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Mayor Patrick Collins and Gov. Mark Gordon enjoy breakfast at the Diamond Horseshoe Cafe in south Cheyenne, as part of a new series of weekly lunch meetings between the two. The initiative hopes to bring more attention to struggling local restaurants. courtesy/ Mark Gordon

CHEYENNE – Cheyenne Mayor Patrick Collins and Gov. Mark Gordon kicked off a new series of regular meetings in recent weeks, where they’ll support local restaurants and discuss city and state business.

The pair started with a breakfast at the Diamond Horseshoe Cafe in south Cheyenne and ate lunch together another day at Durbar Nepalese and Indian Bistro on the east side, where they were also joined by Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce CEO Dale Steenbergen.

The initiative began as Gordon’s idea, and Collins said he thought it was great and that they should run with it.

“Any time we get the chance to get together and talk about things that are important for the state and what can we do as a partner here in the city, and to share the things that are important to us as a city, I think makes us all stronger,” Collins said. “So I’m really excited about the opportunity to learn and to share.”

The topics at the lunches are wide ranging and depend on what’s going around the state and in Laramie County. One topic of conversation at the meeting with Steenbergen included discussions about the intercontinental ballistic missile replacements coming to F.E. Warren Air Force Base.

Both Collins and Gordon also wanted to find a way to lift up local restaurants, many of which have been struggling through the pandemic. The pair plans to meet weekly at a different local eatery, as time allows, with the hope of inspiring other residents to try a new restaurant or continue supporting Cheyenne’s businesses.

“This last year has been hard on small businesses, and it’s especially hard on small, locally owned restaurants. And so what the governor and I want to do is to go out to highlight those places and encourage folks in the community to go on a regular basis,” Collins said. “What we’re hoping to do is inspire people to think about supporting our local small businesses and those small restaurants that desperately need our help at this time.”

The next outing is scheduled for this Friday.

Gordon’s spokesman, Michael Pearlman, said in an email, “The governor enjoys hearing from local elected officials and is eager to support Laramie County small businesses. These informal meetings achieve both those objectives.”

Collins also noted that he hopes to bring in other community leaders and elected officials to join him and the governor for lunch and conversation about the different problems and opportunities in Laramie County and throughout the state.

“We’ll just try to continue to grow this. Hopefully, it’ll become a really fun tradition,” Collins said.

Margaret Austin is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s local government reporter. She can be reached at maustin@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3152. Follow her on Twitter at @MargaretMAustin.

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