Intergovernmental meeting

Paul Reich, Tri-County Health Network behavioral health program manager, talks about tobacco usage among local youth during Monday’s intergovernmental meeting at the Wilkinson Public Library. (Photo by Justin Criado/Telluride Daily Planet)

Local officials met Monday at the Wilkinson Public Library’s program room for the November intergovernmental meeting, hosted by the Town of Ophir.

The agenda included a marketing presentation, information on the upcoming 2020 Census, and updates on the Mental Health Advisory Board and Tobacco 21 laws from Tri-County Health Network.

Michael Martelon, Telluride Tourism Board president, explained what goes into promoting the destination to target markets, including the new campaign, and how to define Telluride’s “brand.”

“When I say brand I’m talking about brand identity, brand image, brand positioning, brand personality, brand experience, brand differentiation, brand communication, brand gap … so when I say ‘brand’ it’s a very layered, and emotional for me, subject,” he said.

He added that the Telluride brand is “driven by three main things” — community, environment and how those two “interact with each other,” as the Town of Telluride “is the epicenter for things that happen from Montrose to Rico and everywhere in between.”

The Telluride Tourism Board tracks demographics of visitors in an effort to collect pertinent data that shapes the nonprofit’s marketing efforts. Martelon added the board also looks at social media and web impressions in measuring the effectiveness of a marketing campaign.

The board revealed a new marketing campaign at the end of 2018, which included using the Telski pickaxe “T” logo in several slogans like “Revelation.” On Monday, images with the words “Sanctuary” and “Elation” were revealed as the campaign looks to include more elements.


Paul Reich, Tri-County Health Network behavioral health program manager, presented the next three agenda items, including the Mental Health Advisory Board update with Carol Friedrich, San Miguel County social services director.

Reich explained the importance of participating in the upcoming 2020 Census, since population numbers affect state and federal funding, on which many nonprofit organizations rely.

He added San Miguel County was undercounted during the 2010 Census, which he wants to avoid this time.

Tri-County Health Network will host a census informational session Dec. 9 at the Wilkinson Public Library’s program room from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Brian Meinhart, partnership specialist for the U.S. Census Bureau, will be on hand to answer any questions. RSVP Dec. 4 by visiting or emailing Reich at For more information, contact Corinne Cavendar, Hope Logan or Shanan Ashton at 970-708-7096.

Regarding Tobacco 21, a national campaign that aims to raise the legal age for tobacco and nicotine sales to 21, Reich referenced the 2017 Healthy Kids Colorado survey that showed 42 percent of Telluride High School students used a nicotine product within 30 days of taking the survey. The latest Healthy Kids survey was recently conducted, but results have not been made available.

“I’m afraid our numbers will only go in one direction,” Reich said.

It’s no secret that vaping is popular among local youth, he added. Requiring retailers to have a license to sell nicotine products, raising legal age to purchase such products to 21, banning flavored products and passing a tobacco tax are some measures the community can take in reducing use among youth. Crested Butte, Glenwood Springs and Vail, among other mountain towns, passed similar measures, Reich explained. He added it’s about separating the gap between underage users and the people who buy the products for them, like an 18-year-old high school senior.

“I don’t care what adults do,” Reich said. “This is about creating that gap.”

On the Mental Health Advisory Board, Friedrich explained the previously approved mill levy generated approximately $604,000 in funding that will go towards substance use, suicide prevention and emergency response programs.