Letter: Silverthorne Lowe’s analysis lacking key information

This rendering of what the roof of a proposed Lowe's store would look like from the Wildernest area was presented to the Silverthorne planning comission last week.

Dear Members of the Silverthorne Town Council,

Along with a very capable board of directors, I direct the Summit Independent Business Alliance (SIBA), a local, non-profit organization that strives to maintain Summit County’s unique character and quality of life by preserving and enhancing the health of our area’s homegrown businesses. We are dedicated to encouraging healthy, human-scaled development that is mindful of ensuring the ongoing health and well being of the county’s local independent businesses and ensure ongoing opportunity for entrepreneurs.

I am writing on behalf of SIBA, which currently has a membership of approximately 165 local independent business owners, citizens and other organizations (Friends of SIBA). SIBA has a vested interest in the Lowe’s development issue. The unique geography and scale of Summit County means our communities are more interdependent than those in other areas of Colorado, and, as such, each community’s economic development decisions strongly and directly affect the others.

After receiving a copy of the most recent fiscal impact analysis completed and paid for by Lowe’s, SIBA sent it out to several national organizations, which are well versed in interpreting such reports. We asked them to provide comments at their convenience.

To date, we have received the following summary of comments from Stacy Mitchell, a distinguished author and researcher from the Institute of Local Self-Reliance (ILRS) in  Minneapolis. The Institute’s mission is to provide innovative strategies, working models and timely information to support environmentally sound and equitable community development.

Stacy visited Silverthorne and Summit County last year, and also spoke to our community about the myths that often surround economic, cultural, social and employee-related issues associated with big-box development and impacts. SIBA was informed by a town staff member that the council was cautioned by its attorney against attending this free, public educational opportunity due to legal concerns related to the Lowe’s development.

Of note, upon learning that a Fiscal Impact Analysis would be conducted and paid for by Lowe’s, Stacy Mitchell offered to help the town staff in its preliminary review and analysis of the Lowe’s study. This offer was communicated by SIBA, on behalf of Stacy Mitchell. Town staff declined this offer.

SIBA urges you to review the comments of Stacy Mitchell and consider them before you move forward with your decision.


Katie Roberts
Executive Director
Summit Independent Business Alliance

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One Response

  1. Has anyone raised the issue of these stores not being as successful as expected and the related corporations deciding to close them?

    What sort of bond are the corps. expected to post to
    handle the “re-purposing” of their buildings should they decide to close these locations for any number of reasons in the future?

    Frisco nearly faced this scenario when Wal-Mart considered a new location.

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