Colorado Blueprint

A Bottom-Up Approach to Economic Development

Blueprint 2.0  is a series of technical assistance initiatives offered by the Colorado Office of Economic Development to enhance rural economic development strategies across the state. The program leverages state partnerships and specialized resources to address the unique economic development goals of rural Colorado. This bottom-up effort turns regional feedback on local economic needs into a catalyst for economic growth. Learn more.

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CRAFT Studio 201
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Coworking 101
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Grow Your Outdoor Recreation Industry
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Certified Small Business Community
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Brand Building for Communities
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Film and Major Production Initiative
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Creativity Lab of Colorado
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Launch a Sector Partnership
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Community Placemaking
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From corner to corner, each area of our state offers a unique set of qualities, putting Colorado on the map for business and lifestyle.

Where Access Meets Advantage

We sit just west of the center of the country, or for geography buffs, right on top of the Continental Divide, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely made up of mountains. Our central location makes an ideal home base to cater to markets across North America and beyond. Now that you know how to find us, welcome to colorful Colorado

Where Access Meets Advantage

We sit just west of the center of the country, or for geography buffs, right on top of the Continental Divide, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely made up of mountains. Our central location makes an ideal home base to cater to markets across North America and beyond. Now that you know how to find us, welcome to colorful Colorado.

Where Access Meets Advantage

We sit just west of the center of the country, or for geography buffs, right on top of the Continental Divide, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely made up of mountains. Our central location makes an ideal home base to cater to markets across North America and beyond. Now that you know how to find us, welcome to colorful Colorado!

Where Access Meets Advantage

We want to introduce you to one of the most centrally located areas of the United States. In fact, we’re situated exactly midway between Canada and Mexico on the vertical access and Tokyo and Frankfurt horizontally, allowing you to cater to international markets worldwide. Now that you know how to find us, welcome to colorful Colorado!


Explore our 14 Regions

The state of Colorado is a state positioned for access and opportunities. Discover our regions unique benefits for global companies.

Region 1: Golden Plains Region
Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington and Yuma

Home to both the Oregon Trail and some of the world’s largest manufacturers of mozzarella and meat, the Northeast Golden Plains region upholds a strong economic climate with homestead roots. As a leader in food production, agriculture and manufacturing, the area is committed to creating opportunities for business and families, while maintaining its tradition of stewardship through rural regionalism.

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Region 2: Northern Colorado Region
Larimer and Weld

Situated against the Rocky Mountains to the West and Wyoming to the North, Northern Colorado and its counties of Weld and Larimer are known for a culture of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit among a set of diverse industries. Consistently ranked nationally as one of the best places to live, work and pursue lifelong learning, this region is a thriving hub of both commerce and culture.

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Region 3: Denver Region
Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Broomfield, Clear Creek, Denver, Douglas, Gilpin, and Jefferson

Consisting of nine booming counties, the Denver region is globally recognized for its culture of innovation, arts and outdoor recreation. It has access to one of the best airports in the country, a major transit infrastructure, highly rated education system and numerous federal laboratories across a variety of leading industries. A spirit of collaboration and enterprise has helped this region become the fastest growing, and most sought after, areas in the country.

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Region 4: Pikes Peak Region
El Paso, Park and Teller

Backed by a successful track record of business success stories, the Pikes Peak region continues to march ahead in areas of defense, health and financial services. Within the region’s thriving and diverse communities, businesses have access to substantial infrastructure, outstanding educational facilities, year-round outdoor activities, and a productive and happy workforce, which all play into a company’s bottom line.

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Region 5: Central Plains Region
Lincoln, Elbert, Kit Carson and Cheyenne

While the Central Plains region encompasses a “small town feel,” the area is a perfect fit for businesses looking for easy access to both urban and local markets. Access to major railways and airports, quality education systems, and abundant resources for energy and agriculture production provides businesses and residents the ideal atmosphere for establishing roots.

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Region 6: Southeast Colorado Region
Baca, Bent, Crowley, Kiowa, Otero, and Prowers

The six-county Southeast Colorado region, is an agriculture powerhouse, producing a high volume of exports—from livestock, to vegetables and sunflowers. In addition, the region’s resources in energy, including world-class wind and solar development, waste energy and oil and gas activities, put the region at the forefront of innovative and engaging practices. The region also includes a growing manufacturing sector and a technology sector that is seeing gigabyte fiber being installed in many of the communities.

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Region 7: Pueblo Region

Though small in geographic size, the resilient Pueblo region located in Southern Colorado is flourishing in business opportunity and growth, specifically in areas of aerospace and rail manufacturing, healthcare and logistics. As the region’s population and downtown development continue to rise, businesses value the competitive advantages that attracted them to the area, such as the skilled workforce, customized workforce training programs, low cost of doing business, and abundant water capacity.

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Region 8: San Luis Valley Region
Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande and Saguache

Surrounded by the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains on the east and the great San Juan Mountains in the west, the San Luis Valley is an agricultural powerhouse. The Valley is blessed with breathtaking natural beauty and unique cultural diversity. Often called the “Land of Cool Sunshine”, the region is at the center of solar energy development.

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Region 9: Southwest Region
Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan

Built on traditional “western” commodities and heritage, the Southwest region has quickly shaped into an outdoor haven where tourism, cultural resources and recreation thrive. The region includes four National Monuments, Mesa Verde National Park, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, and the only two Indian Tribes in Colorado. Its entrepreneurial spirit is demonstrated by the high number of locally grown businesses with both a national and international presence including StoneAge Water Blast Tools, Mercury Payment Systems (Vantiv), Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Tuffy Security Products and Osprey Packs.

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Region 10: Central Western Slope Region
Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray and San Miguel

Celebrated for its spirit of community support and innovative collaboration, the Central Western Slope region is a geographically diverse area with unparalleled access to equally diverse outdoor recreational activities. Businesses and individuals alike appreciate the accessibility to affordable housing, verdant agricultural land, space to build state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and boasting abundant water sources, higher education and training opportunities, a strong workforce, a nationally ranked hospital, and global travel connectivity.

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Region 11: Northwest Colorado Region
Garfield, Mesa, Moffat, Rio Blanco and Routt

Nestled at the top of the Western Slope, the Northwest Colorado region comprises a wealth of natural resources that provide an abundance of economic opportunities. Surrounded by the wild beauty of the region and a timeless community spirit, Northwest Colorado is an enduring example of innovation through collaboration.

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Region 12: Rocky Mountain Resort Region
Eagle, Grand, Jackson, Pitkin and Summit

The Rocky Mountain Resort region is internationally known for providing a classic Colorado lifestyle with year-round resorts and unique high-alpine environment to guests from around the world and to locals alike. The area’s natural beauty and recreational opportunities provide the backdrop for a diverse economy grounded in collaboration and sustainability.

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Region 13: Upper Arkansas Region
Lake, Chaffee, Fremont, and Custer

An outdoor paradise in Central Colorado, the Upper Arkansas region is home to a thriving economy centered on vast opportunities in tourism and outdoor recreation. Known for a superior quality of life and friendly attitude towards businesses, this region embodies the authentic west as a destination area to live, work and play among the state’s finest natural setting.

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Region 14: Raton Basin Region
Huerfano, Las Animas, and Colfax

Located at the southernmost border of the state, the rural communities that make up the hearty Raton Basis region are committed to strengthening the region’s workforce and creating economic opportunities together. Bolstered by animal and crop production, as well as tourism from the area’s outdoor recreation culture, this region is a model of economic prosperity.

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History of Colorado Blueprint

The Colorado Blueprint is the statewide strategy to spur Colorado’s economy, help businesses grow and attract new jobs to the state. Our priority is the creation and retention of jobs and the expansion of companies throughout Colorado. This strategy was developed through a bottom-up process, where we met with thousands of people throughout the state, and focuses on growth in our key industries across all regions.

The Blueprint has given Colorado a framework to build a comprehensive economic development plan that aligns existing efforts and identifies opportunities for growth and focused investments. We welcome your input and guidance as we continue working to enhance the stability, growth and global competitiveness of the Colorado economy.

Core Objectives

The Colorado Blueprint identifies six core objectives, based on input from the bottom-up process:

  1. Build a Business-Friendly Environment
  2. Retain, Grow & Recruit Companies
  3. Increase Access to Capital
  4. Create & Market a Stronger Colorado Brand
  5. Educate & Train the Workforce of the Future
  6. Cultivate Innovation & Technology

These objectives serve as a framework for discussion across state agencies, regional partnerships and key industry stakeholders.

Recipients of the 2018 Colorado Blueprint 2.0


  • Brand Building for Communities: Town of Hayden, Town of Basalt, Rio Blanco County
  • Certified Small Business Community: Logan County/Town of Sterling, Chaffee County, San Juan County, and The West End of Montrose County
  • Community Placemaking: Town of Meeker, Town of Woodland Park
  • Co-working 101: Town of Basalt, Town of Olathe
  • Colorado Rural Academy For Tourism Studio 201: Town of Greeley, Town of Delta
  • Creativity Lab of Colorado: Town of Sterling, Town of La Junta
  • Grow Your Outdoor Recreation Industry: Clear Creek County, Town of Fairplay, Town of Rangley, Town of Pagosa Springs
  • Colorado Office of Film, Television, and Media (COFTM) Film Festival Initiative: Town of Steamboat Springs, Town of Salida
  • Launch a Sector Partnership (Collaboration with the Colorado Workforce Development Council): Moffat County


Colorado Blueprint