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Sustain Blaine Economic Summit Held In Sun Valley

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By Rachel Holt

Sun Valley, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) At the second annual Sustain Blaine Economic Summit, participants weighed in on some major changes they would like to see.

Over 200 people came together at The Sun Valley Resort to talk about how to make life better in the community.

"I think what's important is how do we chart our future instead of letting the future come to us," said Harry Griffith, Sustain Blaine Executive Director.

The summit drew people with one goal in mind...

How to improve life in Blaine County.

"Our theme today is beyond GDP… investing for quality, for place, and what we can effectively do to improve our quality of place as a community both for our future and for the enjoyment of people in the community," Griffith explained.

Throughout the day, experts weighed in on how Blaine County's economy stacks up against other counties across the country.

"How can we actually think strategically about what assets we need to invest in? What assets do we have that aren't as good as other similar communities with which we compete for tourism or for businesses?” Griffith said.

"The more that one can build up a base of people that work here, that will stabilize the economy in terms of the rise and fall of the tourist dollar. I think that is why it’s critical for us to think of ways to increase the finance for a lot more kinds of business to diversify the local economy," explained Michael Shuman, an economist and the keynote speaker.

One major topic of conversation was improving transportation in the area.

"My advice is take it slow because transportation investment is a very long-term objective, but think creatively,” Shuman said.

"Transportation and mobility is an issue that people weren't quite as happy with... so the question is how do we take that level of happiness and raise it up,” Griffith added.

Working together... to generate solutions for the future.

From here, Sustain Blaine hopes to prioritize investments for the future… and work toward a common goal in the community.


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