|Program||# of Grants||EDA Funds|
|Economic Adjustment Assistance||3||$722,643|
During September 2013, a flood destroyed infrastructure and disrupted transportation, forcing business closures and worker layoffs in the area around Estes Park. In a region still recovering from the economic effects of wildfires the previous year, residents of the popular resort town found themselves cut off from main access roads. Instead of its annual surge of shoppers and visitors, Estes Parks was once again surrounded by emergency crews. National media coverage of the flood damage further amplified the area’s economic distress, resulting in cancellations of future guest reservations during the peak fall tourism season.
These back-to-back natural disasters highlighted the region’s heightened economic vulnerability: Estes Park was too dependent on tourism-related investment and discretionary tourist visits to the region’s major attractions. The community clearly needed economic diversification and resiliency.
In August 2014, EDA announced a $300,000 grant to the town of Estes Park to conduct a regional economic diversification and industry cluster job retention and recovery strategy in the wake of the Federally-declared flood disaster. One key component of this grant will be developing a specific plan to make use of Estes Park’s existing fiber optic ring to deliver improved broadband services to the town and region. The strategy is expected to establish a collaborative action plan in response to the economic damage from these events by providing critical economic recovery services to the Estes Valley to boost business development and job growth in the Northern Colorado region.