For Our Second Homeowners in the Gunnison Valley

Photo of Footprint on a Trail

To: Second Homeowners

From: Us

Our valley’s Emergency Management and Incident Command made a tough decision late last week. Banning second homeowners from travel to the valley.

We have heard from some of you since. We have heard that we are stupid. We have heard that we are ungrateful for all the support, not just financial, that you shower on our beautiful and most-time peaceful valley. We have heard that this decision is open to legal challenge. We have heard “Just try and stop me.”

These are all painful things to hear because the decision was made not on our behalf, but on everyone’s behalf. On America’s behalf.

The virus is projected to peak on April 17 in Colorado. We know that Gunnison Valley Hospital has no Intensive Care Units. When someone gets really sick, EMS travels to a hospital with an ICU available. This takes an EMS team out of circulation for most if not all of a day. EMS teams are limited. We have had 13 out-of-valley transports to date.

What happens if someone here gets really sick and the limited EMS teams are otherwise occupied?

What happens if someone here gets really sick and there are no ICU’s available in Grand Junction, Colorado Springs or Denver?

We know there are too few ICU’s in Colorado to handle the projected cases at peak.

We have all heard the heartbreaking stories from Italy. Italian doctors making the decision who to save and who not to save. Would we wish this terrible decision on any of our own medical community?

The virus is here. A couple left their second home in Mt. Crested Butte when the lifts closed. They have since died. One of our neighbors, and a beloved community member, has passed from Covid-19. Our first known positive in the valley is still testing positive after 23 days in isolation.

So much we don’t know.

We are at war with this virus. In World War II, before I was born, we were asked to sacrifice even when we weren’t doing the fighting. There was rationing. Americans were implored to plant Victory Gardens so our troops could be fed.

In the wars during my lifetime—Vietnam, the military actions to Panama and Granada (the final time I was called up), Iraq, and Afghanistan—stateside, we haven’t been asked to sacrifice at all. After 9/11 we were told to go shopping.

Now we’re all being asked—or directed, if you prefer—to change our behaviors to save the lives of our fellow Americans.

-John Norton, Executive Director, Tourism and Prosperity Partnership

Author: John Norton

18 Responses to For Our Second Homeowners in the Gunnison Valley

  1. I appreciate all of your proactive efforts since this nightmare began!! I wish that all communities everywhere would act in the same way, to protect all lives!!
    My brother and sister in law are the second homeowners there, and also a third that they VRBO. I can tell you without a doubt that they love the CB/ Gunny Valley and the people more than their own selfish desires!!
    As do I, “merely” a frequent visitor and renter (until I can one day live the dream ft) !!
    Thank you for protecting my future neighbors and preserving my future home!! Until we meet again, Stay Safe, and God Bless!!

    • Kelly, there is no such thing as “merely” a frequent visitor! Thanks for loving our valley!
      -John

  2. Please, more info on the the 2 second homeowners who returned to Where and died? How long were they here and where were they prior to returning to their primary residence?

    • We’ve been asked not to discuss particulars. They were here at the end of our protracted ski season when the local outbreak began.
      -John

  3. Thank you, Mr. Norton, for spelling it out. We have a family cabin in the mountains between Gunnison and Salida and I’ve been asking my extended family to strongly consider the wisdom of staying home vs. going to the cabin this summer. From the viewpoint of someone living in a crowded city, it seems like the ideal escape, but in reality, there are not enough hospitals there for support, and because of widespread contagion in the Gunnison area, the possibility of picking up the virus at the local grocery or hardware stores is higher in CO than at home for most of my relatives. Even though our cabin usage is from June-September, I expect that things may be about the same this summer as they are now as far as the virus goes. Again, thank you for spelling it out. I appreciate your message, even if you do get a boatload of complaints from others! This too shall pass…eventually!

  4. Thanks greatly for your wise decisions. I’m astounded and disgusted with the complaints and the hopefully few, inexcusably ignorant people complaining.
    My family and friends applaud you. AGAIN, THANKS FOR PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITY INCLUDING US.

  5. Thank you for protecting our beautiful home away from home. We appreciate all the time,thought and caring you have given us to save lives.

  6. As much as we hate not being able to go to our house, you are doing what you have to to protect everyone. To think otherwise is incredibly callous and selfish. We wish you all well, and hope to see all our CB and Gunny friends soon.

  7. I completely agree with staying away at this time, my parents are not using their 2nd home in CB.

    My wife and I are in a tough spot and have to move to CB on the 18th of April. We sold our home almost 2 months ago and had signed a long term lease in CB.

    I work remotely and my wife is a chiropractor who will be working at Bliss Chiropractic with Mimi. We looked at options to stay where we are but with having 3 dogs and the financial issue we couldn’t swing staying.

    We are going to bring our own supplies and quarantine ourselves to help out and hope noone takes our move the wrong way. We will be permanent residents now and don’t want to start off on the wrong foot.

  8. My family and neighbors are legally 2HO in Gunnison County since one of our ancestors paid his first taxes healing from a Ute arrow wound.

    Mason Miller: your circumstances, as described, are difficult but frankly: they are not Gunnison County’s problem. You say you don’t want to start on the wrong foot but that is exactly what you would do by bringing you and your problems, known and unknown, to Gunnison County right now.

    Stop thinking about yourself for a minute and read the order. THINK!

    https://covid19.gunnisoncounty.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/5th-Amended-Public-Health-Order_Signed_Recorded_4032020.pdf

    Gunnison County authorities will exercise their power to enforce this order proportionally but as they see fit by taking advantage of the topography: checkpoints on both ends of 50 will come if they are not there already and neighboring county and state authorities will assist Gunnison County is support of the order. You and your family will almost certainly be turned back en route, DO NOT TRAVEL and put your family further at risk.

    I don’t know the Gunnison County authorities or their decision-making process, but I am familiar with similar circumstances elsewhere in the world. Like authorities elsewhere, at their discretion Gunnison County authorities MAY make exceptions for persons who not only imagine themselves as ‘not a burden’ but are also willing, at their own hazard and expense, to use unique and necessary skills to help others. Are you or your wife trained and certified in emergency services or trauma level health care? Are you willing to volunteer and work for nothing but coffee and doughnuts? Put that in an email with supporting documentation for a residence waiver before you consider travel, that’s your best hope for getting there during the emergency (and I emphasize “best hope” – nothing more).

    If you have nothing to add then you will only be a burden. Do not trifle with Gunnison County authorities by trying to come, whatever your circumstances, before the public health emergency is declared over in Gunnison County. You will almost certainly not make it to the county line and will not be welcome if should you cross it. Stick it out where you are and God be with you. When the public health emergency is declared over I’m sure you will be welcomed in Gunnison.

    • Jefferson, thanks for writing. We’re going to recommend to Mason that he apply for a waiver from public health. Guessing he would be approved with an agreement for a couple week quarantine. – John

    • Just because you were born n raised here does not entitle martial law. His family also pays taxes on a home I built n sold to them 25 yrs ago which he has stayed at every year. I’m a 43 yr local and this makes me sick that this mentality is dreading like the plague. Your not the judge jury or God and they paid their rent have work in valley and deserve to live in their new home

    • Hey Jay if you want to keep acting like a lib why don’t you step up to the plate and pay for Mason and Alex to remain in Texas for the time being? Incase you didn’t see Alex is taking up a job in Crested Butte and they sold their home 6 weeks ago. Are you in charge of the county? What a warm welcome!! Looks like half the people of CB suck!!

  9. We’ve been freely living in the nature around CB for about 2 years. My small tribe and I have pushed advance efforts to create a sanctuary camp in the area welcoming thousands of domestic refugees. We’ve already gotten confirmation from a few hundred in destitute situations like our from all over the country! Most of them are already on their way in large groups, so good luck trying to stop them. One love

  10. Hey Jay you are the problem w/ America. The man said he sold his home, clearly he didn’t sell it in a pandemic. You’re tone deaf & need to apologize. Everyone is concerned about their family & you need to realize we are in this together. So shut up & deal with or buy him a place to stay!

  11. We just received a “postcard” in the mail apologizing for the way the initial message was delivered. Yet, there is no indicate what organization sent this card. It appears that there could be lobbying going on to reach out to the second homeowners.
    Did anyone else receive this notice?
    Although the sentiment was well intentioned, the lack of any information about the sender is disturbing.
    Hope all is well in CB an Gunnison. Stay and healthy and hope to see you soon.

    • Good point. The postcard was conceived of by many in the valley, paid for by Tourism and Prosperity Partnership (Us), and was reviewed by county commissioners before it was mailed.

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