Strategic Planning

City of Cortez and South Western Colorado Market Survey


We have been spending many hours surveying the market for a potential business location in the South Western Region (region # 9) of Colorado. Pouring through data, seeing the tourist sites, and understanding the market there. Meeting with officials, business people and visiting businesses we learned quite a bit about the region and the future prospects there for someone opening a business.

One of the main cities we took data from and drove around talking to real people there was the City of Cortez. Which is just North of Four Corners and is a big trade partner with Farmington, NM and sees a lot of tourist traffic traveling to the state parks and federal parks there, namely Mesa Verde Cliff Dwellings. It also receives traffic traveling to and from Durango and Telluride.

First off the numbers and population stats look good to us in that 35% of the population is 25-54 and that is both our age range to hire from and our biggest marketing sector for car washes and detailing services. Up the hill and around the corner in Durango that stats were a little higher as retirees with money have moved in there. Higher age and higher economic socio status. Good money flow from that group. Also it has driven up housing costs. Durango imports most of its labor from Cortez and about 5000 people come into work in the city every day and only 800 leave to work each day.

Cortez has a huge Navajo population and they have mingled with others and provided a good strong and very reliable base of labor for many non-techy type jobs. One-third of the population rents and does not own homes and that number is growing as retirees move in and drive up property values making it difficult for local young couples to buy homes. Much of the data we searched out from Fort Lewis College matched our findings and observations.

soba.fortlewis.edu/sbdc

The population increase of Denver is matched in South Western Colorado with about 8% in the last decade increase. From 2001-2002 up 1.78%, strong growth. Statewide Colorado saw about 1.5 - 1.6% over all. And you can see that growth in Montrose, Grand Junction, Boulder, Parker, Colorado Springs, pueblo, Greeley, Fort Collins, Aurora, Denver Highland Ranch, Loveland, etc.

Many of those moving in area doing so with second homes for Summer to get out of heat in places like Vegas, Arizona and lower NM. It is Country Type living and the family values and community is strong and very nice. Safe place. Only San Juan County declined and drastically at 2.13 %, which is a small-populated area and therefore the numbers are skewed. Demand for labor is up and unemployment is down. Increased demand for labor exceeded 16% since 1999 and job labor rates climbed and the demand was mostly in retail and in services for the wealthy older people moving in. Also in tourism as increased after 9-11 since most of the area is traveled to by automobile and tour bus. They expect another 4% increase in the next five years for labor, meaning labor rates are improving and therefore quality of life is improving. 17% of the area is owned by Native legitimate Indians and nearby the Ute Tribe has a casino, which is one of the largest area employers.

It appears it would be a great place to run a business especially if you exported out of the area and needed a hard working and reliable labor supply. We liked what we say in South Western CO and feel it might just be what you are looking for, so think about it.

"Lance Winslow" - If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs


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