Colorado Tourism Office Wildfire Message June 2018

Wildfire Messaging

Dear Industry Partners,

The CTO team has been working diligently in the face of the fires in the state. We wanted to send an update regarding our current messaging strategy and efforts assisting industry partners with the fires. Here is our response to date and how we are actively managing this crisis. 

Below is our current approved messaging:


Colorado is dedicating unprecedented resources toward containing the three active fires in the state. A number of state agencies are working around the clock to contain the fires that have begun at the beginning of an especially hot and arid summer season in Colorado.

Colorado is the eighth largest state in the U.S. and most of its 104,100 square miles remain unaffected by fire. The state’s two main airports, Denver International Airport and Colorado Springs Airport, have experienced no flight cancellations or visibility issues. Despite the wildfires, most of the southwest area of Colorado is still open for business.

It is important to stay current on fire conditions across the state, but visitors can still expect to enjoy a memorable Colorado vacation the majority of Colorado’s destinations.

The Colorado Tourism Office is working closely with the communities being impacted by the fires. It is too early to assess the impact of the fires on Colorado’s tourism industry. All of our resources are dedicated to communicating the situation on the ground as it relates to visitors to Colorado.

Up-to-date information on location and status of the fires can be obtained via the Colorado Division of Emergency Management (; Twitter at @COEmergency) and the Inciweb Incident Information Center (

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We have inserted fire resource information on the Contact Us page of addressing the two most notable fires in Colorado. Visitors can access the above fire-related resource links at

We are working closely with the local CVBs and visitor centers. Since the start of the fires, the CTO and our PR team have been in close contact with the local areas impacted by the fires and getting regular updates. We will continue to regularly communicate with the industry partners in the effected areas and support their efforts.

We are communicating with Welcome Centers, 800-COLORADO call center and international media teams. We are providing updated statements on the fires to all consumer facing operations (i.e. Welcome Centers, call centers), as well as international PR agencies who may be receiving calls regarding the fires.

A big part of wildfire prevention is education. Below are some consumer wildfire prevention tips the team compiled and we encourage industry partners to post and communicate to visitors. As Colorado gears up for a busy summer travel season, the state urges people to travel responsibly, especially when it comes to fire prevention. Colorado’s low humidity has perks but can create dry, dangerous fire conditions. Below are tips and resources for Colorado travelers to help prevent wildfires and protect our great outdoors:

• Keep campfires small and manageable.
• Never let a fire burn unattended. 
• Properly maintain and watch campfires.
• Do not build a fire at a site in hazardous, windy or dry conditions. Check to see if campfires are permitted.
• Do not build a fire if the campground, area or event rules prohibit campfires.  Check with the campground or forest representative.
• Use an existing fire ring or fire pit. If there is not an existing fire pit, and pits are allowed, look for a site that is at least fifteen feet away from tent walls, shrubs, trees or other flammable objects. Also beware of low-hanging branches overhead. 
• Supervise children and pets when they are near fire.
• Never cut live trees or branches for fires.
• Fire restrictions and bans are set by local jurisdictions and by individual forest agencies.  Check with the local sheriff’s office, fire department or the federal forest agency before lighting a campfire this summer.
• If you think it isn’t safe enough to light a campfire — choose to be safe and not start one.
• Properly extinguish and dispose of cigarettes.
• When putting out a fire, water it until you can handle the embers.

Extinguish your campfire properly by following these steps from Smokey Bear and US Forest Service:

1.  Allow the wood to burn completely to ash, if possible.
2.  Pour lots of water on the fire, drown all the embers, not just the red ones.
3.  Pour until hissing sound stops.
4.  Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel.
5.  Scrape the sticks and logs to remove any embers.
6.  Stir and make sure everything is wet and they are cold to the touch.
7. If you do not have water, use dirt. Mix enough dirt or sand with the embers. Continue adding and stirring until all material is cool. Remember: Do not bury the fire as the fire will continue to smolder and could catch roots on fire that will eventually get to the surface and start a wildfire.

In Times of Crisis: 6 Key Tips

While we distributed the below a few weeks ago, we thought now might be a good time to re-send our six key tips for managing crisis situations. We invite you to share these tips with your local industry partners and tourism related-organizations.

1. Tell the Truth. Transparency is vital to an organization’s credibility. Some think they can “spin” the situation to avoid telling the real story, but the truth never catches up with the lie.

2. Know When To Respond. Every situation is different, but typically there is a point when a crisis reaches a tipping point and a response is required. When a crisis arises, there is pressure to respond immediately. However, one should never respond to a crisis without carefully accessing the situation and having a plan in place. It is vital to assign team members to gather information on the ground, create messaging/draft statements, and formulate a plan of action for a response. If a proactive response is warranted, the action should be taken immediately so that the public and the media don’t assume the organization is trying to avoid the situation.

3. Dedicate a Media Spokesperson. You cannot control a crisis, but you can manage it. For crises that impact tourism, it is critical to either identify a lead spokesperson with media-facing experience or invest in media training for a senior member of your organization. It is a strong investment that can have unlimited return. It is vital to identify an authoritative figure who can communicate with the media and facilitate accurate and fair reporting, while simultaneously communicating key strategic messages.

4. Identify Media Sources. During a crisis, reporters will look to interview many different individuals to gather quotes that will help frame the story. More importantly, a reporter will keep attempting to reach potential sources until they find someone who will support their story. This is why it is imperative early on in a crisis to communicate your organization’s key messages to your constituents and industry partners and “speak with one voice”. It is best to encourage that inquiries are routed to a lead spokesperson, but when media want to talk to those on the frontline (and they likely will) it is helpful to provide them with key messages. This way, if contacted by the media, they will be prepared to answer specific questions while simultaneously communicating the broader strategic messaging.

5. Don’t Write Headlines for the Media. There are officials who will give regular emergency or operational updates to the media. Think: emergency management personnel, local police and fire departments, etc. Meet with these individuals to stress that, while updates should be accurate and factual, they should be careful not to use language that can easily be taken out of context. For example, last year, the Today Show used a headline (“fire of epic proportions”) after hearing a local fire official use the term during a media briefing on a wildfire.

6. A Picture Says a Thousand Words. Images reported by the media can be damaging to public perception. However, if the situation in your area is different than what the media is reporting, the best weapon you have is the truth. Be sure to share real-time content (images and video) via your social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, and encourage your followers to share this content with their networks. You should also take advantage of the Colorado Tourism Office’s social media resources. With sizable social media audiences, we can help communicate the real situation on the ground when what is being reported is less than accurate.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call us. We fully support the areas affected by the fires and, as always, these communities can count on our full support through this difficult time.


The CTO Team

Lake City Open for Tourism June 14, 2018

Come recreate in southcentral Colorado

CREEDE, CO., (June 14, 2018):  Our region continues to offer spectacular outdoor recreational opportunities.

The Rio Grande National Forest is open, with Stage 1 fire restrictions. 

Come and enjoy the rural communities of Lake City, Creede, South Fork, and Del Norte.  Find out more about these towns at or or or or check out the Silver Thread Scenic & Historic Byway info at

The Alpine Loop Backcountry Byway is open, with Stage 1 fire restrictions.

Travel this 65-mile scenic loop near the communities of Ouray, Lake City, and Silverton thru tundra vistas and past historic mining camps, waterfalls, and wildflowers.

The Uncompahgre and Gunnison national forests are open, with Stage 2 fire restrictions.
The San Juan National Forest remains closed, with Stage 3 fire restrictions.

Please be sure to follow the rules and restrictions with fire and travel.  Carry extra water and a fire extinguisher in your vehicles.

RWEACT — together with the Rio Grande National Forest and funded through the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the Department of Local Affairs, and the Office of Emergency Management – works to promote partnerships and actions that provide for public safety and resiliency of communities and watersheds of the Rio Grande Basin of Colorado. More organizational information can be found at

Preparing for Wildfire Season 2018

Kristine Borchers
Five Actions for Today to Prepare for Wildfire Season
LAKE CITY, CO., (May 25, 2018):  With our current forest conditions, please consider taking action immediately to prepare for wildfire season.  
1)    Keep track of any fire restrictions in your County or in any area you are traveling to (especially as it relates to outdoor recreational activities).  A Red Flag Warning is a forecast warning issued by the National Weather Service that conditions are perfect for wildland fire combustion, and rapid spread of a wildfire if one does start.  Stage 1 Fire Restrictions limit open fires, trash and agricultural burning, fireworks or explosives, and limit where cigarette smoking is allowed. 
2)    Take photographs of every room in your home to provide documentation for your home insurance carrier.  Email off these photographs to your agent. 
3)    Create a wildfire emergency evacuation kit.  Gather as many of these items as you can ahead of time and place them in an easy-to-identify bag or box in your home.  For those items you can’t pack ahead of time, consider putting a “Other Items to Take” list to post on the refrigerator so you do not have to think through what to take when a pre-evacuation or evacuation notice is issued.  Suggested items include:  3 days-worth of non-perishable food and 3 gallons of water per person; at least two days of change of clothing; extra eyeglasses or contact lenses; prescription medicine along with a printed copy of the prescription; extra car keys, credit cards, cash or checks; a first aid kit and flashlight; battery-powered radio and extra batteries; personal toiletry supplies; copies of important documents; pet food and water; cell phones and charges; and computer hard-drives.  If time allows, you may want to take easily carried valuables and family photographs (it may be helpful to scan and store off-site family photographs and documents).    
4)    Determine where you will evacuate to – in multiple directions if necessary – and communicate your plans to one out-of-area family member or friend.  Make sure your entire household and family and friends know who this one person is that you will be communicating with and write down this telephone number (don’t rely on cell phone contact information as cell phone services are often down or overloaded during an event).  Talk with your household and neighbors about what should happen during an evacuation.  Sign up for the local reverse 911 notifications (different counties use different systems).  Check your County’s website. 
5)    Find out how to improve the defensible space around your forested home and neighborhood and either do the work or hire a local contractor
RWEACT — together with the Rio Grande National Forest and funded through the Colorado Water Conservation Board, the Department of Local Affairs, and the Office of Emergency Management – works to promote partnerships and actions that provide for public safety and resiliency of communities and watersheds of the Rio Grande Basin of Colorado. More organizational information can be found at

Owner Financing in Colorado

Excerpts from this article was taken from the Bronchick & Associates, PC website at (

Owner financing in Colorado has changed drastically. Since the new provision of the Dodd Frank Act went into effect in January 2014, the Colorado Real Estate Commission has decided to remove the standard financing provisions from the CREC contract and require real estate brokers to hire lawyers to draft the appropriate provisions to comply with the law.   This article will discuss the different types of owner financing transactions and the practical and legal issues involved.

“Traditional” Seller-Financed Transaction

The so-called traditional seller-financed deal involves a seller who owns a property free and clear (without a mortgage) and is willing to carry the buyer with a small down payment.  At closing, title transfers to the buyer and the buyer signs a note to the seller for the balance of the purchase price.  The buyer also signs a deed of trust (mortgage) to the seller, which is recorded as a lien agains the the property.  Thus, the buyer is the owner of the property, and the seller is a lien holder (lender).

If the buyer defaults on the payments required on the note, the seller must file a foreclosure proceeding to get the property back.  This is done through a Public Trustee foreclosure, which is essentially a non-judicial process.  The process of foreclosure will usually take about 4 months.  After the foreclosure, the seller will also have to evict the occupant of the property in a regular FED (forcible entry and detainer) proceeding in County court.

Seller Carry Second

With a seller-carry second, the buyer gets a loan from a third party (usually a bank or mortgage company) for most of the purchase price.  The buyer will have title to the property, and the third party will have a note and deed of trust on the property as a first lien.  The buyer will execute a note and deed of trust to the seller for a small amount (usually 10-20% of the sales price), which will be a second lien on the property.

If the buyer defaults on the seller’s note, the seller would have to foreclose and pay off the first mortgage in front of his lien.

Wraparound AITD

A wraparound AITD (all inclusive trust deed) is where the seller deeds the property subject to the existing loan and the buyer signs a note to the seller secured by a deed of trust on the property.  The deed of trust is second (junior) to the existing deed of trust lien.  It is called “all inclusive” because the payment is for the ENTIRE amount.  For example, if the sales price is $100,000 and the seller owes $80,000, the buyer may put $10,000 down and sign a note for $90,000.  The seller collects on the $90,000 note (with principal and interest) and continues to pay his underlying loan, pocketing the monthly spread.

Sometimes the wrap is a “mirror”, that is, the all-inclusive note is the same as the underlying note.  In the above example, the seller pays $20,000 down and signs a note that mirrors the balance and terms of the seller’s underlying $80,000 loan.

If the buyer defaults on the note, the seller must foreclose the property through a Public Trustee auction.

Wraparound Land Contract.  

A wraparound installment land contract (aka “contract for deed”) is the same as a wraparound AITD except the title remains in the seller’s name until the debt is paid in full.  Typically the seller signs a deed that is placed in escrow with a title company to ensure that the buyer will get title if the seller disappears.

Upon default of the land contract, the legal process for the seller getting the property back is unclear under Colorado law.  The court could allow a forfeiture of equity and permit an eviction by the seller, or the court could require a JUDICIAL foreclosure (longer and more expensive process than a Public Trustee foreclosure).  The court’s decision is based on equitable factors, that is what is fair in the situation considering the buyer’s equity (size of down payment, accumulated equity, improvements, etc).


A lease/option (aka “lease purchase”) is simply a lease with the option to purchase.  It is not a sale, like a wraparound land contract, although a long-term lease/option can begin to look like a land contract, hence make it more difficult to evict the tenant if he defaults on payments.  In rare cases, a court may treat a lease/option similar to a land contract, requiring the landlord to file a judicial foreclosure as if the transaction were a sale.  A properly constructed lease/option transaction will help avoid this characterization.

Safe Act and Dodd Frank The Colorado SAFE Act requires that a seller use a licensed mortgage loan originator to “underwrite” the loan, that is, qualify the buyer and prepare various disclosures.  Colorado law allows up to three owner financed transactions a year by a seller without having to comply with this requirement.  Investors who sell many properties will need to become licensed mortgage loan originators or hire one for their deals.

The Dodd Frank law is a federal statute that requires sellers to qualify buyers for owner-carry deals.  This includes wraps and contracts for deeds, but not lease/options (unless the lease/option is considered a “sale”, which can be the case for a long-term lease/option with a declining purchase price option). Dodd Frank only applies to transactions where the buyer will live in the property as their primary residence, not purchases by investors. Dodd Frank essentially gives one “free pass” a year to sellers who are not corporate entities, as in the case of someone selling their primary residence. This exemption puts minimal burdens on the seller and does not require the use of a licensed mortgage loan originator.

Corporate entities and/or investors who sell multiple properties a year (including mobile homes) must follow strict processing and documentation guidelines or face civil damages from a buyer for non-compliance.  Further, the seller must use a licensed mortgage loan originator if it does more than three deals a year.


Sellers and brokers engaging in owner-financed deals should seek legal counsel to discuss the implications of Dodd Frank and SAFE Act on their transactions.

When Gallagher and TABOR Collide Video

Colorado Fiscal Institute

Published on May 22, 2017

This video explains how the collision of the Gallagher and TABOR amendments in Colorado has been not only cutting funding for K-12 schools, but also for fire, police, ambulance and other local governments.

Outdoor Recreational Spending Dominated by Motorized Usage

Conclusions of Department of Commerce Research

Denver, CO, February 14, 2018 – Department of Commerce research commissioned by Secretary of Interior Sally Jewel to determine the value of outdoor recreation as part of the Gross Domestic Product was released today. The research identified that outdoor recreation accounted for 2% of the GDP or more than $371 Billion in spending annually and that this value was steadily increasing from 2012 to 2016.

This research further concluded that motorized spending was the dominant portion of spending for recreational activity, and almost exceeded all other spending sources combined….

“COHVCO/TPA representatives were always aware of the strong relationship motorized recreation played in outdoor recreation but even we were surprised at the values established in the Department of Commerce Research. This is welcome information and will be very helpful in undertaking land management decisions on public lands moving forward and confirmed what many in the industry had believed for many years” said Don Riggle, TPA President. “Additionally, this information will be very helpful for communitites that are targeting recreational activity to replace tax revenue that has been lost when other industries have moved out of the communities”.

“COHVCO/TPA believes this is valuable information for the OHV community, members, and industry and expands on the conclusions of the 2014 COHVCO OHV Economic Contribution study for Colorado. A formal study conducted by the Department of Commerce solidifies the economic significance of motorized recreation and the importance of keeping public and private lands open for access”, said COHVCO Executive Director Gerald Abbound.

A complete version of the Department of Commerce research is available here:

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Scott Jones, Esq. at

Dave Roberts Joins Hall Realty

Dave Roberts Joins Hall Realty 

After much thought and consideration, Dave Roberts, owner of Royal Elk Realty has decided to close his Independent Broker office and join Hall Realty as a Broker Associate. Hall Realty is celebrating their 40th year and is thrilled to welcome Dave to the office.

Hall Realty was established in 1978 by Bill and Ruthanna Hall and is currently owned and operated by Jeff and Danielle (Hall) Worthen, alongside Broker Associate and Vacation Rentals Manager, Annette Anthony.

Roberts first came to Lake City with wife and County Clerk, Joan Roberts, in 1989. Together they owned and operated the Lake City Resort for 15 years. Dave obtained his real estate license in May of 2006 and was a Broker Associate with United Country Blue Moose Realty. In 2009, Roberts ventured out as an Independent Broker and opened Royal Elk Realty.

“It’s been 9 years,” Roberts said, “and it’s been very successful. But the business of real estate is very time consuming and a lot of work for just one person. It just makes sense to join with Hall because we have worked together for years. I think we can do a better job together and offer an even higher quality experience for our clientele.”

Roberts and Worthens agree that the ultimate goal in marrying their like-minded real estate business approach is providing excellent customer service. “What we strive for are satisfied and loyal real estate sellers and buyers,” Danielle said. “Dave is such a great addition to the Hall Realty family. We’ve shown properties and closed transactions together for years, and feel we are very well matched.”

Roberts reports that this new endeavor has left him feeling re-energized with a fresh outlook. WORLD asked him what the biggest lesson is that he has learned during ownership of Royal Elk. He replied, “Whatever you do, do it honestly. The difference is caring. You have to treat others the way you want to be treated. I intend to carry that philosophy with me to Hall.”

“It’s that attitude, how Dave wants clients to have a quality experience – the fact that he wants to be the difference, and his professionalism – that’s exactly why we want to bring him on,” Danielle said.

Roberts asked that WORLD express his sincere thanks to everyone who supported Royal Elk Realty knowing that he could not have succeeded without his loyal clients. He looks forward to continuing those relationships in his future real estate success with the Hall Realty family.

(As reported in the Lake City Silver World Newspaper, Friday, March 16, 2018)



Colorado Real Estate Network Local Market Update for November 2017

Comparing the percent change from November 2016 to Novmeber 2017, New Listings remain the same for single family homes and townhouse-condo properties.

The Median Sales Price was up 32.5% to $334,500 for single family homes and Days on Market decreased 72.4%.

New tax legislation could have ramifications on housing. The White House believes that the tax reform bill will have a small impact on home prices, lowering them by less than 4 percent, and could conceivably boost homeownership. The National Association of REALTORS® has stated that eliminating the mortgage interest deduction could hurt housing, as the doubled standard deduction would reduce the desire to take out a mortgage and itemize the interest associated with it, thus reducing demand. This is a developing story.

Lake San Cristobal Overlook October 21, 2017

Photo taken by A. Danielle Worthen

Colorado Real Estate Network Local Market Update for September 2017

Comparing 2016 to 2017 in the Lake City area, New Listings were down 9.1 percent for single family homes. The Median Sales Price for single family homes went from $525,000 in 2016 to $262,500 in 2017 which is down 50 percent. The Average Sales Price for single family homes went from $575,000 in 2016 to $288,500 in 2017 which is down 49.8 percent.

Last year at this time, the national storyline was about how high demand was propping up sales and prices despite low inventory and months of supply. That has actually continued to be a familiar refrain for many months in 2017 and now for the past couple of years. But with the likes of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, different employment outlooks, disparate incomes, varying new construction expectations and potential housing policy shifts, regional differences are becoming more prevalent and pronounced.

Realtor, Equal Housing, MLS