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Economic Development Council of Colorado selects Estes Park, CO for its annual Drive|Lead|Succeed Conference

October 24-26, 2018 Estes Park, CO

October 24-26, 2018
Estes Park, CO

Mar. 27, 2018 - The Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC) carefully reviewed over 33 proposals sent in response to EDCC's request for its next location of their annual Drive|Lead|Succeed Conference. This growing three-day conference, is the premier statewide event, that gathers over 200 statewide economic development stakeholders and explores the latest developments, trends, and the future of Colorado's economic climate. 

EDCC's conference steering committee and board of directors unanimously voted to host its 2018 Drive|Lead|Succeed Conference at the newly renovated Ridgeline Hotel in Estes Park, CO. Recently acquired and renovated by Delaware North - one of the largest privately held hospitality and food service companies in the world - this hotel has been re-branded, formerly the Rocky Mountain Park Inn, and has gone through an extensive $6 million interior overhaul. The Ridgeline is centrally located, just steps away from Downtown Estes Park and near the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Earning its nickname "The Gutsiest Little Town in Colorado," Estes Park has endured three major floods in 1976, 1982, and most recently in 2013. Estes Park has championed these disasters by coming together as a resilient community, supporting businesses in their recovery efforts, and forging a path forward by creating a long term vision that has laid down the foundation for their future economic success.

This year, the conference will focus on keeping Colorado competitive as we face the next economic cycle. Estes Park is an exemplary case study in what other communities around the state can do to help propel their economies forward.

EDCC's conference steering committee is requesting topic and speaker ideas. Please click the survey button below to submit your ideas. Sponsorship's, registrations and hotel room reservations are also now available at EDCCOnline.org

Estes Park wins Colorado Economic Development EDIE Award for Small Community of the Year

Tom Clark presenting Jon Nicholas and Frank Lancaster an award for EDCC’s Small Community of the Year

Tom Clark presenting Jon Nicholas and Frank Lancaster an award for EDCC’s Small Community of the Year

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Recently the Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC) announced the 2017 EDIE award recipients, recognizing economic development excellence during its annual Drive|Lead|Succeed Conference at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort.  As the Board Chair of the EDCC, I am pleased to report that the award for “Small Community of the Year” was presented to the Estes Park EDC– on behalf of a town that sets its sights on building a more resilient, inclusive and vibrant community and economy after recovering from the devastating Colorado floods in 2013.

The criteria for the Small Community Award were:  1) Demonstrated support for economic development, including financial, board participation, and lobbying; 2) Planning and investment in long term development of the community, including infrastructure, permanent financing of economic development, and, targeted strategies to secure primary jobs, and/or 3) a special project or development during year.

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Estes Park has demonstrated its support for economic development.  Both public and private entities contribute to the Estes Park Economic Development Corporation (Estes Park EDC) and scores of volunteers help the organization in its economic development efforts.  Estes Park is implementing a regional economic development strategy.  Workforce housing, childcare, broadband and improving the development process are all being addressed as important priorities for ensuring the Estes Valley’s long-term vitality.  

We were also pleased to learn that in the past year Estes Park has invested in new infrastructure to benefit its residents and guests.  The Estes Valley Community Center; a new parking structure; detailed engineering work for high-speed broadband fiber, and a number of other private investments all demonstrate a willingness to invest in your community. 

The Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC) is a state-wide, nonprofit organization dedicated to successful, responsible economic development. EDCC professionally represents the collective economic development interests of both the private and public sectors. Our mission is to be the premier state-wide organization for strengthening Colorado’s economy by promoting the highest standards of knowledge and skill for economic development professionals, educating local and state leaders about the realities of economic growth, and advocating public policies that enhance economic opportunity for all of Colorado.

John Hall, EDCC’s Board Chair and Jeremy Rietmann, EDCC’s Vice Chair pose with EDCC’s Small Community of the Year, Estes Park. Representing Estes Park, Economic Development Director, Jon Nicholas and Town Administrator, Frank Lancaster

John Hall, EDCC’s Board Chair and Jeremy Rietmann, EDCC’s Vice Chair pose with EDCC’s Small Community of the Year, Estes Park. Representing Estes Park, Economic Development Director, Jon Nicholas and Town Administrator, Frank Lancaster

Our 2017 awards reflected successes in communities from across Colorado.  Other award winners were: 

1) Large Community of the Year – Thornton, Colorado;

2) Company of the Year – Bonsai Design, Grand Junction, Colorado;

3) Volunteer of the Year – Gus Westerman, Dolores County CSU Extension Director;

4) Partnership Award – Pueblo Community College and Vestas;

5) Economic Development Achievement Award – Kevin Tilson, Downtown Alliance Director, Castle Rock;

6)  Rookie of the Year – Karah Reygers, Castle Rock Economic Development Corporation; and

7) Chairman’s Award—Tom Clark.  It’s the hard work and contributions of communities, institutions and individuals like these who make Colorado economically successful.

Economic development is always a long-term endeavor.  As long as local government, private businesses and local volunteers remain committed to improving your resiliency and economic vitality, Estes Park should continue to serve as a positive example for other rural communities.

John Hall is the Economic Development Director for the City of Westminster, and Board Chair of the EDCC.