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Colorado River Valley gets serious about local economy

Locations: News Published

In this part of the state, most employees are familiar with an arduous commute to work and back home every day. A coalition of municipalities and community partners is addressing this reality in hopes of changing it, with one person, and her budding local business, taking the helm. 

Alicia Gresley’s first encounter with the Valley came in 2005, when she arrived by train in Glenwood Springs. She stayed at the Glenwood Springs Hostel, and was taken aback recently when she saw that the same property was on the market for nearly $2 million.

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Like so many, Gresley has experienced the grind of a long commute, working in a community outside of her own and the rising cost of living in the area.

An Australian with dual citizenship, (her father is American), she was exploring the U.S. After a while, she needed a job and landed one at the ticket office at Vail Resorts, which came with employee housing at the time. In the summer, she worked for a rafting company out of Eagle.

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Gresley continued with Vail Resorts, later working in operations for its lodging division, and eventually moving into business development for its vacation rentals in Eagle County.

Her personal life led her to live in Rifle full-time, starting in 2018. She commuted for two years between there and Avon. When the pandemic hit, she began working remotely and was able to spend more time within her home community.

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In a short time, she went from addressing issues within her own HOA to, in 2021, being elected to Rifle City Council for a four year term.

In 2022, she ended her tenure with Vail Resorts, and started her own business, On Mountain Time (OMT), which “aims to connect people and places through applying business acumen, strategic planning and result based goals …” read a press release.

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One of her first clients is the Colorado River Valley Economic Development Partnership (CRVEDP), a collaborative uniting the communities of New Castle, Silt, Rifle, Battlement Mesa and Parachute through public and private participation. Its intention is to develop the regional economy by supporting local businesses and bringing in new ones which will produce more jobs closer to home.

In fact, CRVEDP’s slogan is: “Better Jobs Closer to Home.”

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“The drive between Parachute to Glenwood or beyond is long and stressful and that commute is getting harder and harder,” Gresley continued, noting long delays and the rising cost of gas.

“The town administrators of New Castle, Silt, Rifle, Battlement Mesa and Parachute (along with regional institutions, including: Garfield County Public Libraries, Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado, Colorado Mountain College, Colorado WorkForce, Rifle Regional Economic Development Corporation and others) have come together under the CRVEDP umbrella to amplify their shared vision and resources,” the press release continued. “The focus of this partnership is to bring forth opportunities for better jobs, enabling residents to work and thrive closer to their homes and communities. This initiative aligns with the goal of fostering a sustainable economic future while preserving the unique character and allure of the region.”

In July, Gresley submitted a proposal to spearhead the collaborative’s mission, and work toward outlining its structure, a strategic vision, processes and procedures. She was approved for a six month contract starting Aug. 1.

She envisions the group playing a role in vying for businesses to locate in the area, bringing more jobs and economic growth. Of course, incoming businesses should fit the needs of the area.

Working closer to home enables people to spend more quality time with their families, Gresley pointed out. Plus, it causes residents to spend more money in their hometown — further enhancing the local economy.

“I am honored to contribute my expertise to the CRVEDP partnership. OMT was created and strives to be committed to connecting people with places and passions, and in this position I hope to create pathways for economic prosperity that celebrate the region while honoring the distinct identities of our towns,” she concluded. “Together as a region, we will realize a more vibrant, opportunity-rich landscape for all.”

To learn more about CRVEDP, visit To learn more about Alicia and OMT, visit


Courtesy photo

Tags: #Alicia Gresley #Colorado River Valley Economic Development Partnership #On Mountain Time
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