The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.

Local News

December 5, 2012

Cimarron lives because of High Adventure Base at Philmont

OAK HILL — (Editor’s note: Below is the final in a series of three articles on the economic impact the Boy Scouts of America’s presence will have on the area with the debut of the BSA Jamboree next year, and the later operation of a High Adventure Base at Summit Bechtel Reserve in Mount Hope.)



City of Mount Hope, meet the Village of Cimarron, N.M.

The two towns may be almost 1,500 miles apart, but they have one big neighbor in common — the Boy Scouts of America.

Cimarron, pop. 1,021, is home to the Philmont Scout Ranch, a 137,000-acre tract of wilderness in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains where, on any given summer day, several hundred Boy Scouts are unloading from buses and preparing for a 12-day backpacking adventure.

Mindy Cahill, clerk administrator for the Village of Cimarron, sums up her town’s relationship with the Boy Scouts of America this way.

“Without them, we probably wouldn’t exist,” she says. “They are one of our biggest industries here.”

Cimarron is 4 miles from one of three BSA “High Adventure Bases” in the country. The BSA has proposed the same designation for The Summit, their new development near Mount Hope. The other uses for The Summit include a permanent Jamboree site, National Scout Summer Camp and Center for Leadership and Excellence. All but the Jamboree are still several years away.

Never before has the BSA operated one permanent facility for all these activities, so what it will mean for the economy of the region and how it will impact local life in Fayette County is still a bit of a guessing game. And many of the small towns near BSA sites don’t track the dollars or numbers of people flowing through their community because of the Scouts.

But Cimarron now has 75 years of experience playing host to a total of 950,000 Boy Scout adventurers, and locals there — especially business people — aren’t shy about sharing the lessons they’ve learned over the years and the advice they would offer up to The Summit’s new neighbors.

“First of all, know and love the Boy Scouts,” says Valerie Kutz, owner of Cimarron Art Gallery. “In the summertime, it’s our job to cater to them.”

“Welcome them with open arms,” says Cahill.

“There are little things the community can do to make the Scouts feel welcome,” says Cimarron Inn co-owner Deb Saunders.

Like collecting and displaying patches, the ultimate Boy Scout eye-catcher. The vast collection at Kutz’s soda fountain is a tourist attraction in and of itself. The boys frequent her business, in part, to connect with Scouting and the Cimarron community at the same time.

“Have a walkable town with good signage where (Scouts) can get lost in whatever history you have,” suggests Tim O’Neill, a local real estate broker.

The town recently built a walking path from Philmont to Cimarron so the Scouts would have a safe hike into town. Located on a branch of the Santa Fe Trail, it’s the allure of the Old West that ties together marketing, architecture and signage in the community.

Cooperation among local business people helps, too. A strong community spirit in Cimarron means that business people often work together, calling back and forth to find a way to meet a visitor’s needs if their own business can’t, says Kutz.

O’Neill says the way locals interact with their visitors ultimately has an impact on his business, O’Neill Land.

“The people charm them, and that makes for a stronger urge to purchase property,” he says.

Text Only
Local News
  • maurices Fostering Self-Esteem

    The local Maurices is involved in a project aimed at making the school transition a little easier this fall for foster children in the area.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Children’s Health and Safety Fair scheduled for August 1

    Montgomery General Hospital and Dr. Traci Acklin have announced that the 2014 Children’s Health and Safety Fair will be held on Friday, Aug. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the hospital.

    July 21, 2014

  • Theater to hold auditions

    Open auditions are set for Tuesday and Thursday at the Historic Fayette Theater for the comedy/drama “Belongings”. Auditions will be held at the theater in Fayetteville at 7 p.m. each evening.

    July 21, 2014

  • asb carver 25 years and counting

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Taylor Made Free concert series

    The next free public concert in the Lively Family Amphitheater Summer Concert Series is a performance Saturday at 6 p.m. by popular band Taylor Made.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Energy Express open house set

    Energy Express, an award-winning summer reading program serving 35+ children in Fayette County, will host a free open house for members of the Beards Fork SALS community. The event takes place on Thursday, July 24, at 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    July 17, 2014

  • rhody1.jpg Stages of life

    July 14, 2014 3 Photos

  • thurmond depot.jpg Explore town’s rail heritage

    Discover what life was like in one of the New River Gorge’s most renowned towns as you join National Park Service rangers and Operation Lifesaver on Saturday, July 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to explore the historic railroad town of Thurmond.

    July 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • apt bldg1.jpg Demolition and disposal

    July 10, 2014 3 Photos

  • contrite spirit.jpg Murder, buried treasure, ghosts on stage at HFT

    This July will have you seeing spirits, but please don’t fear. Come and find out what the mystery is all about at the Historic Fayette Theater, as Patsy Shrewsbury, in her directorial debut, brings the light-hearted play, “The Contrite Spirit,” to the stage July 11-12, 18-19, 25-26 at 8 p.m. and July 27 at 2 p.m.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo