Vacation Paradise Begins Comprehensive GIS Program

by | Aug 27, 2015

August 27, 2015 ” The Town of Snowmass Village, Colorado is a resort community with some of the best recreational opportunities in North America. Visitors come from all over the world to enjoy the world-class ski slopes, trails, and festivals.  The Town of Snowmass Village staff has to manage infrastructure and services to meet the needs of both residents and visitors. Traditionally, this has been done through various paper trails and communication between departments.

As the Town has grown, so has the need to provide quicker and more efficient services.  The Town found itself in need of tracking and managing an ever growing stockpile of data.  A first step was the implementation of IT software systems for infrastructure management, managing development, and document management.  However, staff realized that the best way to manage information was to tie the data to its location and to visualize the data in a geographic context.  Chase Anderson, Town of Snowmass Planner, was aware of GIS.  He along with staff in Information Technology and Parks and Recreation had been working with Pitkin County on deploying GIS tools for the Town.  Mr. Anderson points out, We knew we needed GIS and therefore implemented the technology in various pockets throughout the City.  However, we didn't have any dedicated resources for GIS and knew that we needed a game-plan for propagating the technology.

Mr. Anderson was reading a recent copy of Esri's ArcUser magazine that detailed the successes at Rio Rancho, NM in implementing GIS and integrating with existing IT systems.  Esri Gold Partner, Geographic Technologies Group (GTG), had partnered with Rio Rancho for GIS implementation.  Mr. Anderson reached out to GTG to discuss a similar implementation at the Town of Snowmass Village.  Key Town staff attended a webinar, Seven Keys to a Successful GIS, presented by GTG.  Mr. Anderson stated, The webinar highlighted all of the items that we needed to make GIS successful.  They focused on integration with existing systems, creating a plan for success, and other critical components for an effective GIS.  Soon thereafter, the Town contracted with GTG to create a GIS Strategic Plan.

GTG President, Curtis Hinton, worked with the Town of Snowmass Village staff on this project and points out, The Town of Snowmass Village will use GIS in many innovative ways.  The strategic plan documented all the needs of the Town while identifying quick wins and high-priority projects.  The Town will be leveraging all of the latest Esri technology to include the implementation of the Local Government Information Model (LGIM), ArcGIS Online, and various off-the-shelf applications like StoryMaps.   David Holdstock, CEO of GTG, is excited about the possibilities, Snowmass Village will be a GIS showcase.  They have the customary challenges faced by all municipalities and have the unique needs of an elite resort community.  GIS is the best way for them to manage all of their information and share data with their internal and external user base.  The culmination of the plan was a presentation to key staff at the Town.  Mr. Hinton stated, The enthusiasm for GIS implementation was great.  Staff sees the need and now has a vision as to how they can meet that need.  The next few years will be an exciting journey that will align this world-class resort with world-class GIS.


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