Mountain Resort Communities: A Profile and a Challenge

APA Idaho


Thursday, March 30, 2017
9 a.m. - 10 a.m. MDT

CM | 1

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How will the event offer a professionally relevant learning experience for a planner with at least 4 years of experience?  Mountain resort communities comprise some of the wealthiest counties in the United States. Surrounded by natural beauty, laden with outdoor recreational amenities, and increasingly accessible to wealth generated in distant metropolitan areas, mountain towns are offer the opportunity for prosperity in a stunning natural environment.  Yet these communities, if not planned properly, can have significant impacts to the revered environments in which they are located. This is a particular challenge in mountain resort communities because they are magnets for wealth and investment, which, in turn, fuel development and growth pressure. In the history of the world, increased economic prosperity has always occurred simultaneously with increased resource consumption - and adverse impact to the environment, and this is particularly true in mountain resort communities. This session will provide demographic, economic, social, and other empirical data to frame the unique socioeconomic positions of mountain resort communities and present its attendees with one question: can society achieve economic growth while decreasing - rather than increasing - its impact on the environment, and, if so, can mountain towns lead the way?


How does the event meet a specific planning related training objective?  The event is intended to provide attendees with an overview of the demographic, economic, social, and other empirical information to provide establish a data-based context for mountain resort communities. This will then provide an overarching theme and epistemological perch for attendees in subsequent conference sessions (transportation, economic development, land use, housing, sustainability, climate change).


What are the specific training objectives? What do you want the attendees to learn from this event?  Specific training objectives include:

      Overviewing demographic, economic, and social data for a wide swath of mountain resort communities.

      Interpreting these and other data in a planning and growth context.

      Distilling the relationship between mountain resort economies and their relationship to the larger global economy.

      Presenting the correlation between economic growth and environmental impact.


      Challenging attendees to find ways to promote economic development while decreasing environmental impact through planning solutions.


Jonathan Schechter

Jonathan Schechter is the Founder & Executive Director of the Charture Institute, a Jackson Hole, Wyoming-based think tank focused on growth, change, and sustainability in Places of Ecological and Aesthetic Significance (PEAS). He is also the Founder and Executive Director of 1% for the Tetons, a member-funded organization providing leadership and ... Read More

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