Economic Development

Estes Park EDC Welcomes Mark Needham as a New Board Member

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The Estes Park EDC welcomes Mark Needham to its Board of Directors. Mark is the new Estes Area Lodging Association (EALA) President and joined the Estes Park EDC board of directors in June of this year taking over for previous EALA President Chuck Scott.

Mark commented “We love this community. This is where we choose to be and where we want to raise our children. That’s why it’s important to me to be as involved in the community as I can and why I’m excited to represent the lodging association with the Estes Park EDC.”

Born and raised in Texas, Mark worked in the restaurant and concrete construction industries where he was actively involved in the Downtown Square group of business owners. “I got to see firsthand how a group of business owners could make a positive impact on their community,” he said. Mark is also, the Colorado Excursion Coordinator for Warriors Keep, a Texas based veterans nonprofit whose mission is to unite, empower and enhance the quality of life for veterans with the use of outdoor therapy.

Mark, his wife, Betsy, and his 3 children moved to Estes Park in 2017 when they were given the opportunity to run the property management company for Estes Park Condos. A year later, their family expanded by acquiring Black Canyon Inn. While they are a family-owned business, Mark and Betsy have expressed that they are very fortunate to retain their local staff who have become an extended family for them.

One of the things that Mark appreciates about Estes Park EDC is that it works toward helping build an economically, generationally and culturally diverse community. Mark added “Because of the beauty of the Estes Valley and Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park has traditionally had a tourism-based economy. But with that comes a responsibility to our community and families of ensuring that we have proper infrastructure, workforce housing, early childhood education and all the things a thriving community needs.”

Estes Park EDC Welcomes Travis Machalek as a New Board Member

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The Estes Park EDC welcomes Travis Machalek to its Board of Directors. Travis joined the Estes Park EDC Board of Directors in July, 2019, taking over for Frank Lancaster as Frank approaches retirement. Travis has also worked closely with the Estes Park EDC since 2015 on important issues like workforce housing, broadband and childcare and is an Estes Park EDC Incubator committee member.

When asked about the importance of economic development, Travis stated “A diverse, healthy, year-round economy is critical to the success of our community. Economic development considers the needs and quality of life of our residents, enhances the vibrant business sector that makes Estes Park a unique, full-service community for residents and guests, and grows sales tax revenue so the Town can provide critical local services. A tourism-oriented economy like ours presents opportunities and challenges, and the Town is steadfast in its endeavors to strike a balance to meet the varied needs of locals and guests, alike.”

Since its inception, the Estes Park EDC and Town of Estes Park have worked closely together on the strategic goals of both organizations. Travis commented “The Town has underscored the importance of economic development by including a ‘Robust Economy’ outcome area in the Town Board’s Strategic Plan for several years running. Strategic alignment between the Town and EDC will remain critical in achieving our common goals for the benefit of the community. This is possible due to our partnership and the Town’s continued participation on the EDC board. My fellow EDC board members are engaged community members with diverse perspectives, and they serve as effective advocates for the overall health and sustainability of our community. I look forward to serving on the board and helping to identify and elevate discussions on any new opportunities for the Town to support economic development initiatives in Estes Park.”

Travis was born in Fort Collins, Colorado and raised in Laramie, Wyoming. He has worked in various capacities for city and county governments in Wyoming, Kansas and Colorado. He moved to Estes Park in 2015 when he accepted the position as Assistant Town Administrator. He will begin his role as Town Administrator on August 27.

Travis holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Wyoming and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas. He and his wife Ashley live in the Estes Valley. Active in our community, he is the current President of the Estes Park Nonprofit Resource Center as well as being on the Board of Directors for the Colorado City and County Management Association and coaching youth basketball.