Lovell citizens are reminded that the Lovell Inc. economic development organization is looking for “a few good folks” willing to help with the mission of the organization, seeking citizen participation on four task forces being developed, Director Dave Reetz has announced.
Reetz is seeking citizen participation in the areas of tourism development, the senior housing project, retail development and a program to bring Lovell High School graduates back home.
Reetz said he believes in forming task forces rather than committees, noting that, with a task force, “you have a mission, you have a task, you have a time line and you have results.” And once the desired result is achieved, the task force is dissolved, he said, though in certain circumstances a more permanent standing committee could be formed.
“It’s far better to organize a task force,” Reetz said. “It’s more attractive to citizens. A committee connotes that you’re on it forever. A task force is very focused and active, and you have results at the end.
“A task force is designed to begin a critical discussion and gain ideas. You want to be as open and receptive to ideas as you can get. It’s not that these areas haven’t been discussed before, but this will be a breath of fresh air and be very focused on building the economy through these task forces.”
Reetz noted that tourism efforts have been numerous in Lovell but could be more focused and effective.
“It’s very apparent that there are a lot of tourism activities going on, major organizations like the Park Service, as well as the Wild Mustang Center, boat trips and guiding,” he said. “There’s a lot of stuff going on, and there is an immense number of attractions here. It’s been described to me over and over that we have much here that people don’t know about.
“We’re so undiscovered. It (the area) has been called the best kept secret repeatedly. There’s a tremendous inventory of attractions right here. We have enormous potential to build tourism in Big Horn County. It’s an enormous driver of the economy and a front door to economic development.”
Reetz said one of the top goals of both the Town of Lovell and Lovell Inc. is finishing the senior housing project on top of the hill. Lovell Inc. and the town obtained a grant to get the old hospital building torn down and the land made available for housing, but the housing on the now long vacant block remains undeveloped.
The retail task force would work in areas to include downtown revitalization, niche marketing and promoting the area to become a regional attraction in certain types of products and recruiting retail companies to fill empty buildings. The task force would emphasize supporting local merchants, Reetz said.
Reetz noted that Gov. Matt Mead developed a resume bank to encourage companies to hire Wyoming natives, but Reetz would like to see a more active program for Lovell to recruit local graduates and encourage them to return home and bring their company with them. The task force would identify Lovell graduates and create the “bring graduates home” program.
Initial task force meetings will be held soon. Those interested in serving are asked to contact Reetz at 307-254-0980 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By David Peck