Meet Park County’s NEW Outdoor Recreation Planner!

Hello Park County!!

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Kiran Darai. I am the new outdoor recreation planner working for Powell Economic Partnership (PEP) coming to you from the Greater Boston area!

A Little About Me…

  • I love the outdoors. I try to spend as much time as I can outside, particularly on my bicycle. I also enjoy hiking, swimming, camping, and any other way to soak up some sun!
  • An optimist to a fault, I like to think that I focus on the good in most situations.
  • Making people laugh brings me joy. I still remember the exact joke I told my doctor over 2 years ago that made him chuckle just a little bit!
  • Family is everything to me, and that includes my close friends!
  • I use exclamation points a lot!!
Your outdoor recreation planner in the wild at the New England Aquarium back home in Boston

VISTA on the Move

Now I should probably let you all know why I’ve moved all this way… I’m here in beautiful Park County because I’ve joined the AmeriCorps VISTA program. To make a long story short: AmeriCorps is a federal program. People join so that they can be placed in a community in the U.S. to volunteer. VISTA stands for Volunteers in Service to America.

All you need to remember is that as a VISTA, I am here to lend a helping hand to PEP to expand their capacity to better serve the Park County community. This position started this past June and will conclude next June in 2023.

I joined because I’m passionate about community health. There is nothing more powerful than a community coming together to solve the problems that face that community. It’s about lifting the quality of life for the collective through solutions that come from within. After all, who is better to ask than those who live with the problems?

I’ll bet you’re wondering, “who is this guy, why should I care, and why did he come here?”.

Hopefully after I tell you about what I’m doing specifically you will see the value in my job and why you should read this blog!

Why do you Value Outdoor Recreation in Park County?

Goals for my Service Year

As the “Outdoor Recreation Planner” I have a few goals that I need to accomplish during the time I will be in Park County. The first of those (and most interesting) being that I must understand what the people of Park County value in outdoor recreation. I need to know what you all love about recreating, what would get you outside more, and what may be stopping you from being outdoors as much as you would like. I’m excited to learn the answers to these questions because I will be using your responses to create a recommendation for improving the outdoor recreation experience in the county.

I think it’s important for me to say that I will not be forcing any changes on you that are from me or the organizations I may be working with. Any recommendations I make will be completely informed by what YOU want. I am simply here to collect your opinions and organize them so that the people whose jobs it is to make any changes to outdoor recreation clearly know what you desire, if anything at all.

I need to understand the plans of agencies that own public land in Park County and how those plans affect what you all want when it comes to outdoor recreation. I’ll be collaborating with Bureau of Land Management, United States Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Reclamation, and other land owners!

Finally, I must “document the user experience” of outdoor recreation in Park County. It’s exactly what it sounds like! They’re making me hike, bike, kayak, camp, and spend time outside. Doesn’t that sound horrible??

But! That doesn’t quite explain why I’m writing this blog…

Inside Look on Outdoor Recreation from a New Resident

This blog will mainly contain my thoughts about all the adventures I will be going on in Park County. I will tell all of you where I went for the day, what I did, what I thought about it, what I wish I knew going in, and where I will be going next! I’m hoping you will get something out of reading about my travels and remember what it was like seeing the sights here for the first time again.

So! If you see me out and about (probably looking lost/confused) don’t be a stranger! Odds are I probably need some help anyways. Feel free to stop me and tell me what you’re thinking, I’d love to know!

What I usually look like while outdoors

You can find more from me here.


Park County Land Use Plan Community Engagement

When you read the phrase Park County Land Use Plan Community Engagement, what comes to mind? Do you think “Cool, how can I attend”? Perhaps, “I know nothing about Land Use Planning and this community engagement meeting isn’t for me”.

In a recent Park County Our County Our Future Land Use Plan Survey, over 700 responses acknowledged that quality of life, community values, infrastructure and the local economy were important components of a future Park County.

Your Voice Matters – What do you think?

Hence, we want to hear your voice too to get a better understanding and a range of perspectives.

  • How would you rate your quality of life? What specifically is important to you?
  • Would you like to see different housing options?
  • Would you like to see more job opportunities?
  • How do you rate infrastructure like water, power, broadband, and pathways?
  • What values are important to you: western lifestyle, protection of open lands, access to outdoor recreation, sense of community, and agricultural lands?
  • How can Park County’s economy improve? 

Thus, please consider attending a local Park County Our County Our Future Land Use Plan Community Engagement Meeting close to where you live or work. The Powell, Meeteetse, and Cody meetings are in-person, and the dates and times are below.  Additionally, there is also a virtual meeting option on Monday, June 27, 2022. The topics discussed will focus on the big picture and be county-wide. Moreover, attendees will also learn more about the Park County Land Use Plan.    

  • Monday, June 20th, Powell: Park County Fairgrounds (Heart Mountain Hall), 6:30-8:30pm             
  • Tuesday, June 21st, Meeteetse: School Cafeteria, 6:30-8:30pm
  • Wednesday, June 22nd, Cody: Park County Library (Grizzly Room), 6:30-8:30pm 
  • Monday, June 27th, Virtual Meeting, 6:00-7:00pm (Zoom)

Should I Attend a Meeting?

Truly, going to public meetings can feel foreign to lots of us. Trust me, you belong at this meeting. You don’t need to speak publicly, there are opportunities for you to engage in other ways. Grab a neighbor, friend, co-worker or family member. Make a night of it!  

Moreover, I promise you will not regret participating in Community Engagement Meetings. Inversely, you may regret not engaging as Park County changes and develops

In Summary, the Park County Land Use Plan started in February of 2022. The estimated completion date is August of 2023. The timeline and project planning documents are on Park County’s website. It is important that all ages and demographics get involved. Plan to attend Park County Land Use Plan Community Engagement meeting. The future of Park County will be shaped by you.  

Park County Our County Our Future Land Use Plan Survey

Margaret Wheatley, author and global leader in community development, writes, “There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.

In order to plan for Park County’s future, together we first must discover what we care about. Consider your future and share your ideas in the Park County Our County Our Future Land Use Plan Survey.

What Do You Care About?

Do you most value public education, healthcare options, public safety, viewscapes, access to outdoor recreation, or job opportunities? Would you like to see more restaurants, more retail, and/ or more recreation activities?  Do you want businesses to be locally owned, national chains, or a mix of both?

If your response to these questions was, “I care about one or more of those things”, then you care about planning, zoning, and public services. 

What Do You Want For Your Future? Your Family’s Future? Your Business’s Future?

What do you want your life to look like this weekend?  Additionally, what do you want it to look like in three years?  Moreover in twenty years? Now is the time to voice your opinion on the future of Park County, on your future.  Don’t let this moment pass you by, don’t think ten years from now, “What a shame I didn’t speak up when I was asked.”

Now What?

Park County is in the process of creating a Land Use Plan. This plan is needed to balance this county we call home, Park County, WY. I use the word  “balance” because we find ourselves in a pivotal time, a time when Park County’s inevitable growth will influence our way of life and future opportunities.

You will have the opportunity to contribute to the Land Use Plan in each stage of the plan’s development. For example, voicing your opinions, insights, and aspirations for the future of Park County citizens and businesses at public meetings. Additionally, answering this survey and engaging with a Land Use Plan Advisory Committee member. The planners want to hear from you.  Your input will be used to design the plan and influence zoning.   

You can take the Park County Our County Our Future land use plan survey once. You are encouraged to share this link with your family, friends, and co-workers.

In conclusion, take 15 minutes, gather your thoughts, write them down and click submit. Don’t let the loudest people in the room speak for you. Speak-up for yourself!

Park County Wyoming Our County, Our Future Land Use Plan
Park County Our County Our Future Land Use Plan Survey

Go to our blog for more information about Park County and our region of Wyoming.

McCullough Peaks Historic Place to Explore

Sprawling Labyrinth of Colorful Badland Peaks

A few miles south of Powell sit a sprawling labyrinth of colorful badland peaks and dry-wash valleys. They are arid, highly eroded, and sometimes treacherous, but they also offer scenic views and fantastic opportunities for appreciating the Wyoming landscape.

Named after scotch immigrant and early cowboy Peter McCulloch, the area has a long history of livestock grazing, as well as harboring herds of wild horses.  

Peter McCulloch at his home in Worden, Montana after retiring from the range cattle business. Park County Archives photo.

Peter McCulloch came to northwest Wyoming in 1879 as the foreman of a cattle drive from Fort Bridger. His boss, Judge William A. Carter, had been invited by Chief Washakie of the Shoshone Tribe to move his sizable cattle herd from the drought-ridden southwestern section of the Territory to the Big Horn Basin, where the grass was still good for grazing.

The cow outfit made their headquarters along a small creek draining the northern slope of a craggy and elongated mass of high rock. McCulloch named both the creek and the mountain after his far-off boss.  

Peter McCulloch apparently detested the bleak badland formations south of what was then referred to as the Stinking Water River. Well aware of McCulloch’s feelings, his cowboy friends mockingly christened them “McCulloch’s Peaks” during an 1881 range roundup where local inhabitants had begun assigning names to geographic landmarks. The current “McCullough” spelling was a later error printed on U.S. Geological Survey maps. 

Carter delegated much of his livestock and business responsibilities to McCulloch, who pastured all the ranch horses on the southern slopes of his eponymous peaks.

The Stone Barn of McCullough Peaks. Park County Archives photo.

Stone Barn

Sometime in those early years McCulloch and his fellow cowboys located a minor spring on the grassy northern slopes of the peaks. They excavated a small dugout into the hillside and regularly brought their herds to water. In 1904 a large stone barn was built at this location by early homesteader Frank Gilmore who used the facilities to raise purebred horses. The barn and adjacent corrals were later purchased by P.E. Markham for use as a lambing and shearing shed for his sheep operation, and then again by the Hoodoo Ranch as a remote cow camp. This stone barn still exists, although its roof has recently collapsed.

Later the McCullough Peaks became a popular area for sheep grazing and overwintering livestock. The southern facing slopes offered good winter forage to herds that often summered high up on their mountain pastures.

Large rock piles are plentiful around the peaks, most being sheepherder monuments or cairns erected to serve as landmarks and informal grazing boundary markers.

The McCullough Peaks are a sprawling landscape of badlands south of Powell, WY. Photo by Emily Swett.

The rugged character of the McCullough Peaks deterred most early settlers from permanently occupying the region as they preferred the lush and more easily irrigable lowlands along creeks and rivers. These circumstances have allowed the peaks to preserve a great deal of their wild and pristine landscape.

Today the McCullough Peaks consist of over 23,000 acres of public BLM land with some additional state-owned tracts. They harbor a plethora of outdoor recreation opportunities, from hiking and ATV travel, to horseback riding, trail running, mountain biking, hunting, birdwatching, photography, and wildflower identification.

How to Get There

Access to the McCullough Peaks from Powell, Wyoming on Lane 14 south of town. Additionally, McCullough Peaks can be found via the McCullough Peaks Road #1212 off the Greybull Highway west of Cody, or the Whistle Creek Road #1213 which travels north from the Greybull Highway (US 14/20/16) to Wyoming Highway 32. These are maintained BLM roads with some gravel or dirt surfaces. There are also numerous two-track trails that lead into and around the peaks from every direction. These are fun to travel and discover new routes, although they should be avoided when the ground surface is wet.

No discussion of the region would be appropriate without remarking upon the work of local author and historian Phyllis Preator, who has written two books about the McCullough Peaks and their inhabitants. Her first, entitled “The McCulloch Peaks: Early History & Stories” provides an account of adjacent homesteaders, herders, and ranchers who have historically frequented the area. Preater’s most recent book, “Facts and Legends behind the McCulloch Peaks Mustangs”, highlights the wild horses in the area and the natural history of American mustangs in general.

Day Trip to Lovell. Start Your Adventure!

Big Horn Canyon

Day Trip to Lovell. Start your adventure at the Big Horn Canyon in the Pryor mountains with breath taking views at the Devil Canyon Overlook, 1,000 feet above the water. If you stand at the left canyon and give a big belly yell, whoop or holler you should hear it echo back. This amazing canyon runs for 70 miles though Wyoming and Montana.

Big Horn Canyon Overlook-Ron Nettie

Yellowtail Dam

I recommend a boat ride north to the Yellowtail Dam. The Dam was engineered and built in the sixties to help irrigate more than 60,000 acres for the new settlers under the Homestead Act.  This irrigation effort not only helped the Crow Indians but other setters in the Big Horn Basin. As a result of the dam and efforts to control the flooding, the town of Kane has been flooded. Currently the river feeding the canyon is famous for trout fishing.

Click Here for NPS Big Horn Canyon.

Ride to Yellowtail Dam- Tippetts

The Yellowtail Dam is 525 feet high and located in the Crow Indian Reservation. The primary purposes of the dam are flood control, power generation, irrigation and recreation.

Click Here for NPS Yellowtail Dam.

View from Yellowtail Dam Visitor Center- NPS, Jen Prentiss

Big Horn Sheep

On this day trip to Lovell, continue your day adventure by looking for Big Horn Sheep in the parking lot to the scenic overlook. Did you know that our Big Horn Sheep have adapted to drinking water? Occasionally, Big Horn Sheep will be at the water’s edge drinking, watch in amazement as they climb back up the steep canyon walls. During this adventurous drive keep a look out for purple dirt. This is “dinosaur dirt from the Morrison Formation.

Click Here for NPS Big Horn Sheep.

Big Horn Sheep at Scenic Overlook- Tippetts

Pryor Mountain Wild Mustangs

Wild Mustangs on the Pryor Mountains- Brian Morse

On your drive into the Pryor Mountains be looking for Wild Mustangs. This is home to more than 120 wild mustangs, on the first established public wild horse refuge, established in 1968. Sometimes you will see them on the side of the road, and other times they are just small dots on the horizon. 

Click Here for Link the Pryor Mustang Website.

Lockhart Ranch

Your next adventure stop on your day adventure should take you two miles north of Berry’s landing to Lockhart Ranch.  Caroline Lockhart started her career in journalism by getting locked in an insane asylum so she could accurately report the treatment of patients. Getting admitted was easy, trying to prove she was not crazy was the challenge. In 1904 she moved to Cody, Wyoming, and later became the owner of the Cody Enterprise newspaper. In 1926 she purchased the Lockhart Ranch. She was also an early owner of an automobile. When walking around the ranch be sure to check the buildings, many of which you can wander around. In the main cabin you can see where the lumber was delivered to Kane, Wyoming, which was later flooded. Click Here for NPS Webpage.

Starry Night at Lockhart Ranch- Lynn Richardson, Wyoming Images

Rose City

Lovell is known as the Rose City because Dr. William Watts Horsley who came to Lovell in the 1920’s was an expert on roses. He claimed the climate in Lovell was exceptional for growing the flower and began to create rose gardens. As you drive through town you will see many rose gardens all around town. If you come to town during Mustang Days, one of the Follies might even give you a embroidered rose sticker.

Rose City Follies- Lovell Mustang Days

Nostalgic Stops

To finish on your day trip to Lovell, on you way back into town to start your next adventure at Queen Bee honey factory. Many of the local farming fields contain white rectangular boxes, these are for the local bees. In the local shop not only do they sell local honey, but chocolates and candies all made with the fresh honey.  This is the perfect place to find some local gifts to take home and grab some sweet treat just for you. 

Buy Queen Bee Sweets.

This nostalgic part of the day adventure, is the Hyartt theater, built in 1950 and is packed full of character. Featuring the largest screen West of the Mississippi. This theater contains 950 seats! It also comes complete with crush red velvet seats. Check out this adventure stop and buy your bargain price ticket for $5!  Make sure to come early enough to get some concessions.

Hyartt Theater Movie Times

PEP/ Powell Chamber/ Powell Visitor Center

Check out our blog for more day adventures from Powell and all of our great shops and fun stops.

Click Here for Powell Chamber.

Enjoy the Region with Geotourism in Powell, Wyoming

Whether you’re a longtime Powell local or visiting the area from abroad, Powell is a fantastic basecamp for family-friendly outdoor recreation and exploration.  From mountain biking to skiing to fishing, there are endless opportunities to explore designated recreation areas.  However, if you’re looking for new ways to enjoy the region, consider geotourism in Powell, Wyoming.

What is Geotourism?

Geotourism turns the landscape and geological sites into the destination rather than just the scenery you drive past on the journey to somewhere else. The phrase was coined in England in the early 1990s, and it has grown in popularity due to the explosion of ecologically conscious tourism known a ecotourism.

What’s the Difference Between Ecotourism and Geotourism?

Geotourism is for geologically curious travelers.  Whereas ecotourism celebrates flora and fauna, geotourism focuses on geomorphology–the physical characteristics of the Earth’s surface.   Though you may be headed to Yellowstone to see bison, elk, and grizzly, you can couple your ecotourism with geotourism by visiting the alluvial fan formation in the dramatic Clarks Fork Canyon or take a detour to visit the 300-million-year-old Heart Mountain, which came into formation when this high desert was a tropical sea. 

Who Are Geotourists?

Walk, hike, climb, or sit in your car, geotourism in Powell, Wyoming is for the young and old, able-bodied and disabled.   One wonderful aspect of geotourism is that it only requires as much effort as you want to put into it.  The sheer grandeur of Wyoming’s geological features can be appreciated from your vehicle, but if you’re adventure seeking, geosites often have nearby hiking trails for seasonal recreationists. 

However you decide to view the spectacular geological formations, be sure to visit

Before you head out, don’t forget to pack Fritz and Thomas’s Roadside Geology of Yellowstone Country for enlightening commentary on the region.

3 Geosites within 45 minutes of Powell Wyoming

Polecat Bench (aka “The Bench”)

Polecat Bench is 10 minutes from downtown Powell. The closest destination on the list. The Bench is the unsung hero of geotourism in Powell, Wyoming.  Many locals don’t even know the name of the looming bench-like formation that serves as the backdrop to Powell.  However, Ivy League universities have been setting up camp on Polecat for decades to study its unique paleontology.  Significant fossils have been found here.  

While you’re here, see if you can locate the remnants of the old stage stop. 

Hint: If you come across a section of slick rock that would make for great mountain biking, you’re close!  Wear boots and pack your snake bite kit.

Clarks Fork Canyon

As you drive through the vast moraine fields on Canyon Road, the mouth of the Clarks Fork Canyon reveals its breathtaking scale.  42 minutes from Powell, the free-flowing Clarks Fork River tumbles down from Colter Pass.  Though the energy of the Clarks Fork River is something to behold, it’s really the anticline that serves as the centerpiece of this miraculous vista.

On the south side of the river, the Bald Mountain anticline shoots up from the valley in a stunningly naked display of motion over time.  It is a radical and breathtaking sight that any viewer can appreciate.  To the north side of the river, sharp and angular Chugwater formations rise from the red dirt like rock fins.  To get a different perspective, hike the Bridal Falls trail and behold the same formations from the interior of the canyon. 

The kicker: subsurface mapping suggest that the Clark’s Fork region is still developing!

Man has made his mark own mark in this canyon with rocks too.  As you walk along the river, keep an eye out for the remnants of Native American tepee rings.

Heart Mountain

Lovingly named, Heart Mountain’s geological biography suggests that the world’s largest landslide transported the rock from its original birthplace dozens of miles away in the Beartooth Range.  Now, Heart Mountain rises from the Big Horn Basin like a lone and bold sentinel.  How did it get so far from home, you wonder?  Well, research suggests that the release of carbon dioxide gas below the surface created an air cushion similar to the of a hovercraft.  This served to reduce friction as it was deliver to its current resting place.

On your way to visit the mountain, take in a lesson from more recent history at the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center.  The Interpretive Center was formally a Japanese internment camp during World War II, and its current mission is to tell the story of Japanese internment camps to future generations.

There is endless opportunity for exploration in the Powell area. So if you like this article, keep an eye for more ways to enjoy the region near Powell on your way to Yellowstone National Park. Did you know Yellowstone National Park is the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined? Here are some hacks to maximize your Yellowstone trip.

Customer Service is What Sets You Apart from Your Competition

Customer Service is What Sets You Apart from Your Competition

Providing good customer service can make a real difference. Customer service is what sets you apart from your competition. Not only can it create a repeat customer, but that customer is also a free advertiser and positive word of mouth advocate. Positive customer service can determine how much a customer spends and how frequent they shop. This can also be the competitive advantage you are looking for.

Repeat Customers are 60-70% More Likely to Purchase

Did you know it is up to five times more expensive to gain new customers than it is to keep current customers. Return customers are 60-70% more likely to purchase, but new customers are only 5-20% likely to purchase. 

With that in mind, encourage yourself and staff to take that extra step. Learn your customers names and use them.  If your business takes appointments, then make sure to use the information you have. 

“Hi Shannon, is this your first time in?”  “Welcome, we are glad you chose us”


“Welcome back, are you shopping for anything specific today, I’m happy to make recommendations or help you find sizes.”

My dentist office is amazing at this. They took my pictures the first time I came in, so not only will I always be youthful in their database, but they welcome me by my first name every time. I only go twice a year to get my teeth cleaned, but I have referred a ton of business their direction because they took the time to provide excellent customer service.

Make Eye Contact it is One of the Easiest & Most Powerful Ways to Make a Person Feel Recognized

We tend to trust people who look us in the eye. Eye contact is also one of the easiest and most powerful ways to make a person feel recognized according to Business Insider, as a result it is a powerful tool when it comes to customer service. This can be the difference of what sets you apart from your competition.

The bottom line is that eye contact is easy and free. In particular, if you are helping another customer there is no reason why you cannot look up, make eye contact and smile.  That just told the customer “hey, I know your there.” It’s an easy action that speaks volumes.  Check out the video below on the importance of eye contact. Remember, customer service is what sets you apart from your competition.

Get Out from Behind the Counter & Make a Connection

Making a Connection & Setting Yourself Apart

I learned this tip along time ago, when I worked for the Marriott. Marriott is an amazing company with some great basics. Marriott’s philosophy is “Empowering Employees and Enhancing Customer Service to Drive the Bottom Line.” Basically, we trust you as an employee to know what is going to make the difference between good customer service and great customer service. That may mean buying a customer breakfast because they had to switch rooms.  No that does not mean buy every customer breakfast, however the $15 breakfast could mean the difference between a repeat customer or someone who chooses another brand.

I worked at the front desk and we had some regular business travelers.  As a result when I would see them coming, I would pull out their paperwork and walk out from behind the counter.

“Good evening Mr. Smith, thank you for joining us again.  I have you in your favorite corner room on the 5th floor.  Here is your paperwork, and room key, if I could just get a signature. Also, our chef has an amazing special with Salmon this evening.”

Additionally,  I would then walk across the lobby and push the elevator button and hold the door. Mr. Smith traveled about 300 nights of the year and made the point to let my manager know that he is loyal to Marriott because the customer service that is consistent across the brand, but also because of employees like me. He had never had an associate come out from behind a counter before.

This simple act can also diffuse a situation. Remove the barrier and you will be amazed at the results. Practice the action and it will become a habit.

Thank you” is a Powerful Tool & it is FREE

The Power of a Thank You

The simple phrase of “Thank you” is a powerful tool. When was the last time someone thanked you? As a result of a thank you it can double the customer’s willingness to engage with you?

With a thank you, you have consequently increased your ability to get positive reviews, increased customer engagement, and increased the likeliness of a purchase and finally but not least increased the willingness to tell a friend. In fact, multiple studies have shown that thanking increases the well-being of the recipient. It is not difficult to see why you should be thanking your customers. Check out this article from bonjoro for more great ideas.

What are some of the basics of great customer service?

1. Make eye contact and smile.

2. Always recognize the customer, especially to say I will be right with you.

3. Thank them for their purchase, the power of a thank you is often overlooked or Thank them for coming in.

4. Be knowledgeable, and make sure your front-line staff is knowledgeable. There is nothing more frustrating than “I don’t know” …. are you telling me you “just don’t care”?

5. Get out from around the counter. Offer to hold a door. It makes you appear more approachable and creates a differentiation between you and your competitor.  When was the last time someone walked you to the door and thanked you for your business?  

7. Social Media is important. About 80% of internet uses are on at least one social media platform.

8. Remember, customer service is what sets you apart from your competition.

Watch for the next blog on why good social media can be easy and highly effective.

I challenge you to try one new thing…I bet you will see results!

Powell Wyoming is Open

It’s spring. The weather’s great. And, Powell, Wyoming is open for business. Powell businesses are opening in accordance to guidelines set by the Wyoming State Health Officer and Park County Health Officer.

You can be confident that our health officers are developing guidelines with your health and wellbeing in mind. These guidelines are being implemented in a phased approach.    

Businesses are working hard to adjust to a new way to serve their customers. Please be patience, understanding and empathetic as businesses navigate their way back to serve you.

We understand that these past two months have been isolating and deflating. We’re here side by side with you to reopen Powell and return to the activities we love.

Are you wondering, “Should I go to the gym? Is it safe for my family to eat on a restaurant patio?” Here is a diagram that can help you decide. Is anyone in your family at risk per the CDC guidelines? Do you understand the orders from the Wyoming State Health Officer and Park County Health Officer?

Powell’s businesses have stepped up to help their employees and the community. Here are some stories from the frontlines.

Hunter Clean Care

“As a small family owned business, we understand how important it is to come together as a community. At Hunter Clean Care, we are committed to continue to provide essential services and cleanings. If we continue to come together as a community, we will get through this,”  says Auston Hunter, owner of Hunter Clean Care. Hunter has provided childcare for his employees while the schools and daycares are closed.

Nerd Nation IT

Nerd Nation loaned newer equipment running windows 10 to our local workforce and students needing a device to work remotely. “We are simply trying to help out where we can, we see a need and try to work to fulfill it as best we can. At the end of the day, we are investing in this community because it is worth investing in,” says James Ries from Nerd Nation IT.

Powell Valley Healthcare

Powell Valley Healthcare purchased Powell bucks for their employees. As a result, thousands of dollars are being infused into the local economy.

Powell Economic Partnership

Powell Economic Partnership is providing business assistance for Powell, Wyoming in response to the coronavirus. Additionally, PEP and the Powell Chamber are working on a Reopen Powell Plan to answer the short and long-term needs of Powell businesses. Rebekah Burns, Executive Director, says “There is an unspoken social contract between residents and small businesses in rural towns. Both residents and small businesses know that they are investing in a way of life. Therefore, we need to be patient and empathetic to the business challenges and community needs. We’re here to help businesses pivot in order to best serve their customer base in changing times.”

The Powell Economic Partnership leads the business community and government top create wealth, jobs, and improve the quality of life consistent with the culture and environment of the Powell Valley for the benefit of all citizens. The Powell Economic Partnership works so that Powell citizens exude pride and ownership of where they work, live, and recreate.

COVID-19 and Powell Businesses

We’ve Got This

One hundred and thirteen years ago people came from the east coast and the midwest to homestead a rugged, rocky desert. Our desert now blooms because of backbreaking labor and a steadfast disposition.

Our town is built on hard work and community pride. Over time the landscape and people have changed, but the steadfast disposition remains.  Powell, Wyoming will survive this virus and our town will be stronger and more connected because of it.

Gathering and Relaying Information

Powell Economic Partnership is providing business assistance for Powell, Wyoming in response to the coronavirus. On Tuesday, March 11, the first positive case of COVID-19 was reported in Wyoming. The first positive case of COVID-19 was reported in Park County on Wednesday, March 18. The previous day Powell Economic Partnership  (PEP) started to make personal phone calls to our businesses. To date, we have called over 140 businesses to get a pulse on what you are seeing and feeling. We will continue to make personal phone calls to understand how our businesses are reacting and what we can do for you.

Business Assistance

PEP is relaying timely and relevant information about the SBA Disaster Loan program when we personally reach out to our businesses. PEP worked with the Wyoming Business Council and other partners to locate businesses in Park County that experienced financial hardship due to the Coronavirus. This was a necessary part of the process to qualify Wyoming for federal SBA disaster loans. On Saturday, March 21, all counties in Wyoming, and the businesses within those counties, became eligible to apply for the SBA Disaster Loans.  

  • Contact your local SBDC professional if your business needs questions answered about the SBA Disaster Loans.
  • If your business needs a line of credit outside of the SBA Disaster Loans contact PEP for options.
  • Are you an individual looking for assistance and live in Park County, Wyoming see this resource list.

Resource List Healthy Park County

More Connected

This is a great time to get close to your customers, not in body, but in spirit. Developing brand loyalty is key at a time like this. How can you communicate with your customers now? Develop a plan and execute it. Action breeds confidence in your customer base. If you need ideas about how to improve your skills on social media, websites blog or forum development, or other best practices, reach out to Powell Economic Partnership/ Powell Chamber/ Powell Visitor Center. We will connect you to resources.     

Stronger Better

If you rely on a firm handshake and face-to-face meetings to conduct business, this is an excellent time to reevaluate. Business will continue with phone calls, video conferencing, document signing software, online learning, and managing an off-site workforce. Change is difficult but necessary. You are not alone. Wyoming is very fortunate to have many business services at our finger tips.  Contact your local economic developer PEP, your local chamber, Small Business Development Center, and Wyoming Business Council Northwest Regional Representative. These are business resources that work for you. Powell, Wyoming can count on Powell Economic Partnership to provide business assistance in response to the coronavirus.  

The Powell Economic Partnership Works for You!      

How is Wyoming Going to Pay the Bills Today and in the Future?

Powell Economic Partnership partnered with the Wyoming Business Alliance to bring a crucial conversation to Wyoming and the Bighorn Basin. The question Wyoming is asking currently…

How is Wyoming Going to Pay the Bills Today and in the Future?

Economic development is working hard locally, regionally and statewide to strengthen and add value to our heritage economic engines. The three largest industries with the greatest economic impact in Wyoming are energy, tourism and agriculture.

As a matter of fact, as we look to diversify our economy we are having successes! Thus, as business and community leaders, and as citizens of our state, we need to understand the landscape, today and tomorrow. To best make decisions, on the opportunities before us, we need a clear fiscal picture and policy.

As a result, over 85 business and community leaders from Powell and Park County joined the Powell Economic Partnership for the panel discussion. The presenters slides for Wyoming’s Fiscal Future: How is Wyoming Going to Pay the Bills Today and In the Future can be downloaded below. Additionally, the livestream on YouTube has garnered many views and can be viewed below as well.

Watch the Full Panel Presentation and Q&A

The Robust Panel Discussion on our fiscal outlook with Wyoming Leaders was moderated by Cindy DeLancey, President of the Wyoming Business Alliance. The Panelist included Renny MacKay, Policy Director for the Wyoming Governor’s Office; Ashley Harpstreith, Executive Director of the Wyoming Taxpayers Association; Dr. Robert Godby, Deputy Director of the UW Center for Energy Regulation and Policy; Wyoming State Legislator Senator, Hank Coe and Wyoming State Legislator Representative Dan Laursen.

Download the Presenters Slides

Renny MacKay, Policy Director, Wyoming Governor’s Office

Ashley Harpstreith, Executive Director, Wyoming Taxpayers Association

Dr. Robert Godby, Deputy Director, University of Wyoming Center for Energy Regulation and Policy

In conclusion, encourage you to engage in this conversation of how Wyoming is going to pay the bills now and in the future. Contact the Powell Economic Partnership/ Powell Chamber/ Powell Visitor Center.