Important Announcement
PubHTML5 Scheduled Server Maintenance on (GMT) Sunday, June 26th, 2:00 am - 8:00 am.
PubHTML5 site will be inoperative during the times indicated!

Home Explore Garfield County Profile June 25 - 2

Garfield County Profile June 25 - 2

Published by Garfield County, Colorado, 2015-06-25 11:51:18

Description: This is Garfield County, Colorado Profile, demographics, economic trends and projections


Read the Text Version


TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. Introduction................................................................................................... 5 2. Physical Characteristics................................................................................. 6 3. Climate.......................................................................................................... 7 4. History of Garfield County............................................................................. 8 5. Population................................................................................................... 10 6. Communities............................................................................................... 14 7. Transportation............................................................................................. 28 8. Housing and Real Estate.............................................................................. 34 9. Education..................................................................................................... 36 10. Telecommunications.................................................................................... 39 11. Economic Activity........................................................................................ 40 12. Labor Force, Jobs and Income..................................................................... 46 13. Healthcare................................................................................................... 56 14. Senior Living................................................................................................ 58 15. Recreation and Leisure................................................................................ 60 16. Cultural Amenities....................................................................................... 78Figure 1: Map of Garfield County2

Page Description cover Climber in Glenwood Canyon – David Clifford 3 Two eagles at nest - Kelley Cox 4 Solo climber with summit – David Clifford 6 - 7 Roaring Fork River and Mount Sopris – David Clifford 8 - 9 Garfield County historical images - Frontier Historical Society 11 Youth car wash – Kelley Cox 12 Group rafting on the Colorado River – Kelley Cox 14 - 15 Family on mountain top with Jeep – David Clifford 16 Carbondale sculpture at night – Renelle Lott Town of Carbondale with Mount Sopris in background – Scot Gerdes 17 Woman running near Carbondale – David CliffordPH OTOGRAPHER CREDITS 18 - 19 Young ballerinas in dance studio – Kelley Cox Glenwood Springs panorama – Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association 19 Kayak competition on the Colorado River – Kelley Cox 20 Parade in downtown New Castle – Kelley Cox Young men playing basketball outside – Kelley Cox 21 Cub Scout camp fishing along river – Kelley Cox 22 Aerial view of the Town of Silt – Scot Gerdes Tractor making hay in front of the Bookcliffs – Kelley Cox 22 - 23 Horses along the Colorado River during winter – David Clifford 23 Garfield County Commissioners and Silt town administrators – David Suminski 24 Man on horse with American flag – Kelley Cox 25 Ice climber at Rifle Mountain Park – Kelley Cox Runners during the Law Enforcement Torch Run – Sean Strode Family celebrating at the Garfield County Fair & Rodeo – Darcy Copeland 26 Historic barn and drilling rig – Ryan Mackley 26 - 27 Wingsuit jumping from the Roan Plateau – David Clifford 28 Glenwood Hot Springs Pool along Interstate 70 - Glenwood Hot Springs 29 Private jet taking-off at the Rifle Garfield County Airport – Brian Condie 30 Visitors waiting to board the train – Kelley Cox 31 VelociRFTA regional transportation bus – Renelle Lott 32 Cyclists on Rio Grande trail – Jack Affleck 32 - 33 Man riding mountain bike on single track trail – David Clifford 37 School children and teachers at a playground – Kelley Cox 38 Girls playing guitar at the public library – Chasing Fireflies Photography 42 Woman window shopping in downtown Silt – Sean Strode 49 Aerial view of a gas pad in Garfield County – photographer unknown at press time 50 Gas well pad in Garfield County – Kirby Wynn 52 Celebrating the completion of the Carbondale solar array – CLEER Energy 53 Group of snowmobilers – Kelley Cox 54 Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper cuts the ribbon for the Center of Excellence for Advanced Technology Aerial Firefighting – Sean Strode 56 Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs – Valley View Hospital Grand River Health in Rifle – Grand River Health 58 Friend of the Seniors award winner, Bobbie Dungan – Sean Strode 60 Powder skiing at Sunlight Ski Mountain – Todd Patrick 61 Elk during winter in Garfield County – Ryan Mackley 62 Friends mountain biking near Carbondale – Ann Driggers 63 Man fly fishing on river during fall – Todd Patrick The Crystal Mill in Marble, Colorado – stock image 64 Family at the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool – Glenwood Hot Springs 65 Glenwood Hot Springs pool at night during winter - Glenwood Hot Springs Stand up paddle boarders on the Colorado River – Todd Patrick 66 Family during a cave tour at Glenwood Caverns – Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park 67 Kids riding the Glenwood Canyon Flyer at Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park– Kelley Cox 69 Campfire – Kelley Cox 70 Lakota Canyon Ranch and Golf Club – Lakota Canyon Ranch 71 Couple 4-wheeling in the mountains with a rainbow – David Clifford 72 Herd of elk on the Flat Tops – Ryan Mackley 73 Girl playing in water at Centennial Park – Ryan Mackley Family tubing at Rifle Gap – Kelley Cox 74 Rock climbing at Rifle Mountain Park – David Clifford 75 Water skiing at Rifle Gap State Park – Kelley Cox 76 Views from the front nine in Battlement Mesa – Battlement Mesa Golf Club 77 Grand Valley Recreation Center in Battlement Mesa – Renelle Lott 82 - 83 Anvil Point on the Roan Plateau during winter – Ryan Mackley 3


Incorporated on February 10, 1883, Garfield County, Colorado, is named after the 20th President of the UnitedStates, James A. Garfield. Born in Ohio on November 19, 1831, Garfield is a very appropriate namesake for acounty as diverse as this. Diverse in his background, interests and profession, some part of his life is likely toinspire everyone.Garfield County is one of the largest counties in Colorado, incorporating nearly 3,000 square miles on the westernboundary of the state. The county has more than doubled in population since 1985 and is projected to double insize again by 2040. With this continual population increase and growth pressure comes many transitions withineach of the six incorporated communities, as well as changes seen at a countywide level.With a county that is rapidly changing, it is important to track its physical, social and economic factors, in orderto give a general indication of where the county has been, as well as where it will likely go. Information of thisnature can be helpful, not only for county and municipal governments, but also for those thinking of starting abusiness, relocating to the area, or for residents curious about the baseline information about where they live.“ the last of the logcabin presidents” — Candice MillardJAMESPRESIDENT Garfield According to author Candice Millard (Destiny of the Garfield was an abolitionist and fought on the side Republic, New York, Doubleday, 2011), Garfield is the of the Union in the Civil War, including the battles of last of the “log cabin” presidents. He lost his father Middle Creek, Shiloh, and Chickamauga, among others. at the age of two and was raised by his mother, Eliza, He served with the 42nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry and and his older brother, Thomas. Both of them early ultimately attained the rank of Brigadier General. on recognized James as gifted, and encouraged his As a public servant and politician, Garfield served one education. term as a state senator in Ohio, nine terms in Congress After some adventures working on the Erie and Ohio as a U.S. Representative, and was elected to the U.S. Canal, Garfield enrolled in Ohio at Western Reserve Senate at the time he was elected President of the Eclectic Institute (a.k.a. Hiram College), where he United States in 1880. worked his way through school as a janitor, carpenter, Garfield served as president from March 4, 1881 to and then an assistant professor. He graduated from September 19, 1881, about 200 days. He was shot Williams College. He ultimately returned to Western by Charles Guiteau on July 1, 1881 and died 81 days later from medical complications. Garfield appointedNTYReserve to serve as president of the college. Stanley Matthews to U.S. Supreme Court during his Garfield was a family man and a presidency. farmer, married to his wife, Lucretia, As husband and father, farmer and carpenter, minister with whom he had seven children. and lawyer, abolitionist and soldier, and public servant, He also was a lay preacher and a educator, and president, James Garfield certainly offers lawyer, who argued successfully something for everyone in Garfield County, Colorado. before the United States Supreme Court. 5

Garfield County is situated approximately 150 mileswest of Denver, and 330 miles southeast of Salt LakeCity, Utah. The county is bisected by a 70-mile stretchof Interstate 70, which parallels the Colorado River. Thewestern portion of the county is a sparsely populated,high desert plateau, while the eastern portion includesthe western foothills of the Rocky Mountains andmost of the county’s 56,000 residents. Garfield Countycovers 2,958 square miles, or 1,893,120 acres. Approximately sixty percent of all Garfield County PHYSICAL lands are federally managed by either the Bureau of CHARACTERISTICS Land Management (615,973 acres), the U.S. Forest Service (515,865 acres) or the Bureau of Reclamation Garfield County has one of the nicest climates in the (2,335 acres). western United States. Across the county’s diverse Garfield County and its neighbors; Rio Blanco County mountain and desert topography, the climate is to the north; Mesa County to the south; and Pitkin generally determined by elevation and aspect. Like any County to the southeast, form an integrated economic mountain climate, occasional seasonal extremes occur, region. Mesa, Rio Blanco and Garfield counties share but they are moderated by a majority of consistently a common reliance on natural resource extraction, pleasant weather. In the lower reaches of the Grand tourism and ranching. Rio Blanco County is the least Valley, where summer highs can hit 100 degrees, mild populated county in the region, but has considerable winters are often conducive to longer golf seasons than natural resource wealth and future development surrounding areas. In the high country at Ski Sunlight, potential. Mesa County’s Grand Junction, the largest or on the lofty plateaus of the Flat Tops, subzero community in the region, is a shopping, health care temperatures and deep winter snowpacks yield in and services destination for many residents of western summer to cool breezes, lush wildflower meadows and Colorado, as well as for multiple Utah communities to perennial streams. The sun in Garfield County delivers the west. intense rays, summer and winter, through clean clear Pitkin County, and the resort towns of Aspen and mountain air. Snowmass Village, adjoin Garfield County on its southeastern boundary. During the winter, the only automobile access to these resorts is through the communities of Glenwood Springs and Carbondale along Highway 82 and through the Roaring Fork Valley. As a result, many residents who work in Pitkin County reside in Garfield County.6

CLIMATE During the day, the temperature can change quickly, which makes it advisable to be prepared for sudden100° F weather changes. This is true particularly at higher elevations, where storms may arrive quickly. It is not80° F 2inch unheard of to have measurable snowfalls above 11,000 feet during any summer month. Conversely, January60° F thaws can make mid-winter feel like spring. 1inch A sunshine index for Glenwood Springs shows the city40° F is sunny 71 percent of the time. Average temperatures in January are in the low-to-mid 20s; while July20° F 0inch temperatures are in the low-to-mid 70s. Annual average precipitation is about 18 inches, keeping things0° F Jan green in spring and summer, and covering areas of the Feb county in snow during the winter months. Mar Apr 7 May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov DecFSoiguurrcee°°2: :UG.Sl.eCnlwimooaLotdweSDparitnags High PrecipitaƟon Climate Chart

Garfield County was founded on February 10, 1883, Glenwood Springs, originally called Defiance, is locatedeight years after Colorado statehood, and named at the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Coloradoin honor of President James A. Garfield, who was rivers. In 1887, the Denver and Rio Grande Railroadassassinated two years before the county was extended tracks through Glenwood Canyon and into Glenwood Springs, serving Aspen and surroundingHISTORY incorporated. mining towns, and connecting Garfield County with The oldest known human Denver and other eastern cities. Railroad service habitation in Garfield remains an important economic support of the localCounty was on Battlement Mesa, where an Indian pit was discovered that dates back approximately The Glenwood Hot Springs Pool was constructed in3,000 years. Along the Colorado River and especially 1887 and remains a nationally recognized spa andalong the Roaring Fork River, was the land of the recreation center. The hot springs and pool have beenTabegauche Utes who enjoyed 7,000 square miles of a major visitor attraction for over 120 years. Glenwoodprime hunting ground and the healing waters of the Springs and surrounding areas have entertained theGlenwood Hot Springs. The first white men who visited likes of President Roosevelt, who dubbed the HotelGarfield County were two Spanish Franciscan Friars, Colorado as the “White House of the West.” The WhiteSilvestre Escalante and Francisco Dominguez, who came River National Forest, the most visited national forestto Colorado in 1776. The top three nationalities that in the nation, is headquartered in Glenwood Springs.settled in Garfield County were German, Irish and English. This forest, which is home to seven of the nation’sProspectors from Leadville reported carbonate deposits largest and most recognized ski resorts, was formallyin the area as early as 1870. Several parties entered instituted in 1905, andthe territory and built Fort Defiance, 3 ½ miles east of continues to be a majortoday’s Yampah Spa and vapor caves. Another camp force influencing the localwas made on the Flat Tops and named Carbonate City, economy and definingwhich later became the first county seat of Garfield urbanization patterns.County. Carbonate City is now an abandoned miningcamp. In August of 1883, by resolution of the countycommissioners, Glenwood Springs was named as thecounty seat. The first election was held November 6,1883. G8


POPULATION U.S. Census increasing modestly since 2012 at rate of 0.7 percent. numbers state Forecasts project that the population of Garfield that 57,302 County will resume more rapid growth in 2015, andpeople resided in Garfield County in 2013. The county will continue at a pace in excess of two percent overis the 12th most populated county of Colorado’s 64 the next 20 years, reaching a projected doubling ofcounties. Garfield County has experienced a steady population by 2040.increase in population over the past few decades, Garfield County has five municipalities that stretchbut with more rapid growth of 2.7 percent, occurring along the Colorado River and the Interstate 70 corridor.between 2004 and 2009. The growth was largely the In addition, one town, Carbondale, is situated alongresult of a burgeoning natural gas extraction industry, State Highway 133 and the Roaring Fork River; itsbut also due to an ongoing, but slower expansion of economic vitality closely tied to Aspen and Snowmasstourism, second home development, health care and Village. Glenwood Springs remains the largestregional services. During this period, there was a community in the county. In the period from 1990 tosignificant in-migration of new workers and families, 2010, the town of Rifle, which is about 25 miles westwhich fueled housing development, retail expansion of Glenwood Springs, absorbed the majority share ofand rapid wage growth. At times during this period, the county’s new growth, largely because of Rifle’sGarfield County experienced shortages of labor and a proximity to the most active natural gas developmentrapidly appreciating housing market. areas. Population in unincorporated areas, as a percentIn 2008, an abundance of new natural gas reserves of total county residents, shrank from 57 percent of allwere uncovered elsewhere around the country and county residents in 1990 to 40 percent in 2013. Eachthe value of natural gas began a national decline. The municipality has experienced different rates of growth,national recession also cut spending on travel, tourism with New Castle and Silt having the largest growth inand second home development, with predictable population over the past 10 years.declines in all measures of local economic activity. The county is one of the fastest growing counties in theDue to the national and local recession, population state, with an average annual percent change of 2.4declined slightly between 2009 and 2011, and has been percent between 2000 and 2010.SF1iog2uu0rrce0e3:0:S0tPaotpeuDlaetmioonggraropwhythOaffnicdeethnicity100000 Ethnicity or Race Percent of Population 80000 CAUCASIAN OR WHITE 68.8% 60000 HISPANIC 28.3% OTHER 2.9% TOTAL 100%4000020000 0 1985 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 2025 2030 2035 204010

Area Population Population 10 Year 2003 2013 % Change CARBONDALE GLENWOOD SPRINGS 5533 6514 15% NEW CASTLE SILT 8253 9849 13% RIFLE PARACHUTE 2971 4563 35% UNINCORPORATED AREAS 2107 2988 29% TOTAL 7453 9279 20% 1011 1095 8% 19886 23014 14% 47484 57302 17%SFoiguurrcee4: :CPooloprualdaotioDnivgisrioowntohfCLoolcoarlaGdoovernment MIGRATIONETHNICDIVERSITY The county historically has seen a large out migration of high school graduates or similarly aged youth, followedLike much of western Colorado, Garfield County has by a large influx of adults between the ages of 30 and 35.a largely Caucasian population, with a significant This migration into the county is assumed to be strongHispanic minority population, which grew rapidly due to the high quality of life and amenities that existduring the mid-2000s energy boom. The county’s within the county for young families and early careerproportion of Hispanic and Anglo populations mirrors opportunities. The county then experienced a steadythat of the state as a whole, with almost 30 percent of out-migration trend relative to age, with the mostthe population of Hispanic ethnicity. The state’s ethnic significant out-migration happening after retirementdiversity is projected to continue to increase over the age. During the recent recession, the county also hadnext 25 years, with the majority of that growth being a significant out-migration of some of the workforce,in the Hispanic population, especially in the population but out-migration has slowed and is projected to haveunder 25 years. a net increase of migration in 2015. 11


Figure 6: County Migration by Age: 2000 to 2010Source: Colorado State Demography Office and U.S. Census Bureau SFoiguurrcee7: :DCeoplaorrtamdeonPtoopfuLloatciaolnAbffyaiRrsa,cSet/aEttehnDiecmityography Office. 13


COMMUNITIES IN GARFIELD COUNTYColorado is the 4th happiest state in the United States, accordingly to This fact is usually ofno surprise to people that live, work and play within Garfield County, as each community has a diversity ofamenities, jobs and other lifestyle choices that attract and retain different people to each community. Thereare six municipalities within Garfield County. In order of incorporation, the jurisdictions include GlenwoodSprings, Carbondale, New Castle, Rifle, Parachute and Silt. In addition, Battlement Mesa, a large unicorporatedcommunity, sits adjacent to the Town of Parachute. 15

CARBONDALECOLORADO Founded in 1888, the town of Carbondale sits at the base of Mt. Sopris, near the confluence of the Crystal and Roaring Fork rivers. Touted as one of the “Top 12 Towns” in the “50 Next Great Places to Live and Play” by National Geographic Adventure magazine, and as one of the 50 Best Places to Live/Most Active Towns by Men’s Journal magazine, Carbondale is a great base camp for recreation enthusiasts. Living at the foot of the magnificent 12,953-foot Mt. Sopris, there is plenty to do, including biking, hiking, gold medal fly-fishing, kayaking, and world class skateboarding. In winter, excellent snow for cross-country skiing can be found at Spring Gulch, and beautiful snowmobiling and snowshoeing trails are accessible in all directions. World famous downhill skiing and snowboarding is 30 miles away in Aspen and Snowmass, and also 15 miles away at Sunlight Mountain Resort in Glenwood Springs. At an altitude of 6,181 feet, the Carbondale area is characterized by an average of 295 days of sunshine, low humidity, cold but mild winters, and comfortable summers. The Carbondale area often avoids storms that inundate surrounding mountains, creating its reputation as the “banana belt” of the Roaring Fork and Crystal River valleys. Through all the economic cycles of booms and busts, the town of Carbondale has developed, and continues to promote, a sense of community that is unmatched when compared to other communities experiencing heightened rates of change. This sense of community has manifested itself in the promotion of an artist’s enclave, public radio, community gatherings and events, and a tolerance for accepting a wide range of economic, social and philosophical viewpoints into the community fabric. The Carbondale Council for Arts and Humanities, KDNK Public Radio, Mountain Fair, Mount Sopris Nordic Council, Potato Day Celebration, and the Festival Las Americas are all examples of its vibrant community connection. town of carbondale chamber of commerce economic development carbondaleedp.org16


With a temperate climate, healthy lifestyle, vibrant arts scene, good schools, a local college, world class medical facilities, excellent shopping and attractions as big as the great outdoors, Glenwood Springs is an ideal place to live, work, play and raise a family. Glenwood Springs has small town charm and big city amenities. It has been heralded by the likes of Sunset Magazine, the Travel Channel and USA Today as one of America’s best small towns, one of the best places to retire or to start a business and the “most fun town in America.” Originally inhabited by nomadic Ute Indian tribes, early settlers 125 years ago saw the potential for the natural bubbling hot springs to make Glenwood Springs a world class resort. The arrival of the railroads in 1887 brought the first trainloads of tourists. The addition of the Vapor Caves, Hotel Colorado and Fairy Caves provided a total package for the well-heeled traveler. The local economy is not only fueled by tourism, but also coal mining, farming and ranching, education, health care, commerce and outdoor recreation. Because of its central county location, Glenwood Springs is the county seat, home of the administrative offices of Colorado Mountain College and the prestigious Valley View Hospital, and the retail trade center for the northern portion of the Western Slope of Colorado. Glenwood Springs provides activity options for the entire family, including hiking, biking, rafting, camping, sky diving, paragliding, hunting and fishing. The confluence of the Roaring Fork and Colorado rivers is adjacent to downtown Glenwood Springs. Glenwood Springs has an extensive trail system alongside its beautiful rivers. There are also trails in Glenwood Canyon, just east of Glenwood Springs, including the very popular and scenic trail to Hanging Lake, or along Grizzly or No Name creeks. One of the most popular activities in Glenwood Springs is fly-fishing. Anglers can choose from designated Gold Medal Waters on the Roaring Fork and Frying Pan rivers, or to fish the productive waters of the Colorado and Crystal rivers, as well as many lakes and ponds in the region. GLENWOOD SPRINGSCOLORADO18

city of glenwood resort 19

New Castle, Colorado, named after the English coal mining town Newcastle upon Tyne, was incorporated in 1888. The mountains surrounding the town, rich with coal, were the impetus for New Castle’s development into a bustling mining community. After disastrous methane explosions in 1896, 1913 and 1918, the population diminished to just a few hundred people. Coal-fed fires still burn inside the Grand Hogback range bordering the town today. Shortlyaftercelebratingitscentennial,NewCastlestarted growing rapidly, and was identified in the 2000 census as Colorado’s seventh fastest growing community. Along with strong residential population growth, the town has experienced NEW CASTLEs i g n i f i c a n t commercial development, including a grocery store, bank, restaurants, convenience stores, health club, and other businesses. The town is home to 12 popular restaurants. In 2004, an 18-hole golf course designed by award-winning golf course architect James Engh, opened for public play. Located on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains, 173 miles west of Denver, this town of 4,500 residents sits at 5,550 feet elevation. The town is bordered on the north by 7,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management lands and 20,000 acres of White River National Forest lands. South of town are 11,000 acres of protected Division of Wildlife properties.20

town of new castle chamber of commerce economic development rifleedc.comA large deer and elk population, as well as black bearsand mountain lions, inhabit these mountainous terrains.The Colorado River flows through town, presentingwonderful opportunities for trout fishing, white waterrafting and kayaking, and wildlife viewing. World-classalpine and cross-country skiing and snowboarding,big game hunting, boating, snowmobiling, wildernesshiking and camping, mountain biking—all are in NewCastle’s backyard.New Castle offers one of the best public schoolopportunities in the state. Kathryn Senor ElementarySchool is located at the center of the town’s fastestgrowing neighborhood. Constructed in 1997 for grades K through 4, theCOLORADO school has received high performance marks from the ColoradoDepartment of Education. Riverside Middle Schoolprovides an excellent learning environment for studentsin grades 5 - 8. Coal Ridge High School, located betweenNew Castle and its neighboring community of Silt tothe west, opened in 2005. In 2006, voters approved abond issue for the Garfield RE-2 School District, fundingthe construction of a new middle school (grades 5 - 8)adjacent to Kathryn Senor Elementary School, and theconversion of Riverside to Elk Creek Elementary School,which was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2014.Schools, parks, outdoor recreation, safe neighborhoods,and a busy library make New Castle a great place toraise a family. 21


The town of Silt is a close-knit community located on Interstate 70, approximately 67 miles east of GrandJunction, Colorado, and 21 miles to the west of Glenwood Springs, Colorado. For the last forty years, the townhas been a bedroom community to the towns of Vail, Snowmass Village and Aspen, Colorado, all within aneasy hour drive from Silt. Historically, the town has been an agricultural and mining area, with hard-workingfamilies that support their community in the fields of construction, recreation, ranching, tourism and oil andgas development. The climate is mild and comfortable through all seasons, and the heavy snowfall that occursin Vail, Snowmass Village, Aspen, and Steamboat Springs, traditionally doesn’t fall in Silt. The surrounding areaboasts hunting, fishing, hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, snowmobiling, rafting, biking, boating and horseback ridingthroughout the year. For these recreational opportunities, Silt is frequented by some of the travelers who visit the Hot Springs Pool in Glenwood Springs.SILTCOLORADO It is with great pride that the town sincerely offers an opportunity for business establishments to locate in this diverse community.Not only does Silt have a robust potential workforce, but the citizens and community strongly value the conceptof living, shopping and working of silttownofsilt.orgeconomic 23

Rifle is where the old west meets the new west. Rich with western heritage and history, many downtown businesses are located in historical buildings dating back to the 1900′s. Situated on Interstate 70, Rifle is conveniently located an hour to Aspen, three hours to Denver, and just over two hours to Moab, Utah. Because of its distance from heavily populated area, Rifle is unspoiled, offering a retreat from crowds, noise, and pollution. Located at the edge of the Colorado River and at the foot of the majestic Roan Plateau, Rifle, Colorado is a sportsmen’s paradise. Outdoor Life Magazine ranked Rifle as number 17 of 200 towns as the best place for an outdoor sportsman. With close proximity to the White River National Forest, world-class rock climbing, and other activities, such as whitewater rafting, fishing, boating, hunting, golfing, camping, hiking, biking, snowmobiling, and skiing, outdoor activities are endless, with mountains and mesas in every direction. Rifle is an affordable outdoors lifestyle town with a vibrant community feel, and has access to everything that is great about Colorado. At an elevation of 5,345 feet, the climate in Rifle is mildRIFLECOLORADOand moderate in both winter and summer, allowing for year round recreation. Though Rifle has a small town feel, it has modern and urban-quality amenities, such as the Ute Theater and Events Center, Brenden Theatres, city parks, amphitheaters, restaurants and a historic downtown.24

city of riflerifleco.orgchamber of commerceriflechamber.comeconomic 25

PARACHUTE/BATTLEMENT MESA COLORADOThe town of Parachute is a small community of approximately Battlement Mesa is governed by Battlement1,100 people, located on Interstate 70 halfway between Mesa Service Association (BMSA), aGrand Junction and Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The Colorado non-profit corporation which is acommunity consists of hardworking and friendly folks, and self-governing homeowner’s adjoined to the unincorporated community of BattlementMesa just across the river. Although legally separated, bothcommunities act as one and support each other in a varietyof endeavors.After enjoying the booms and surviving the busts, Parachutehas grown into a thriving community of quiet residentialneighborhoods with supporting businesses and services. Ithas ample commercial property available to support newbusinesses and welcomes any inquiries. The population ofthe town consists of an abundance of professionally trainedpeople.The town is located at the confluence of the Colorado Riverand Parachute Creek, both of which are popular waterwaysfor fishing. Hunting and other outdoor recreationalopportunities abound.The area boasts three parks that are maintained by the Townof Parachute: Beasley Park, a pocket park in downtown witha gazebo; Parachute Rest Area Park, with playgrounds and alarge lawn space to play; and Cottonwood Park, an eight acrepark in which special events are held and the communitygathers to enjoy outdoor amenities. The ParachuteBattlement Mesa Recreation District is developing a largepark in Battlement Mesa.Parachute staff provides police protection, maintenance ofroadways, its water treatment system and administrativeservice support for citizens. Fire services are providedthrough Grand ValleyFire ProtectionDistrict, parks andrecreation services bythe Battlement Mesa/Parachute Parks andRecreation District, andarea cemeteries aremaintained through acemetery district.26

All owners of property within the BMSA service pay town of parachutean annual assessment to maintain the common for the benefit of community members. battlement mesaThough BMSA provides numerous services to its battlementmesacolorado.commembers, the BMSA does not have any employees, but chamber of commercecontracts its services. The BMSA is comprised of a fourteenmember board of directors, elected mostly from respective, which manage the affairs of the community. chamber-commerce economic development 27

INTERSTATES AND ROADSGarfield County is situated with convenient state and In addition to having one of the nations’ main interstatenational highway and interstate access. Three major corridors bisect the region, western Garfield Countyhighways run through or alongside communities in the also has U.S. Route 6 and U.S. Route 24 that supportColorado River Valley, including Interstate 70, and state I-70 and connect the county’s south valley to citieshighways 13, 6 and 24. In addition, State Highway 82 and towns along I-70 in western Colorado. U.S. Routeprovides efficient access through the Roaring Fork 6 also runs from western Utah to eastern Nebraska.Valley to the neighboring communities to the south.Also, State Highway 133 provides access south and Highway 13 is yet another highway option for localwest to Mesa, Gunnison and Delta counties. communities, providing a main north/south arterial for Rifle. Colorado Hwy 13 has a central interchange southThe county seat, Glenwood Springs, is located 160 miles of Rifle, which connects with I-70. The route crosseswest of Denver on a beautiful route over mountain the Colorado River and intersects with U.S. Route 6 andpasses and through Glenwood Canyon. Glenwood U.S. 24. Running north to south, Hwy 13 connects toSprings is situated at the intersection of Interstate 70 and provides easy access to the United States’ secondand State Highway 82. Glenwood Springs is 90 miles longest interstate, I-80.east of Grand Junction and 50 miles west of Vail alongI-70. Glenwood Springs islocated 40 miles north ofTRANSPORTATIONAspen on State Highway 82. I-70 Grand Junction (GJT) Eagle/Vail (EGE) Aspen-Pitkin County (ASE) COMMERCIAL AMERICAN AIRLINES AMERICAN AIRLINES AIRLINES DELTA DELTA DELTA UNITED UNITED UNITED28 ALLEGIANT AIR AIR CANADA US AIRWAYS

AIRPORTS Rifle Garfield County Airport is highly suitable for private aircraft, designated in Colorado as a preferred GeneralMultiple commercial airports within close proximity Aviation Mountain Business Jet Airport. Open 24 hoursto Garfield County offer service for business and high- a day, seven days a week, the airport is located in acountry tourism travelers, although Garfield County rural setting, and therefore has no noise restrictions. Asdoes not have a commercial airport. These airports a General Aviation airport, commercial airport securityinclude the Grand Junction airport (GJT), Eagle/Vail regulations do not apply. Rifle is also STMP (Specialairport (EGE) and Aspen-Pitkin Airport (ASE). Denver Traffic Management Procedures) friendly.International Airport (DEN) is also accessible with a In 2010, Rifle Garfield County Airport underwentthree hour drive. infrastructure improvements of $47 million, of whichRifle Garfield County Airport $7.5 million were county funds, including a $39.5Garfield County is home to a general aviation airport, million overhaul and upgrade from the FederalRifle Garfield County Airport (RIL). In 2015, it is the new Aviation Administration. In addition, $7.5 million inlocation for the Colorado Division of Fire Prevention recent upgrades from Garfield County included nineand Control’s Center of Excellence for Advanced developed hangar parcels, an asphalt overlay for theTechnology Aerial Firefighting. The airport is located ramp, a new aircraft parking ramp and more. Designin Rifle, Colorado, 27 miles west of Glenwood Springs. standards include a 7,000-foot long, 100-foot wideBecause of its location in a mild climate zone, winter seamless runway, paved in continuous uniformity toflights are rarely a problem. This makes Rifle Garfield avoid jolts for landing aircraft. The runway and fullCounty Airport a preferred choice to nearby mountain parallel taxiway are designed for heavy aircraft traffic,and resort airports where winter storm closures often up to 134,500 pounds gross landing weight, makinginhibit air travel; it is a convenient alternative regional the Rifle Garfield County Airport suitable for a wideairport. Rifle Garfield County Airport is only 46 miles range of aircraft.from Eagle, 61 miles from Aspen, 65 miles from Grand Glenwood Springs AirportJunction, and 88 miles from Vail. Glenwood Springs also has a small municipal airport (GWS) accessible to private aircraft. 29

TRANSPORTATIONTRAINSAmtrak has year-round daily arrival into Glenwood Major commodities handled by Union Pacific inSprings from more than 500 destinations throughout Colorado are grain, coal, automobiles, and consumerthe West and Midwest. The California Zephyr travels and manufactured goods. In the last two years, Unionfrom Chicago to San Francisco to provide daily Pacific’s capital investment in Colorado was more thandeparture and arrival for passengers wanting to utilize $120 million.a safe, historic, and fast means of transportation.The historic Union Pacific Railroad dates back to 1867 Figure 9:SoAumrctrea:khCttapli:f/o/rwnwiawZ.eapmhtyrrakR.ocuotmein Colorado. Union Pacific operations are alive andwell today, as Union Pacific commodity transfers runwithin the communities in the Colorado River Valley.Union Pacific operates a major network of east-westand north-south lines that carry freight to all partsof Union Pacific’s 23 state-system, a large portion ofsuch running directly through Western Colorado.30

BUSES There are a variety of bus Town of Carbondale has a circulator bus system. services available in and Greyhound Lines, the largest intercity bus service around Garfield County. The across the United States, Canada, and Mexico, alsopredominate service is provided by the Roaring Fork provides bus service to and from Glenwood Springs.Transportation Authority (RFTA) that provides frequent Colorado Mountain Express (CME) is a private shuttlecommuter bus service between Rifle and Aspen, Colorado. company in the Roaring Fork Valley that has been providing transportation services for over 30 years.Named the “Best Mass Transit System in North CME provides airport transportation to severalAmerica” by Mass Transit Magazine, and awarded Colorado resorts including Breckenridge, Keystone,other top state and national transportation honors, Copper Mountain, Vail, Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch,including “Large Transit Agency of the Year” by the Aspen, Snowmass Village, and other surrounding resortColorado Association of Transit Agencies, RFTA is areas. Service is also provided to Eagle/Vail airport andWestern Colorado’s biggest and best rural means Denver International Airport.of transportation. Traversing the Roaring Fork and Garfield County provides bus service called TheColorado River valleys, RFTA operates a fleet of over Traveler throughout the county for senior citizens82 vehicles and carried 4.8 million passengers in 2014. and individuals with disabilities that prevent themAdditionally, RFTA reflects the region’s commitment to from using their own transportation or accessingsustainability in the use of Biodiesel and ethanol fuels. transportation available to the general public.RFTA allows for both ease and availability for much In addition, Colorado Department of Transportation willof western Garfield County’s workforce to be mobile. be commencing daily Bustang service between GlenwoodIn 2014, RFTA open its new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Springs and Denver’s Union Station in July 2015.service between Glenwood Springs and Aspen. NamedVelociRFTA, it is the first rural bus rapid transit system in 31the country. In addition, the City of Glenwood Springsprovides affordable and frequent bus service and the

Dirt and paved trails abound in Garfield County. There are nearly endless miles of single track for biking and running, and plentiful hiking, horseback riding and motorized trails. The Glenwood Canyon bike and pedestrian trail sits adjacent to the interstate, but feels like a world away. This stretch of canyon has been described by many as one of the most scenic stretches of highway in the world, and it is best observed from the trail. The trail follows the curves of the Colorado River on a 16.2 mile route that is an unparalleled experience. The Roaring Fork Valley’s Rio Grande Trail is a 42-mile continuous paved surface multi-use trail protected from vehicular traffic, except at intersections. This trail serves as a bicycle commuter corridor and major recreation route between TRAILSGlenwood Springs and Aspen.32


HOUSING Based on the 2010 U.S. average median housing price for the county was U.S. Census, there were $339,900 in 2009, ( while the mean 23,127 housing units in value of a detached house was $455,611 in 2009 (www. the county and 21,909 These prices are estimated by Zillowhouseholds. The county, in general, has very low vacancy to have dropped in 2014 to approximately $297,000.rates for housing, with a rate of 5.3 percent, projected However, housing prices are increasing rapidly at anto decrease to 4.9 percent vacancy in 2015. Of the total estimated rate of 23.3 percent between 2013 andcounty population, 33.9 percent are renters, and 60.9 2014, ( and the assessed valuationspercent of the county own their homes. have increased approximately 40 percent for single family homes between 2012 and 2014, according to theHousing prices vary throughout the county, however all Garfield County Assessor. Median rent price in 2014 isbut one community, (Parachute) has median housing estimated at $950 according to higher than the state median housing price. The The county’s housing stock is comprised largely of single family homes, which in part explains the high520000 406611 480216 property values, compared with statewide figures.420000 339990 In addition, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs are320000 significantly influenced by second home ownership,220000 248589 237876 262080 234900 which explains their far higher median home values120000 State of and which influences the countywide averages. 185996 Colorado20000 Parachute Rifle Silt New Castle Glenwood Carbondale Garfield Springs CountyFSoiguurrcee1: 0w:wMwe.cdiitayndaHtoau.csoinmg Price per AreaREAL ESTATE2000 5000001500 430000 360000 As noted previously, housing values grew rapidly during1000 285000 the energy expansion from 2002 to 2008, concurrent 240000 with national trends. Both activity and prices have de-500 160000 clined from their 2008 high, but have shown improve- 80000 ment since late 2011. 2014 saw a drop in overall num- 10000 ber of units sold, but is likely due to a lack of housing 0 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 stock. Number of units sold Average SF priceFigure 11: Home Sales Figure 12: Single Family Residential Average PriceSource: Land Title Colorado Mountain Resorts Market Analysis Comparison by Area Source: Land Title Guarantee Company, Market Analysis Parachute BaƩlement Mesa Rifle Silt New Castle Glenwood Springs Carbondale 196111600000 430352 540194 158781 502453500000 116094 198898 16626 273826400000 216027 207239 224011 429795300000 130379 315500 729127 124329 372404200000 183615 216264 207239100000 0 2012 2013 201434

According to the monthly transactions report for Foreclosure FilingsGarfield County prepared by Land Title GuaranteeCompany of Glenwood Springs, gross sales volume 800was up 1.7 percent between 2012 and 2013. Total dol- 700lars from countywide sales for 2014 was 448,178,113, 600which was a 17 percent increase over 2013, however, 500total transactions declined during this same period by 4006.91 percent. 300According to the U.S. Census, Garfield County as a 200whole did not experience the dramatic decline in 100values witnessed in many areas around the countryduring the Great Recession. County housing values 0grew about 30 percent between 2000 and 2010 and 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014remain notably above the current statewide medianhome value. SFoiguurrcee1: 4G:aFrofireeldcloCsouurnetyFiPlinugbslic Trustee 2015Home values have increased more than median in-come in all Garfield County markets, which impacts the of homes. As such, the county has over 45 percentaffordability of home ownership and rentals in Garfield of its homeowners paying more than 30 percent ofCounty. In 2010, the town of Parachute had the great- their income on housing. To assist with affordabilityest disparity between the growth rates of local income issues, some large employers such as RFTA and Valleyand growth in household value. However, in 2014, View Hospital have chosen to provide employee hous-both Carbondale’s and Glenwood Springs’ home pric- ing programs. In addition several communities includ-es increased dramatically in comparison to the median ing Rifle, Glenwood Springs and Carbondale, as wellincome. Household income and valuation data are re- as Garfield County, have affordable housing programsported in 2012 based on the prior year’s information available to qualified participants.and thus do not capture the most recent wage trends. A spike in home foreclosures was one consequence ofHousing values in all areas of the county, particularly in the most recent economic recession. As the housingthe Roaring Fork Valley, continue to appreciate rapidly market recovers, the nation and Colorado are experi-which continues to negatively impact the affordability encing a drop in the number of foreclosures. In 2012, the number of foreclosures dropped in the county for the first time since 2007, with a significant decrease of 23 percent from a high of 701. Foreclosures have continued to drop in recent years, with 2014 only re- cording 150 foreclosures, thus bringing the foreclosure rate on par with pre-recession filings. SFpCoiaogyuluoirnrrceaged:m1oA3oSm:rteaePtrteehicraDacnenenm3Ct0oo%ogmrfoamfpHuthohnyueitOsiyrefifhSniocucelrodvm2se0ye1w, o4mitnhahpomucorseirnatggteadgebeys 35

EDUCATION Educational opportunities abound in Garfield County, with a variety of public, charter and private schools serving students from kindergarten through four-year college and graduate degree programs. Schools within the county have over time generated a disproportionatenumber of Boettcher Scholars, as well as Daniels Scholars, both prestigious scholarship foundations recognizingunique scholastic and civic aptitude.Though slightly behind the state average, Garfield County has a high educational attainment in population over25 years of age for a rural area. Over 59.7 percent of the county’s over 25 years of age population has some post-secondary schooling with 34 percent having an advanced degree. In total, the number of pupils attending publicschools in Garfield County grew by 20 percent between 2000 and 2010, faster than state population growth (11percent) but slower than overall county population growth. Garfield RE-2 and Garfield 16 school districts, whichcover the central part of the county, including the towns of Parachute, Rifle, New Castle and Silt, added thelargest number of pupils and grew most rapidly during this period. Since 2009, enrollment has declined, with aslight recovery in 2012. Educational Attainment Population 25 years and over Figure 1h5tt:pE:/d/ufcaacttifoinnPdaoelprA.uctletaantiisnoumns.e2gn5ot+v: 30.00%Source: 25.00% 20.00% 15.00%K-12 10.00%EDUCATION 5.00% 0.00% High school Some college Associate's degree Bachelor's degree Graduate degree Less than 9th grade 9th to 12th grade graduate Garfield County Colorado Three public school districts serve school-age children were built over the past several years, thanks to a $74.9 in Garfield County. These districts are funded by local million bond issue approved by Re-2 voters in 2006. and state taxes. The Roaring Fork School District In addition, district voters approved a $1.6 million mill Re-1 includes public schools in Glenwood Springs, levy override intended for increased pay to help retain Carbondale and Basalt. The district educates close to teachers and staff. 5,000 students and includes four elementary schools, Garfield County School District No. 16 was founded in three middle schools and three traditional high schools, the early 1900s to govern all of the small rural schools as well as three smaller schools: the alternative Bridges in and around Parachute. Grand Valley High School, High School, the K-8 Carbondale Community Charter which opened in 2002, was built to accommodate 400 School and the K-8 Two Rivers Community School in students; it can be expanded in the future to serve 600 Glenwood Springs. The Re-1 District oversaw a series of students. In 2006, District 16 voters approved a $35 school construction projects and building renovations million bond issue for new school facilities. after district voters approved an $86 million bond issue Founded in 1953, the Colorado Rocky Mountain School in 2004. The vote also included a $1.8 million mill levy in Carbondale is just west of Highway 133, one mile override that has allowed the district to raise teacher south of Highway 82. Begun as a summer session-only salaries in order to retain staff. college prep school, today the school (grades 9-12) Garfield County School District Re-2 serves families offers scholastic programming, with an emphasis on in New Castle, Silt and Rifle. The district oversees community service work and wilderness experiences, six elementary schools, including the Graham Mesa as well as on- and off- campus housing. Students work Elementary in Rifle, which opened for the 2009-10 on the campus ranch, which produces an annual hay school year, plus two middle schools and two high crop and gardens. Opening enrollment is limited to schools. Several new and expanded school facilities 165, 10 percent of which are international students.36

POST-SECONDARY EDUCATIONColorado Mountain College (CMC) is one of Garfield and Management (BAS) and Elementary EducationCounty’s greatest educational assets. CMC has been (Interdisciplinary Studies) (BAIS). While the collegeranked number 17 of 800 community colleges for continues to build its four year programs, CMC’sgraduation and transfer rates and named the third strengths are its over 50 associate’s degree programs,most affordable public four year degree program in including programs such as nursing, photographythe country (U.S. Department of Education). Originally and veterinary technology, as well as occupationalorganized as a two-year special community college certificates in emergency medical technology, culinarydistrict, today CMC serves a six-county region and has arts, and real estate. Community enrichment classesbegun offering four-year degrees. Community sites are run the gamut, from kayaking, to Chinese language,located in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Rifle. ballroom dancing to book writing. Science and liberalSpring Valley Campus, one of CMC’s three residential arts associate degrees are often used as stepping-stonescampuses, is just seven miles south of Glenwood for transfer to other four-year colleges and universities.Springs. The college also has residential campuses In addition to CMC, Garfield County’s Department ofin Leadville and Steamboat Springs, and additional Human Services has been instrumental in partneringcommunity sites across the Western Slope, including with the University of Denver to bring a master’sAspen, Edwards, and Breckenridge. degree program in social work to Garfield County, inIn 2011, CMC started offering four-year degrees, and order to fill a shortage of mental health therapists intoday offers five bachelor degree programs, including the area. This program began offering graduate-levelSustainable Studies (BASS), Business Administration courses and master’s degrees in 2014.(BSBA), Nursing (BSN), Applied Science in Leadership6000 FSoiguurrcee1: 6C:oPlourbaldicoSDcehpoaorltDmisetnritcot fEEndroulclmatieonnt, 2004-2012 PK-12 Membership by District500040003000200010000 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2004 ROARING FORK RE-1 GARFIELD RE-2 GARFIELD 16 Linear (ROARING FORK RE-1) Linear (GARFIELD RE-2) Linear (GARFIELD 16) 37

LIBRARIES The Garfield County Public Library District marked its organizations of all kinds. All of the county libraries 75th anniversary in 2013 with the continued tradition offer study rooms that double as office space, tutoring of providing high quality customer service, passionate classrooms, or just a quiet place to contemplate or promotion of books, technology and literacy, and sought meet friends. broad community engagement through partnerships, Library programming is designed to meet the needs initiatives and events. The district is comprised of six of users all ages. For young children, the libraries new state-of-the-art library buildings, has 37 full and offered more than 600 story times, which saw over 26 part time staff members, and is funded through a 10,000 attendees in 2013. The early literacy skills quarter cent of Garfield County’s sales tax and 1 mill of that children learn in storytime help them translate property tax. words to images, develop their brains and nurture Consistent with a strategic plan that was established in the cognitive, emotional and social skills they need 2007, the district completed new libraries in Parachute to develop the habits of life-long learners. School- and Rifle in 2010, celebrated grand openings of new age children and teens have many opportunities at libraries in New Castle and Silt in 2012, and in 2013 the libraries to participate and advance their skills completed the last two new libraries in the Carbondale in a safe environment. Adult programs and classes and Glenwood Springs branches. In 2013, the district include technology training, skills development, and lent more than 675,000 items and hosted almost 1,400 events. Gcomputer literacy, and in 2013 also included discussion Garfield County’s branch libraries serve as key community gathering places. Their public computers opportunities for books and films, a Civil War series, and wireless access offer a comfortable environment and the America’s Music series. Additionally, the in which to work, study, stay up with current events, or libraries offer a summer reading program, which keep in touch with friends. Their meeting rooms are a consists of activities for children, teens, and adults popular destination for civic groups, non-profits, and and set a new record in 2013 for the number of participants.38

The fiber optic telecommunications infrastructure and Garfield County and its member municipalities aredemand for broadband services in Garfield County are participants in a joint, mini-region Broadband Studyconcentrated along the I-70 and Highway 82 corridors. with Mesa County, to assess the existing broadbandBroadband services are primarily located in community infrastructure and to work with private and publicanchor institutions located in the municipalities. stakeholders, to provide abundant, reliable, redundant and affordable broadband services to communityPrivate internet providers exist throughout Garfield anchor institutions, citizens, businesses and visitors.County, including cable, fiber and wireless service This plan is expected to address the design andproviders. The most reliable internet connection implementation of middle-mile broadband throughoutfor business use in the City of Glenwood Springs Garfield and Mesa counties. The study is expected tois the Community Broadband Network. This fiber be completed in 2015 and to launch public/privateoptic service is a highly dependable, affordable, partnerships, such as through Open Access Networkbusiness-class internet solution. Enterprise services approaches, and help to leverage resources of bothavailable include speeds up to one gigabyte per private providers and local governments to improvesecond, private network connections and priority broadband access.bandwidth. The Town of Carbondale and the City ofRifle offer fiber optic connections throughout theircommunities. Community Anchor Institutions, aswell as local providers of broadband, can be foundby using the State’s website FSioguurrcee1: 7C:oGloarrafdieoldOCffoicuenotyf aInrfeoarmBraotaiodnbaTnecdhMnoalpopgiyngcoloradobroadband/.Wireline Speed Tiers TELECOMMUNICATIONS>= 768 Kbps < 1.5 Mbps>= 1.5 Mbps < 3 Mbps>= 3 Mbps < 6 Mbps>= 6 Mbps < 10 Mbps>= 10 Mbps < 25 Mbps>= 25 Mbps < 50 Mbps>= 50 Mbps < 100 Mbps>= 100 Mbps < 1 Gbps>= 1 GbpsGARFIELD COUNTY COLORADO 39

ECONOMIC ACTIVITYToday, the foundations of Garfield County’s economy economy, including the hot springs attractions inremain very similar to the economic foundations that Glenwood Springs, overnight accommodationsshaped this area well over 100 years ago: natural associated with I-70 and a strong hunting and fishingresource development, agriculture, regional services services industry. In recent years, the tourism/secondand tourism. The county is notable for its concentration home industry in nearby Pitkin and Eagle countiesof population and urban development in the area’s stimulated significant construction and servicestwo major river valleys, and the counter-balancing of employment and residential housing developmentlarge expanses of public lands and lightly populated in Garfield County, particularly in the Carbondalearid plateaus in the remainder of the county. and Glenwood Springs area. Over the past decade,Garfield County, particularly the area between Rifle increasing numbers of retirees have relocated toand Parachute, has many producing natural gas wells the area for its relatively mild climate, quality of life,and large shale gas deposits. Emerging natural gas world-class health care, recreation opportunities andproduction technologies, coupled with rising gas prices, expansive open space.produced a notable energy boom between 2002 and Though there are similarities between municipalities2009, and natural gas production continues to be a when it comes to economic activity and a community’smajor contributor of the Garfield County economy. economic development approach, each municipalityTourism has long been a staple of the Garfield County also has its differences. Figure 18: Property taxes by State: Median Property tax in Dollars Source: Garfield County LEGEND Lowest tax40 Highest tax

TAXATIONAccording to, a nonpartisan County is ranked 1,758th of the 3,143 counties foreducational organization for data, research, analysis property taxes as a percentage of median income (tax-and commentary on important tax issues, Colorado 19th in the overall index for its business tax Colorado also has a Senior Property Tax Exemption.climate. This index evaluates the state’s corporate Colorado voters passed this exemption for seniortax, individual income tax, sales tax, unemployment citizens in the November 2000 election (also knowninsurance tax and property tax, as part of the Tax as Referendum A). The law provides that 50 percentClimate Index. Coincidentally, the state also ranks of the first $200,000 of actual value for a qualifying19th in the state and local tax collection per capita at a senior citizen’s primary residence shall be exempt fromcollection rate per capita of $4,288. Colorado currently property taxation. In order to qualify for the exemptionranks ninth lowest of all states that have Corporate the senior must 1) have reached age 65 as of January 1,Income Tax at a rate of 4.63 percent, as of January 1, 2015; 2) have occupied the property for 10 years prior2014. However, per capita this equates to $96 which to January 1, 2015; and, 3) have filed an application forranks Colorado at 36th of 50 states for its corporate tax the exemption.burden.The property tax rate is set and collected by the county. Colorado has a state sales tax of 2.9 percent. In additionBy state law, commercial and industrial property is to this sales tax, each county and local governmentassessed at 29 percent of market value. The median may also have its own sales tax. According to theproperty tax in Garfield County, Colorado, is $1,276 per state’s constitution, any increase in sales taxes mustyear for a home worth the median value of $341,600. be approved by the voters. For Garfield County, theGarfield County collects, on average, 0.37 percent of residents have adopted a one percent sales tax anda property’s assessed fair market value as property some areas of the county also have a transportation taxtax. Garfield County is ranked at the lower end of the which partially funds the Roaring Fork Transportationtop one third (1,052nd of the 3,143) of counties in Authority. This tax is set at one percent, and is in additionthe United States, in order of the median amount of to the local sales tax rates. Sales tax collection is anproperty taxes collected. The average yearly property important indicator of a municipality’s fiscal health, astax paid by Garfield County residents’ amounts to often upwards of 50 percent of a municipality’s annualabout 1.71 percent of their yearly incomes. Garfield budget. Local Sales Transportation County State Sales Total Sales Percentage of Tax Tax Sales Tax Tax Tax general fund budget (est.)CARBONDALE 3.5% 1% 1% 2.9% 8.4% 55%GLENWOOD SPRINGS 3.7% 1% 1% 2.9% 8.6% 43.6%NEW CASTLE 3.5% 1% 1% 2.9% 8.4% 32%SILT 3% - 1% 2.9% 6.9 30.2%RIFLE 3.5% - 1% 2.9% 7.4 65%PARACHUTE 3.75% - 1% 2.9% 7.65 49.5% 41

GARFIELD COUNTY Sales tax collection on a countywide basis have been recovering since the low in 2011, caused by the Great 18,000,000 Recession. The overall sales tax numbers for the years 15,000,000 between 2011 and 2014 are skewed (and are low) due 10,000,000 to state required refunds for over-collection of certain taxes by the state. Even with the county providing 5,000,000 annual refunds, sales tax revenues have largely recovered and exceed collections in 2005. Another tax the state collects is the gasoline excise tax. This tax is set at 22 cents per gallon as of January 1, 2014, which places it as the 33rd lowest gas tax in the country. 0 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014Figure 19: Countywide Sales Tax CollectionsCARBONDALEIf one is interested in starting a business or relocatinga business to Carbondale, the Carbondale Chamberof Commerce is an excellent resource. The chamberconducts visioning sessions with the BusinessDevelopment Committee to explore options,opportunities, and have access to business mentorsand resources.The economic outlook is good in Glenwood Springs. downtown improvement projects in the design phase.The 2013 – 2014 comparison shows unemploymentGLENWOOD SPRINGSis low and holding steady at 3.8 percent. Sales taxcollections continue to increase and were up overseven percent in 2014 over 2013. Of particular interestis the sales tax collection by area of the city, which There is a sales tax rebate program for retailers whoshows increases in most areas, and especially in west make building improvements. Glenwood Springs is aGlenwood Springs, where a number of automobile resort community – it is a city of 9,200, which entertainsdealerships are located. SIC code sales tax collections 2 million tourists per year. Accommodations tax wasalso note an increase in automotive sales, as well as up a healthy 15 percent in 2013 over 2014, and thedining. A number of new restaurants have opened city has exceeded pre-recession accommodation taxdowntown and the Downtown Development Authority collections (2008). 2015 is off to a very good start forhas helped build two parking structures, complete both sales and accommodations tax collections whichnew alley and street improvements, and has other are the prime economic indicators.42

SILT Silt has partnered with the Colorado Department of Transportation to do major improvements to theThe Town of Silt offers an opportunity for business state highways, in order to accommodate any andestablishments to locate in this diverse community. all commercial uses proposed. The Town of Silt hasThe town has many properties in the newly improved at its disposal two feasibility studies regarding retaildowntown core, adjacent to Interstate 70 or along development that may provide commercial developersState Highway 6 and 24, or in one of the many the demographic information that they would need tocommercial developments along the Colorado River open and conduct business in Silt.that have stunning views and a closeness to nature Not only does the town have a robust potential workforce, but the citizens’ community values greatly not often felt in front support the concept of living, shopping and working range communities. It locally. The Town of Silt is prepared to offer sales tax is not uncommon to see incentives or tax increment financing in order to entice bald eagles, Great Blue commercial growth within town limits. The Silt Urban Herons, deer, elk, foxes, Renewal Authority is poised to present infrastructure coyotes and hawks in the cost reductions to potential commercial developers. breathtaking landscape Commercial landowners have indicated that they will that is western be very competitive in offering their properties for sale Garfield County. Each or lease, and the town’s pro-business staff and Board entrance to the Town of Trustees will ensure that the development process of Silt has been planned goes as smoothly as it possibly can. commercially and the The town has completed $1.4 million worth of Main entire town offers great Street improvements, including a wide sidewalk, visibility for passing landscaping, street furniture and street lighting. These motorists. In fact, the improvements highlight the existing businesses in the town has between downtown core, and attract new businesses to invest in 5,000 square feet to this town, by reducing the initial costs of development. over 85 acres of usable In 2015, the Camp Colorado River Recreational Vehicle commercial ground in Park opened, with 67 spaces and a beautiful lodge on numerous commercial the edge of the Colorado River. The town will embark areas, with all the on a whitewater park feasibility study in the next few necessary utilities, and months to capitalize on the immense potential the river can be easily subdivided has to offer. The town is also extremely committed to and/or zoned to walkability, boasting over four miles of trails in all areas suit any business of town. needs. The Town of 43

NEW CASTLE New Castle (streetscaping, public art, outdoor dining) and a new has three pedestrian bridge and trails which provide access commercialzones: Historic Main Street, the I-70 interchange, andthe industrial zone south of the Colorado River. Thereare also mixed use zones in Castle Valley Ranch andLakota Canyon Ranch. There are construction sitesavailable in each of these zones.The town offers mountain living, with a wide range of to I-70 interchange businesses. The town staff andhousing options and year-round outdoor recreation councilors are ready to discuss opportunities withopportunities. The town is especially proud of its developers and entrepreneurs. A range of incentivestwelve popular restaurants. Sales tax receipts from are available for qualifying businesses.its restaurants increased nearly six percent in 2014.Lakota Canyon Ranch is home to an award-winninggolf course. Easy access to Interstate 70 and the RifleGarfield County Airport, as well as a diverse job force,make New Castle attractive to light industry and retailinvestors. The town has a record of proactive supportfor business, including downtown improvementsRIFLE Rifle’s unique character has been for developers and staff works closely with the Rifle shaped by a ranching and mining Regional Economic Development Corporation (RREDC) past. Rifle straddles the Colorado to collaborate with the business community. River, and lies at the foot of The City of Rifle has many private lots available forthe dramatic Roan Plateau; a geographic formation commercial and industrial development. The City ofcontaining some of the world’s largest deposits Rifle owns several downtown Opportunity Sites toof natural gas and oil shale. This unique regional partner with developers to bring retail, restaurant,economic center is building on its diverse place-based office, and housing near downtown amenities suchassets. Downtown Rifle offers typical western small as the seven-plex Brenden Theater. In addition, thetown atmosphere, with antique shops, dining, and City of Rifle has developed the “Energy Innovationhistoric museums. Residents appreciate that Rifle is Center” with approximately 35 acres of industrial padmuch more than quaint; it is a complete living and sites available for long-term lease with infrastructureworking town that offers a unique way of life. Rifle is already installed, and an additional 100 acres that thea regional economic center, and an ideal environment city intends to extend services to in the future. Theto draw ideas, intellectual capital, and investments to City of Rifle seeks to attract energy-related employersthe region. to the site, including businesses related to natural gas, oil, solar, or biofuels.Rifle proudly embraces stewardship of it’s part of the As a western River Town and a healthy Energy Village,river and watershed. As a gateway to Rifle’s historic Rifle, Colorado is primed for energy independence anddowntown, the Colorado River also adds greatly to the economic stability. Rifle is a unique western communityquality of life for those who call this place home. that is embracing the energy of its place – including tremendous opportunities to grow, add jobs, and The City of Rifle offers several forms of assistance declare energy independence with off-grid technology. and incentives to businesses and industries that This community aims to sustain not only its balanced meet the city’s economic development goals. The city local economy, but its historic downtown…its classic council may approve incentives such as fee waivers, mining and ranching history…its river, recreational infrastructure assistance, sales tax rebates, or other and tourism assets…and its idyllic quality of life. forms of financial assistance. City staff is dedicated to finding creative methods to make projects pencil out44

Today, Rifle is investing in alternative strategies toensure a long-term, balanced and diverse economythat can supply reliable energy, innovation, andemployment to the region and for a healthy cross-section of businesses. By actively committing to aforward-thinking strategy of renewable sources anddistributed energy, this community is becoming a Techand Energy Showcase.PARACHUTE/BATTLEMENT MESA The community serves as the gateway to the natural gas rich fields of the Piceance Basin. Oil shale abounds in the cliffs north of town where research and explorationFive thousand friendly folks call Parachute/Battlement on its production potential continues today. AfterMesa (the ‘Community’) their home. They live in enjoying the booms and surviving the busts, Parachutequiet, established neighborhoods, lively retirement has grown into a thriving community of quietcommunities and well-planned multi-family residential neighborhoods with supporting businessesdevelopments. With a combination of rich history, and services. The community has ample commercialmodern amenities, and room to grow, our area offers property available to support these businesses andthe best of Western Colorado. The Town of Parachute welcome any inquiries. The community consists ofand the adjoining unincorporated community of an abundance of professionally trained people. It isBattlement Mesa act as one, and are prime for business serviced by two railroads. Access to the railroads anddevelopment – featuring interstate and railway the Interstate make this community a prime place toaccessibility, a skilled workforce, ample available land, conduct business. Both Parachute and Battlementand a healthy pro-growth sentiment. Mesa have ample commercial property available to support new business opportunities. In a forthcomingThis community is one of the fastest-growing on comprehensive plan update, the town will identifyColorado’s Western Slope and has ample available sites annexation opportunities that will provide even moreready for residential and commercial developments, space to expand and do business.both big and small. There are several commercialcenters that offer storefront and office units. With The town is open for business and, it is (as the town’smultiple motels, an RV park, modular homes and motto states) – A Safe Place to Land. The communityapartments, the community also has room for its supports business growth and will work with youworkforce and, in regard to median home price is the to “make it happen.” Many economic developmentmost affordable area within Garfield County. incentives are available and can be tailored to individual needs. B AT T L E M E N T   M E S A 45000 41832 40000 35000 36420 32628 30000 25000 20000 15000 10000 5000 0 2012 2013 2014 45

Labor Force LABOR FORCEJobs AND EMPLOYMENTIncomeGarfield County has seen strong job growth and historically low unemployment rates over the last decade.However, with gas drilling reductions, in combination with the effects of a national economic recession andreduced area tourism and second home development, the county’s employment outlook began to changedrastically in 2008. There was a significant reduction in both jobs and the available labor force (approximately14 percent over a two year period) and the unemployment rate spiked, reaching a peak of 11.7 percent inMarch 2010. Since then, there has been a steady drop in unemployment, and as of May 2015, Garfield County’sunemployment rate was 4.9 percent, slightly above the state at 4.5 percent, but below the nation at 5.5 percent.Today, there is an estimated civilian labor force of 32,600 people in the county. (Source: 1235000 1030000 82500020000 6 Labor Force15000 Employment10000 4 Unemployment Rate 5000 200 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 1st quarterSFioguurrcee2: 0C:oLloarbaodro, EDmepplaorytmmeenntt aonf dLaUbnoermanpdloEymmpelnotyRmaetent (CDLE) WAGES AND INCOMEAt the end of 2014, the estimated average annual 50,000wage in Garfield County was $44,408, up from $43,628 40,000 40003 41890 39305in 2013, and remains consistent at 89 percent of 30,000the Colorado average, according to the CDLE www. 37127 37099 36019 Garfield County wage ranks as the10th highest in the state. Wage growth between 2012 33796and 2013 was 1.9 percent. (source: Steady growth in per capita personal incomes took 20,000 place until 2008, peaking at $41,890. In 2009, per capita personal income for Garfield County declined by 10,000 11.5 percent, followed by another drop of 3 percent in 2010. Moderate but steady growth as returned to per 0 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 capita income since 2011. FSioguurrcee2: 1U:.SG.aBrufireeldauCoofuEnctyonPoemr CicaApintaalPyseirssonal Income46

Figure 22: Median Household Income Colorado and During the period 2000-2010, median householdGarfield County income grew significantly. In 2000, county medianSource: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau household income was slightly below the statewide average. By 2010, every community in Garfield County, JOBS AND with the exception of Parachute and Glenwood Springs, reported median household income in excess of the statewide average. The median household income of Garfield County is $60,456 in 2010 (U.S. Census Bureau), higher than the state median of $54,411 and the national median of $50,046. Subsequently the median household income of Garfield County has dropped since then to $54,088 in 2012, but rose in 2013 and is estimated to have maintained its level in 2014. MAJOR EMPLOYERSFigure 23: Total Jobs in Garfield County from 2001-2013Source: Colorado Department of Local AffairsBetween 2003 and 2008, Garfield County employment categories, such as construction and transportation.experienced strong growth, increasing by 10,500 The local construction industry lost a significant sharejobs, or about five percent per year. Since the Great of county employment. The downturn in resort-relatedRecession, the county has been steadily adding jobs by real estate construction, beginning in about 2009, hadapproximately 1.5 percent per year. a major impact on Garfield County, which was home toDuring this same period of rapid economic expansion, a large share of contractors, fabricators and suppliersthere was a significant shift in employment patterns. that support the second home industry in both EagleThe largest increase in employment share by category and Pitkin Counties. Since 2010, Garfield County hasoccurred in the mining and natural resources industry, seen a rise again in the construction industry. Atwhich includes oil and gas production activities. It the end of 2014, the construction industry and retailshould also be noted that many natural resource trade were the second and third leading employersextraction-related jobs occur in other employment respectively. 47

During this same period of rapid economic expansion, of county employment. The downturn in resort-relatedthere was a significant shift in employment patterns. real estate construction, beginning in about 2009, had aThe largest increase in employment share by category major impact on Garfield County, which was home to aoccurred in the mining and natural resources industry, large share of contractors, fabricators and suppliers thatwhich includes oil and gas production activities. It support the second home industry in both Eagle andshould also be noted that many natural resource Pitkin Counties. Since 2010, Garfield County has seen aextraction-related jobs occur in other employment rise again in the construction industry. At the end ofcategories, such as construction and transportation. 2014, the construction industry and retail trade wereThe local construction industry lost a significant share the second and third leading employers respectively. Employer Rank Type of Business Number of Percentage Employees of Total Valley View Hospital 3.37% Roaring Fork School District RE-1 1 Healthcare 984 2.95% Garfield County School District RE-2 2.26% Alpine Bank 2 Schools 862 1.96% Colorado Mountain College 1.81% Garfield County 3 Schools 660 1.67% Grand River Hospital & Medical Center 1.46% Wal-Mart 4 Bank 573 1.31% City Market 1.24% City of Glenwood Springs 5 College 527 1.07% Total employed by principal employers 6 Government 486 Employed by other employers 7 Medical 426 8 Retail 381 9 Retail 363 10 Government 313 4,591 15.74% 28,209 84.26% Total employed in Garfield County 32,800 100%Figure 24: Top 10 Employers by Industry Type (NAICS) 2013Source: Colorado Department of Local AffairsOIL AND NATURAL GAS INDUSTRY Natural resource development, specifically natural gas oil prices. As the price of natural gas has declined, the and prospectively oil shale, has had the most dramatic value of NGL products have become a more important economic influence on Garfield County over the last element of the overall economics of well drilling and decade. Garfield County is the leading producer of production. The price of NGLs mirrors the price of crude natural gas in the state, with over 10,000 producing oil which, although experiences price fluctuations, wells. As of 2008, nearly one-third of all mining currently remains at high levels, and boosting the value industry employment for the state of Colorado was of gas production within Garfield County. located in Garfield and the neighboring Mesa and Rio Garfield County has evolved from a new exploratory Blanco counties. Between 2004 and 2005, Garfield play to a large gas producing county. Since 2012, gas County experienced a rapid increase in its share of prices have been declining, which has had a direct statewide mining employees, which then leveled off impact on the total natural gas and oil production in and modestly declined between 2006 and 2009. The the county. Garfield County, however, continues to industry slowed dramatically in 2009 as gas prices dominate regional gas production. fell and operators began pulling drilling rigs to pursue In 2014 Garfield County produced 1.57 million barrels emerging gas field prospects elsewhere in the U.S. of oil and 512 billion cubic feet of natural gas. Garfield The natural gas boom, which spurred Garfield County’s County’s energy production represents a significant economy in the 2000s, was driven in part by a rapid share of the statewide totals. Garfield County has the escalation in gas prices. However, prices continue to be low second greatest number of active wells in the state, and as of December 2014 were at $3.48 per Million Btu. behind Weld County. Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs), which are often a byproduct Prospects for future growth in northwest Colorado of gas well production, are used to produce lower gas drilling have been bolstered by the completion of grade liquid fuels and NGL values typically follow crude48

the $6.7 billion Rockies Express pipeline, which has As of January 5, 2015, there are 10 active drilling rigsalleviated some well to market shipping constraints that in Garfield County, all of which are natural gas rigs. Thehad previously restricted local natural gas distributions. number in Garfield County has fluctuated modestlyAlthough the growth in production has been notable, since July 2012.the decline in drilling activity, as shown below, hasbecome even more pronounced with declining drill In addition to the local economy, the natural resourcesrig numbers. In 2014, 25 percent of Colorado’s drilling industry also has a significant impact on Garfieldpermits were for projects located in Garfield County. County taxes and revenues. In 2014, 72.9 percent ofEighty-seven percent of Colorado’s 53,026 wells are total property tax assessed values were accounted forlocated in six counties (Source: COGCC). by the oil and gas industry. After a substantial drop in value between 2010 and 2011, assessed values increased in 2011 and 2012, and then dropped again in 2013. InCompany Assessed Value 2014, a modest increase occurred inEncana Oil & Gas (USA) Inc. 672,208,310 assessed valuations.WPX Energy Rocky Mountain, LLC 531,412,460Bill Barrrett Corporation 198,531,480 The county’s 2014 top taxpayers areOXY USA WTP LP 111,286,790 in the oil and gas industry.URSA Resources Group ll LLC 68,087,880Enterprise Gas Processing LLC 57,877,320Bargarth, Inc. 40,279,870Chevron North America Explo & Prod CO 32,338,470Public Service Company of Colorado (XCEL) 30,747,200Noble Energy 30,477,640Hunter Ridge Energy Services, LLC 29,716,400 49

10 21 21 9 8 18 18 18 7 6 16 5 4 14 14 13 3 2 12 12 12 12 1 11 11 11 0 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 99 9 99 SFPiorgiucurerc:eeD2:o5Ul:l.aSAr.nsEnpnueearrlgMAyviIlnelirfooangrmeBtaHuteionnryAHdumbinNisattruartaiol nGas Spot 88 77 7750 5 JAN FEB MAR APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUG SEPT OCT NOV DEC 2012 2013 2014 2015 FSioguurrcee2: 6C:oDlorrialldRoigOCiloaunndt bGyasMCoonntshearvnadtiYoenaCr ommission (COGCC)

Like this book? You can publish your book online for free in a few minutes!
Create your own flipbook