This is an excerpt from an article in the Estes Park Trail-Gazette.

Consultants working with the Town of Estes Park and the Estes Park Economic Development Corporation to create an economic development strategy for the Estes Valley said Tuesday afternoon that they have zeroed in on four critical needs for the community.

They said those needs, based on data culled from the market assessment report they did, are:

• Creating a year-round economy that keeps businesses open

• Increasing diversity and resiliency to protect the Estes Valley from negative impacts to one sector of the economy

• Improving the ability of workers to find housing within the Estes Valley

• Helping create jobs that allow younger workers and families to live and spend their money in the Estes Valley, supporting the local economy and school system

Tony DeLisi, the project manager for Austin, TX-based Avalanche Consulting, said a year-round economy “is very important” and that it will be important for the community “to enhance and build on the qualities that make Estes Park unique.”

When quizzed about what could be done to resolve the community’s critical needs, DeLisi was frank.

“There is no magic bullet,” he said. “It’s really more of a matter of dialogue and figuring out what works best.”

DeLisi and Avalanche Consulting CEO Amy Holloway pointed out that they have worked hard to make sure that dialogue has been a key component of their work so far.

They said the process to date has included:

• Personal interviews with 21 local, regional and state stockholders

• Focus groups and public forums with 144 Estes Valley residents

• 780 survey participants

• Two workshops with an 8-member project advisory committee

• Two workshops with 30-plus member EDC Board of Directors

“The survey blew us away,” Holloway said, noting that the 780 responses was nearly 7 percent of the valley’s population. “It was incredibly insightful.”

Read the full article in the Estes Park Trail-Gazette.