Western governors to meet in Breck | SummitDaily.com

Western governors to meet in Breck

Special to the DailyChairman of the Western Governors Association, Bill Owens, will bring governors from a number of Western states and territories to Breckenridge for a three-day event that will focus on economic issues.

BRECKENRIDGE – Governors from 18 western states and three Pacific territories will descend on Breckenridge June 12-14 for a well reported annual conference that Mayor Ernie Blake says is a coup for the town – and all of Summit County.Colorado hosts the annual Western Governors Association conference by virtue of Gov. Bill Owens’ reign as chairman.Blake said the conference will put the community in the national spotlight. Colorado first lady Frances Owens has begun working on the logistics of the event.”Breckenridge is a terrific choice and a terrific setting,” said Karen Deike, the WGA’s communications director.

The event will attract top state officials as well as media coverage that Blake said is worth more than anything marketing dollars could buy.”This is a huge chance to showcase Breckenridge and Summit County,” Blake said.The event arrives before the business community is geared up for the summer high season.Town Councilmember Eric Mamula urged that the town and the Breckenridge Resort Chamber get the word out to stores and restaurants so they are open for the event.

“Nothing burns people more than to arrive and find places are closed,” he said.The conference focus is on the Western economy and the role it plays in the U. S. economy, energy and the West’s role in international trade, according to the Western Governors website.Mexico President Vincente Fox is invited, but the keynote speaker is unconfirmed, according to a preliminary agenda posted on the website.The agenda also lists U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, who oversees the National Forest Services, as a speaker.

Many attendees will be staying at the Mountain Thunder and Great Divide lodges in Breckenridge. A gala dinner will be held at the Riverwalk Center.The Western Governors Association membership includes the states of Colorado, Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming, California, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, Texas and Washington. The governors of American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands also belong.Jim Pokrandt can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 227, or at jpokrandt@summitdaily.com.

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