the NWCCOG Region
History of the Region's Economy
Region 12’s economy has transformed over time from a combination of mining and agriculture in its early history (1800’s) to a combination of destination tourism, construction and second homes today. While tourism will continue to be a primary economic driver, some speculate that the next shift in the economy will be towards the knowledge and creative economy with many jobs and activities related to technology, research, design, and entrepreneurialism.
The quality of life, the mix of local businesses, a skilled work force, a beautiful natural setting, and the international name recognition provided by world-class ski resorts are invaluable underpinnings unique to the region’s economy. The region’s counties and towns should agree to support the expansion and growth of existing enterprises, all the while remaining vigilant to the fact that new economic drivers could be on the horizon. A stable, well educated workforce is critical to a knowledge/information economy, and the region should promote the creation of advanced learning and skill development programs and institutions. Safe neighborhoods and affordable, high-quality childcare, transportation, and housing are all considered necessary infrastructure to positive economic development, and should therefore be available in all communities. Finally, the environment is an extremely vital part of the region’s economy, and as such all economic development should be done in a manner that protects the integrity of the region’s natural resources and scenic beauty.