Friday, April 13, 2018

Pueblo Loses a Champion

Walt Bassett, president of Bassett Construction, died over the weekend. He was a part of a small circle of fellow Pueblo business and civic leaders that basically pulled Pueblo out of an economic decline and recession in the 1980s. Bassett’s positive attitude, vision of success and gung-ho energy was a catalyst that jumpstarted Pueblo’s recovery.

In 1982, a steel market collapse brought Pueblo’s economy to a standstill. The business and political leadership developed an economic development organization (PEDCO) to promote new business. They asked voters for a one-half-cent sales tax that provided a fund to help entice businesses to move to Pueblo. Ciruli Associates ran the first campaign and several subsequent renewals of the tax. It worked as dozens of new businesses moved in during the following decades.

But Bassett more broadly dedicated his personal time, energy and resources to promote the city to corporate prospects. He never had a discouraging word about Pueblo.

Bassett was a Pueblo character and civic asset.

Thanks Walt.

Walt Bassett, left, applauds as Sperry executive Bob Faust is introduced during
a Pueblo Chamber of Commerce event in 1984 | File, The Pueblo Chieftain

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