One of the goals of disaster recovery is to come back stronger. This month, the Estes Park Economic Development Corporation in partnership with the Town of Estes Park will kick off a planning process aimed at improving the Estes Valley region’s economic diversity and long-term resiliency.
The Economic Strategy, the first for the Estes Valley region, will begin with an in-depth evaluation of the region’s economic performance and demographics. The evaluation will also involve an extensive public input process, including a survey that will invite all Estes Valley residents to share their vision for the region’s future. The survey will launch on February 18th. To obtain direct input, three public meetings will be announced for February 18 to February 20.
The Strategy will be drafted following the research phase. It will include profiles of target audiences for economic development and an action plan for improving the area’s business climate, quality of life, infrastructure, talent pool, and marketing activities to better position Estes Valley for year-round economic activity. The Strategy will conclude with a system for monitoring progress and a series of training workshops to prepare area leaders for implementing the plan.
In January, after a national search, Estes Park EDC and the Town finalized a contract for economic strategic planning and capacity building. Avalanche Consulting, a national economic development consultancy based in Austin, Texas, will facilitate the planning process. Avalanche’s team has provided strategic planning services to more than 200 communities across the US and abroad. The firm was selected through a competitive bidding process.
Amy Holloway, Avalanche’s President, assured me that “we are absolutely thrilled about the opportunity to assist the beautiful Estes Valley region. We have closely followed the community’s progress in post-flood recovery, and feel honored to be part of Estes Valley’s efforts to develop a more resilient and sustainable community.” Amy and her team have done work in Colorado.