Opinion | Susan Knopf: Bridging gaps through community connections | SummitDaily.com

Opinion | Susan Knopf: Bridging gaps through community connections

I was walking with a friend on the recpath in Silverthorne when we came upon the backside of The Pad. That’s the new concept boutique hotel/hostel. I checked out the back patio and its view of the Blue River. It won’t be long now.

The project has been years in the making and a great example of making lemonade out of lemons. If the Dillon Town Council had more creative vision, this fabulous new gathering place would have been in Dillon. That’s where Pad owner Lynne Parrish Baer first bought property.

Dillon didn’t think it was a good fit. So a new site had to be found. Now that I see this sublime spot on the river, all I can think is Lynne and Rob Baer make the best lemonade ever!

When I was peeking, the exterior cladding was yet to go up. Eighteen upcycled metal shipping containers are part of the interesting design and contribute to this truly unique space in the heart of our community.

The Rotary Club of Summit County will be one of the first local groups to enjoy the ambiance of the rooftop patio with its Sip and Savor event from 3-6 p.m. July 10. The Little Blue River Band will be playing, and local restaurants will be serving food for good causes.

The event is a fundraiser for Rotary’s many philanthropic pursuits in Summit County. The organization supports a long list of local and international groups, including the Summit Community Care Clinic, Friends of the Dillon Ranger District and Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center.

The Pad will be the first Certified B Corp. among Colorado hospitality properties. The application is on track, according to Baer. The Pad has to demonstrate proof of performance to complete certification. A B Corp. isn’t a tax thing; it’s a community thing.

The website says, “Certified B Corporations are a new kind of business that balance purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community and the environment. This is a community of leaders, driving a global movement of people using business as a force for good.”

Nearly 4,000 companies in 74 countries and 150 industries have pledged stewardship. Here in Summit County, you’ll recognize some B Corp. brands you see in local stores: Ben & Jerry’s, Stonyfield Farms, New Belgium Brewing and Patagonia.

There are also resources to engage and address persistent community issues that could use support from the business community.

Those of us who do community work have long valued business partnerships. B Corp. certification takes that to a new, verifiable level. It would be awesome to see more local companies dive in.

For the record, I’ve known the Baers for years, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to see this new concept in hospitality take root here. We have hostels. We have hotels. And the common thinking is those two don’t mix. Maybe our lack of mixing is at the nexus of what is ailing us.

As a ski instructor, I’ve noticed many of our tourists have interest in real contact with locals and other travelers who share their passions but perhaps not their means. The Pad, with its unusual mix of luxury suites and shared dorms — and every sort of room in between — will offer diverse gathering spaces for travelers and locals.

The Pad will offer shared workspace, a watering hole and restaurant Graze and Torreys that will serve locally sourced foods. Perhaps there’s a possibility for bridging gaps not just through good community work but also good community connections.

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