The colorful kid is a colorful man today — that’s Joe Behm.
Now 53 and the city of Golden mayor pro tem, Joe was marketing director for the town of Frisco from 1988 to ’92.
“City council is yet another level as the policy decisions are more far reaching and, as a councilor, you are certainly responsible to a much larger constituency,” Joe notes. “I’ve enjoyed it, though, and look forward to each meeting.”
In addition to those highly visible ties in Golden, Joe continues his marketing and management works in Central City with events like Stills in the Hills, Central City Bacon Tour, Great Central City Beer Festival and Winter Brew Fest, and his firm, West Public Relations, owns the annual Dec. 31 Resolution 5K run in Denver.
Joe’s wife is Kelly, and she is the director of PR for COHN Marketing. They have two kids, Max and Anna.
Back up in Central City, Joe has played major roles in the casino business and strives to make cooperative efforts with neighboring Black Hawk pay off to the benefit of both communities.
“Throughout the years it’s been an up-and-down relationship,” he says. “Folks have mellowed some, though, and we are starting again to talk collaboration.”
“It’s a baby-steps approach, and while it seems silly to have two police and fire departments within 1 mile of each other, those bridges need time to construct. It’s only been 152 years now of trying, I’ve been told they need ‘more time’ to come together on the big-picture stuff. Black Hawk certainly has their vision and Central City has a divergent one with respect to development and priorities,” he states.
“At the end of a day, we all get together at the local craft-brew establishment (in Central, mind you, as Black Hawk does not have one) and make good-natured fun of one another,” Joe explains. “We do compete for the same guest and that’s the really hard part about the whole thing — market forces and the almighty dollar come into play and that’s when the cooperation gets compromised.”
In a feat of accomplishment seen on a larger scale, Joe had a leadership role in the development of the Central City Parkway, a private road shooting off I-70, up the mountainside for 8 miles.
“I served as the treasurer of the Central City Business Improvement District during the planning and construction phases of the parkway and the president following the opening in 2004,” he says.
Joe says the experiences in Frisco provided an excellent springboard for the 1984 University of Colorado grad.
“The experience I gained in Frisco, back then managing the Merchant’s Association, as Summit County’s representative to the Colorado Tourism Board’s Northwest Region and on the Frisco Lakefront, Parks and Open Space Advisory Commission, really gave me a broad understanding of board mechanics and the realities of working with multiple stakeholders,” he notes.
“Frisco was certainly a memorable highlight: the friends, the experiences (Tick Fest, anyone?),” says Joe. “And, I also never dreamed I’d be a father and also mayor pro tem of the city of Golden. As they say, ‘what a long, strange trip it’s been.’”
Another business relationship continuing from his Frisco days stems from musical event promotion and productions with Ron Wilson, who lived up here before relocating to Grand Junction.
“Ron’s been producing shows on the Western Slope for over 30 years and we’ve been friends and colleagues since our days in Frisco together,” Joe says. “I mentioned to him Loveland’s Rialto as an option for bringing our love of the concert-promotion business to Northern Colorado market, as we do shows in Central City and also, on occasion, in Golden. It seemed to be a good fit and we’ve so far hosted an eclectic lineup including Michael Martin Murphey, George Winston and Ottmar Leibert. Plans are in place for Riders in the Sky, Karla Bonoff and The Chinese Acrobats.”
Spike! and Mary visited with Joe when they were at the 24th Annual Golden Fire Arts Festival, directed by Nancy Taylor Mason, who owns Baby Doe’s.
We also visited with Arvadan Christy Eble, Summit Cove resident Daphne Horvath, former Breckenridger Bill Litz, ex-Frisco Reserve resident Scott Palmer, Fairplayers Randy and Gail Smith, Denverites Bill and Michele Messenger, and John Macaluso, a teaching pro golfer whose family had some Vail properties.
Miles F. Porter IV, nicknamed “Spike,” a Coloradan since 1949, is an Army veteran, former Climax miner, graduate of Adams State College, and a local since 1982. An award-winning investigative reporter, he and wife Mary E. Staby owned newspapers here for 20 years. Email your social info to firstname.lastname@example.org.