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.

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.

Morrison-Maierle Engineering and Surveying Firm Member Highlight

Theresa Gunn, Cody Operations Manager, talks about company culture, core values, and how being employee-owned creates a competitive edge in the Morrison-Maierle, Inc. engineering and surveying member highlight.

Morrison-Maierle an engineering and surveying firm started in John Morrison’s garage in Helena, Montana in 1945. John Morrison and Joe Maierle (pronounced Merrily) co-founded the firm and play a large part in the story of Morrison-Maierle. From the start, the focus is always doing right by the client and providing quality technical work support. Today they have twelve offices in Wyoming, Montana, Washington and Arizona. Backed by the resources that a top 500 design firm provides, Morrison-Maierle cultivates a client-centered experience.

Core Competencies

What services do Morrison-Maierle provide? 

“We work in eight different market groups and have expertise in dozens of engineering disciplines. Primarily, we focus on building better communities by engineering airports, buildings and structures, land development, industrial engineering, natural resources, surveying and water rights, transportation infrastructure, and water/wastewater facilities” says Gunn.

What makes Morrison-Maierle engineering and surveying services excellent?  How does your company rise above your competition?

“Relentless focus on our clients, not shying away from the hard work, and always living by our values. Also, we are 100% employee-owned” Gunn added. 

What regions does Morrison-Maierle serve?

Theresa states “our principal markets are in the intermountain states of Wyoming and Montana, though we work in a much wider region and occasionally even on a national scale.” 

Company Culture 

What makes your company proud to do business in the Big Horn Basin in Wyoming? 

“Morrison-Maierle has an office in Cody, Wyoming. In 2016 we merged with Holm, Blough and Company, who had been in business in the Big Horn Basin since 1982.  We have continued to serve our clients in the Powell area and the Big Horn Basin.”

What defines your company culture? 

“We are a 100% Employee-Owned Company, and we feel our core values define our culture. The four pillars of the company’s founders come to mind: Integrity – We do the right thing, Respect – We value people, Commitment – We keep our word, and Excellence – We give our best.” 

What is one thing you really want people to know about your company? 

“We are here to create solutions that build better communities” states Gunn.

What song or genre of music best represents your company today?  

“2020 is our 75th anniversary so “You Say It’s Your Birthday” will be an appropriate song all year long!”


What makes your company a great place to work?  

“We do great work. We get the chance to tackle the most challenging and complex projects, and we have a team of experts who always rise to the challenge. We are innovative and forward-looking and are not content to settle. Morrison-Maierle has visionary and strategic leadership” Gunn proudly states.

What do you value about your employees?

“We have many employees who have worked together for over 50 years.  This is a tribute to their dedication not only to their profession, but also to the comradery in our office. We look forward to sharing a cup of coffee and hearing about old times and learning about what our newly hired folks are doing.”


How does your company invest in the future?  

“Morrison-Maierle invests in the future with our employee stock ownership program, strategic planning, professional development, and leadership development.” 

What will Morrison-Maierle engineering and surveying firm look like in 10 years?  

“In ten-years we will be thriving! Sustainable business practices ensure our company is profitable. We will also be in more markets and have a larger workforce in those markets to promote growth in the Big Horn Basin..” 

What inspires you to go to work every day? 

Theresa concludes, “We have a great group of individuals who are like-minded and strive to deliver the best projects to our clients.  It is a pleasure to work as a team with our office!”

It is clear Theresa Gunn is proud to be a part of the Morrison-Maierle team. The core-values and company culture play a big part in retaining their workforce and growing the company. At PEP, we look forward to seeing how Morrison-Maierle engineering and surveying services grows our community. 

Heart Mountain Equipment Member Highlight

Greg Wilson, General Manager at Heart Mountain Equipment, sits down with Powell Economic Partnership/ Powell Chamber to discuss company culture, their team and the future.

Heart Mountain Equipment products have evolved over time; but their dedication to servicing equipment and being able to source the right parts is a point of pride for Greg Wilson.

Company Culture

Specialty farm equipment, construction equipment and lawn mowers are sold and serviced at Heart Mountain Equipment in Powell, Wyoming. Greg is proud to be a part of an area where the people are independent. At the core, Greg is a problem-solver. He wants to be able to help his customers solve problems so they continue to be independent.   

Like the customers they serve, Heart Mountain Equipment, formally Heart Mountain Farm Supply, has a rich family history in the Big Horn Basin. They have three generations currently working at the family business.  

Terry Swenson moved to Powell when his father, George, bought the International Harvester Dealership. Terry and wife Val are very much a part of Heart Mountain Equipment since they opened in 1982. This year marks twenty years that Greg Wilson followed his father-in-law’s life advise and moved back to Powell to work for the family operation.  

What books are you reading or have most helped you?

“John Maxwell leadership books are what comes to mind” says Greg.

Core Competencies

What does twenty years of experience tell you?

“We are really about helping people to find solutions. We aren’t about sales quotas. We have turned people away because we didn’t want to sell them something they didn’t need. We don’t have pressure tactics, we help them.” Greg confirms, these business practices do lend to repeat customers.

What areas do you serve?

“We serve Farmers in the Shoshone Irrigation lands from the Buffalo Bill Dam, farmers along the Shoshone River in Lovell and Worland, and Shell. We have construction clients all over the Big Horn Basin. Also, in southern Montana in Belfry, Bridger and small acreages are everywhere.  When you have 2 to 50 acres you need equipment to care for your place.  Those are a lot of the people we serve. Of course, there is also the commercial turf market from landscapers to schools and municipalities, we have Kubota mowers running all over.”

What equipment manufacturers do you carry?

Heart Mountain Equipment sells a premier product. Kubota is a Japanese company that builds about 50 % of their products in the United States. They have manufacturing plants in Georgia, Kansas and Missouri. Kubota is the number one seller of tractors under 100 horsepower.  The types of farms that use these tractors are growing hay, have cattle, are hobby farmers, have orchards, vineyards, or grow specialty crops.  Kubota is also the number one manufacturer of off-road diesel engines under 100hp. Think, generators, refrigerator trucks, welders, tractors and side-by-sides. 

The amount of orange on display at Hearty Mountain Equipment is a clear signifier that Kubota is their leading manufacturer. However, they also carry Trimble GPS and precision farming systems, Vermeer hay equipment, Land Pride tractor attachments, and Hesston small balers.


What does talent look like to Heart Mountain Equipment?

 “We have a good rapport with our employees. It’s a good atmosphere. We look for people who can develop…The attributes we are looking for are integrity, hard work, solutions oriented, and people that interact positively with others. It is a fun place to work.”

Greg is particularly proud of their service department. They can fix anything, and do, “unless it just isn’t worth the customers money to fix it” Wilson says. He adds, “the parts department takes care of unique issues as well”.

In the Big Horn Basin, equipment lasts a long time, thirty to forty years. The Basin just doesn’t get the moisture that is so hard on equipment in other agricultural regions. Greg shares, “the parts department is really good at tracking parts down and finding the right replacement parts. In fact, we service customers from as far away as North and South Dakota”. With a smile, Greg explains, “a farmer in the Dakotas contacted Heart Mountain Equipment. The parts department was able to help him get what he needed. That same farmer told all of his buddies, and now Heart Mountain Equipment is widely known as a resource in North and South Dakota.”

What does technology in Farming look like?

“We use a satellite-based construction that doesn’t need a strong cell connection. You can also store the information and transfer it to a USB or complete a wireless transfer with the cell signal is stronger.”   


How does Heart Mountain invest in the future?

“By making an investment in our employees.”

What will specialty farm equipment look like in ten or twenty-years?

Precision farming is going to be standard in ten to twenty-years, and it will be completely normal to have GPS guided/autonomous equipment do everything from planting to fertilizing to feeding cattle to clearing snow off the sidewalks” Greg predicts. “Heart Mountain Equipment will continue to differentiate with quality products and quality service; that is something that will not change.”

He projects that parts departments will change when they are able to 3-D print in metal on a mass scale. It will become cheaper to make a product than to ship one in.

When people free themselves from the mindset of this is what grandpa did, advancements will be more mainstream.  Now, and in the future, Heart Mountain Equipment is dedicated to helping people solve problems and getting them what they need; specialty farm equipment, construction equipment and lawn mowers new or repaired in Powell, Wyoming.