, let’s talk about it. Who in Crested Butte and Gunnison are locals, who is not, and what does it take? Obviously, opinions will vary.
(Some kids who have stuck around.)
I was born in the Midwest and came out here for college. I’ve lived in the Gunnison Valley for six years and plan to live here forever. My boyfriend and I are starting the home buying process soon. We both hold jobs that we plan to keep for awhile, we vote in Colorado, especially locally, we coach, we pay our taxes, but are we locals? You decide.
By no means do I know what it’s like to be a local and when people ask me where I’m from, I name a state not town. When I go “home,” I go to a place I’d never even been to until last year to visit my parents because they relocated after I moved to Colorado. But home is Gunnison. My boyfriend grew up in a little town called Jackson, Wyoming (lucky) and lived there until he moved to Gunnison for college as well, over ten years ago. We’d like to think we’re “locals” to the Gunnison Valley, but who knows for sure. When we ride bikes elsewhere or travel and when people ask where we’re from, we say Gunnison, Colorado.
(Definitely some locals.)
Travis and Lisa have both lived in the valley a combined 30+ years, own a business, live on a Gunnison country acreage, and can answer just about any question asked in Chopwood regarding local trails, stories, tales, restaurants, really anything. Travis served on the Chamber of Commerce Board and Lisa has ties with a local bike shop, too. They also donate to local events and causes.
At Chopwood, we don’t do a “locals discount”, not because we don’t like locals, but because if you’re a true local, you know what it takes to live here year after year. We appreciate all of the local business, but cannot pay 10% less on our rent, our groceries, or bills. It’s tough being a local, but it’s all worth it. We'll occasionally have sale items for everyone to pick through. So whatever your stance on local or non-local, let’s all appreciate that we live in a sought-after place with sought-after lifestyles. Being local isn’t as important as being a part of a community, which is what we strive for day after day at Chopwood and in our personal lives.