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Economic Development Looking Up #westcoeconomics

June 7, 2017 – The 2017 Western Colorado Economic Summit was an eventful day with lots of food for thought from the presenters. Here’s a recap via The Daily Sentinel:

“The annual event came with plenty of speakers talking about how such things as health care, public safety, technology, real estate and even the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association impact the region’s economy.

‘Entrepreneurship, innovation. It doesn’t happen by accident, and it can happen in just about every place,’said Ben Collins, a high tech entrepreneur and frequent Fox News contributor who gave the keynote address. ‘Seventy-five percent of America would be considered rural, but only 15 percent of the population lives there. We are the ones who are going to have to fix this. The answer is not going to come from Denver, I promise you that. The answer’s not going to come from Washington, D.C.’

Ken Gart, known to some as Colorado’s bike czar, said the region can take advantage of heavy growth on the Front Range, which is contributing to smog, traffic congestion and high housing costs.

An area such as the Grand Valley, he said, can take advantage of that to lure people and businesses to this side of the Continental Divide.

‘I think the tipping point is really close,’he said. ‘People are wanting to get out of the craziness of the Front Range. I see opportunities for you that are being delivered on a silver platter.’

Attracting those businesses might require other incentives, said Kathy Mussio, managing partner of Atlas Insight, a business site-location consulting firm.

‘(Incentives) are not feel-good money,’Mussio said.

They shorten the time that a company can get a return on an investment, such as establishing or moving a business to a new area, she said.”

Read the full article, which also includes summary results from the afternoon economic visioning session, here.

The afternoon included several impassioned pitches on key topics affecting our local economy and the community’s wellbeing, leading to a live vote on priorities for the Grand Valley over the next decade. “Creating an outdoor recreation industry hub” came out on top during the workshop, but the poll is live through Sunday and results continue to change. Here are the latest poll numbers:

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE GRAND VALLEY 2030 VISION AND CAST YOUR VOTE AT WESTCOECONOMICSUMMIT.COM.
FOLLOW #GV2030VISION ON SOCIAL MEDIA FOR FINAL RESULTS.