In January 2015, the Estes Park Economic Development Corporation (Estes Park EDC) and the Town of Estes Park retained Avalanche Consulting to prepare a strategic plan. In the aftermath of a major flood, this planning effort was focused on building diversity and resiliency in the local economy, while addressing broader community concerns and protecting quality of life.
This planning process began with an in-depth assessment of the community’s economy and competitive position. Next, the project team researched and recommended target clusters unique to the mountain valley. Avalanche then developed an action plan to address critical needs, invest in community development, and grow primary businesses. The strategies, tactics, and organizational recommendations were adopted by the EDC and Town, and is actively implemented today.
- In November 2015, Estes Valley voters approved a bond to construct a new Community Center.
- The Estes Park Medical Center is embarking on a $10 million capital campaign to construct an Aspire Wellness Center. The initial building is a $9 million mixed use facility.
- In March 2016, Estes Park EDC hired a Director of Communications & Business Development.
- In January 2016, the Estes Valley was recognized as a Colorado Enterprise Zone. In February 2016, Estes Park EDC and Visit Estes Park were approved as Enterprise Zone Contribution Projects.
- Estes Park EDC’s Commercial Development Code Committee is working to foster redevelopment in downtown and along commercial corridors.
- The Estes Arts District began conducting monthly events and is planning community-wide events that will increase arts engagement. Estes Park EDC provided technical support to the Estes Arts District as it applies for recognition as a Colorado Creative Arts District.
- In April 2016, the Town of Estes Park received a $1.4 million CO DOLA grant to implement their high-speed broadband plan.
- In February 2016, the Estes Park Housing Authority (EPHA) completed a Housing Needs Assessment. Estes Park EDC, the Town, and EPHA are collaborating to engage the private sector and facilitate construction of necessary workforce housing.
- In 2017 the Estes Park EDC plans to launch the Entrepreneur Center in order to foster entrepreneurship and innovation.
- Estes Park grew its Craft Goods cluster with the opening of Lumpy Ridge Brewing Co., Rock Cut Brewing Co., and Elkins Distilling Co.
- The Estes Park EDC is assisting startups by hosting the Estes Park Startup Meetup Group and the Estes Park Angel Investor Meetup, and connecting startups to mentor businesses.
Avalanche Consulting was able to quickly integrate into our unique community and determine the factors that would help sustain our economic viability while embracing our culture and history. Their ability to empathize with and relate to our community through dozens of public and private meetings with stakeholders was invaluable. I would highly recommend Avalanche Consulting for any community looking for an Economic Development Strategy partner.
-Jon Nicholas, President & CEO, Estes Park EDC