A new type of work and pleasure outdoor community is currently under construction in Montrose, Colorado. According to SNews, Colorado Outdoors, LLC is currently developing a massive all-in-one to meet the needs of the small outdoors companies based in Colorado. The development company is in the midsts of construction of a 670,000-square-foot center that will include a machine shop, manufacturing center, retail shops, hotel for business travel, townhomes, business offices, and a lake with a trail around it. It is scheduled to be completed in December of 2018.
“We want to attract manufacturing companies that make outdoor products—for fisherman, backpackers, mountain bikers, etc.—and bring jobs to a rural community. Companies can utilize the airport and the economic development benefits from the state and city. We have a river preservation project. That’s all a powerful combination,” said [David] Dragoo (president of Mayfly Outdoors and director of Colorado Outdoors).
One of the biggest problems facing small businesses anywhere in the state of Colorado is the growing cost of living which has accelerated property costs and labor shortages. This is best stated by Bobby Noyes, founder of RockyMounts:
“My opportunities [in Boulder] are tough. One of the problems with being based in Boulder is that the housing is out of hand, because more people have moved here—Google built a campus that accommodates 1,500 people, for instance. A lot of my staff is forced to live outside of town and drives in,” said Noyes.
Location for the development was a key factor and the center will be located in Montrose, Colorado. This area is not that far away from some major cities that have larger metropolitan areas with people that are very outdoor oriented. Montrose is located 394 miles (5.5 hours) from Salt Lake City, 296 miles (5 hours) from Denver, and 321 miles (6 hours) from Albuquerque. All of this makes the center within striking range for shipping and to attract business owners to come in.
The outdoor industry is a big part of the Colorado economy, it is like the tech industry in California. According to Colorado Outdoors, 71% of all Colorado residents participate in outdoor activities and $2.19 billion is spent on outdoor recreation on the Western Slope. In the entire state, $28 billion is spent annually and provides 229,000 jobs! According to SNews, the new project seeks to add 1,900 jobs and an annual payroll of $81 million. It will also add a total economic output (including the product sales of the companies) of $297 million!