CLUB 20 is a coalition of individuals, businesses, tribes and local governments in Colorado's 22 western counties. The group is organized for the purpose of speaking with a single unified voice on issues of mutual concern. Its activities include marketing and advertising, public education, promotion, meetings and events and political action. CLUB 20 is the "Voice of the Western Slope".
Founded in 1953 by Western Slope business leaders, CLUB 20 was originally organized for the purpose of getting rural roads paved. At the time, the State of Colorado had been spending only 10 percent of its highway funds west of the Continental Divide, even though more than half the roads were there. With each community lobbying for its own roads, small towns were simply drowning each other out. It finally became clear that only by agreeing on a single priority list could all the counties be heard. The process worked. Within a few years, the State was spending 37 percent of its highway funds west of the divide and by the end of the 1950s finally had paved most of the major highways on the West Slope.
The organization continued to grow, incorporating in 1955, and began working on other issues of mutual concern to all the Western Slope communities. Its activities included water, agriculture and natural resources, energy issues including uranium in the '50s and oil shale in the '70s and more recently economic development, public lands, air service, tourism, energy, trails, recreation and telecommunications.
A Board of Directors makes CLUB 20 policy, which includes voting membership for each of the 22 counties and Ute Indian tribes in western Colorado. Each has an equal voice, their delegations elected by the members in each county or Tribe. Management decisions are made by the Executive Committee, which is composed of the elected officers of the Board of Directors.
The engines that drive CLUB 20 are the standing committees. Most Western Slope policy on key issues originates within one of the several committees, each with broad geographic representation. These committees include Agriculture, Business Affairs, Education & Workforce Development, Energy, Health Care, Public Lands & Natural Resources, Tourism, Telecommunications, Transportation and Water. Membership on these committees is open to all CLUB 20 members and the groups recommend policy to the full Board of Directors. A vote of the full Board is required for CLUB 20 to take a position on any issue.
For more than five decades, this organization of all the communities of western Colorado has been providing a forum for the discussion of complex and controversial issues, and representing the interests of the western Slope at all levels of government. The group's membership is broader and more diverse than at any time in history and it continues to grow each year. CLUB 20's leadership is convinced that, by working together to achieve a stronger voice, the Western Slope can help shape the destiny of Colorado and the West and continue to serve as the "Voice of the Western Slope".