by Rick Langenberg:
John Posusta, who has worked in Cripple Creek casinos for the last four years, has received the top nod as the new economic development chief for the southern Teller area, encompassing the Cripple Creek and Victor region.
He will be in charge of the Southern Teller County Economic Development Coalition, which represents many local entities and key businesses, including Black Hills Energy and the Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mining Company.
Posusta, who has a new office on the second floor of the Aspen Mine Center, made a short introduction at last week’s Cripple Creek City Council meeting. He replaces Bill Blackburn of Divide, who ran the southern Teller economic development coalition for the last year. Posusta sports extensive economic development stints in areas outside Colorado, including Atlanta, Georgia. He also worked for several local casinos in the last four years, mostly as a card dealer, when the economy took a slight downturn.
Posusta said he will unveil a long-term economic development plan for the region. In addition, he has cited a desire to take a more high-profile role in the community, attending many local forums and government meetings and releasing more information through the media. However, his new role doesn’t involve running the local Cripple Creek/Victor Chamber of Commerce. A previous plan called for having a single director to manage both organizations. But this concept, which is used in other cities in the area, such as Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs, never quite panned out.
According to sources, the chamber organization has reached an inactive status, following the Cripple Creek Ice Festival. The chamber, which once sported more than 100 members, went through a reorganization period in 2012.
Posusta said he would be glad to support the chamber with his new role, but cited economic development as his primary concern.