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Entries in Town of Limon (2)


Getting more out of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Corridor

May 2, 2017

One of the exciting things about traveling the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Corridor is seeing the economic development benefits of the increased number of travelers along the corridor.  Over the past couple of years, small towns have seen new hotels and truck stops… Dumas, TX; Stratford, TX; Boise City, OK; Eads, CO and Brush, CO have all seen this type of growth and there are others.

The question that is often asked is, what can we do to get even more economic benefit?  Our member, the Town of Limon, found one way to create a community vision designed to increase the economic benefit of its highway corridor as well as its quality of life.  Limon, a town with a population of under 2,000, rests at a highway hub where five major highways come together including the Ports-to-Plains Corridor and Interstate 70.  This small town, once bypassed by Interstate 70, has seen significant economic growth over the years including numerous truck stops, hotels, restaurants and convenience stores. Yet, the town continues to evaluate its potential and found that many of the travelers had no idea of the destinations available off the town’s highway interchanges. Despite reaching about 80,000 lodging nights a year, most visitors never explored the rest of the town to find out what was there.  Few recognized the cultural experience of the Limon Heritage Museum, the recreation opportunities offered by the Tamarack Golf Course, swimming pool, and fishing pond or the entertainment options of a historical movie theatre, bowling alley and local restaurants.

When Limon updated its Comprehensive Plan in 2014-15, it focused on economic development. The local citizens recognized the value of the transportation system including the Ports-to-Plains Corridor, but also recognized that they could still do better.  As a result multiple goals in the Comp Plan addressed the need to explore ways to provide the visitors a better understanding of what this small town had to offer, in the short and long term, and ways to encourage those travelers to #ExploreLimon. CLICK HERE to view or download the Comprehensive Plan.

These goals led the Town to apply on a national basis to host a Citizens’ Institute on Rural Designä (CIRD).  The CIRD program is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, USDA-Rural Development, Project for Public Spaces and Orton Family Foundation.  Limon was one of seven (7) communities across the nation to be selected from the 52 applications.  Following eight months of preparation, the CIRD workshop was held over a three-day period, February 27-March 1, 2017.  The Workshop included presentations focusing on wayfaring/signage and development of bicycle/pedestrian trails, but the majority of time was spent with community members creating visions for these two topics. The community was joined by National and State Resource Teams which brought significant expertise and energy to the small community. 

To see the final report, please CLICK HERE.  There are some great ideas included in the report for small community implementation.

For more information on CIRD, CLICK HERE.

As a result of the CIRD Workshop, the State Resource Team opened an even larger door to explore and implement not only the visions for wayfaring/signage and bicycle/pedestrian paths but many of the other projects included in the Comprehensive Plan.  The State Resource team has offered to host another project funders meeting to hear Limon’s “Grand Plan” and make commitment for funding a variety of long term community projects.  The transportation system continues to be a huge catalyst for accomplishing any of the goals and objectives defined during the planning process.  Without that transportation system, it is hard to picture Limon’s economy and quality of life.  That is one reason for Limon’s commitment to the Ports-to-Plains Alliance. 

Limon’s economic plans are not limited to increasing and improving the visitors’ numbers and experience.  You will see in the Comp Plan that the community is also supporting of efforts to recruit primary jobs.  During the same period Limon was granted the authority to operate a Foreign Trade Zone and continues to look to provide a base for manufacturing, assembly and distribution.

Rural communities need to find ways to create the vision of their community for the future.  Hanging on to the status quo is not vision.  If you have questions, please contact Joe Kiely, who serves Ports-to-Plains Alliance as its Vice President of Operations (719-740-2240 – joe.kiely@portstoplains.com)


Limon Foreign Trade Zone Approved by U.S. Department of Commerce

On June 11, 2015 the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, approved the application for the Town of Limon, Colorado - Foreign-Trade Zone under Alternative Site Framework as Foreign Trade Zone No. 293.  This approved Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ), submitted by the Town of Limon and Lincoln County, includes a Service Area including all of the counties of Adams and Arapahoe and major portions of the counties of Lincoln, Elbert and Morgan.  This will be the first primarily rural zone in the state of Colorado.  The Limon FTZ will also be able to serve sub-zones outside the service area in the state of Colorado and looks to serve all of eastern Colorado.

“I am excited about the potential for economic growth this opportunity will provide to Limon and Lincoln County,” said Julie Coonts, Mayor of the Town of Limon.  “Having received the FTZ designation we are moving forward with great enthusiasm to bring worldwide trade to our rural community.”

The application received strong support from the Colorado Office of Economic Development, Governor John Hickenlooper, Senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner as well as eastern Colorado counties and local economic development organizations.

“The creation of a Foreign Trade Zone for Limon and Lincoln County will attract new investment and create new jobs,” said Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet. “In addition to boosting the local economy, the zone will provide opportunities for growth for the rest of the eastern plains as well.  We are happy that we were able to work with the Department of Commerce and support the town of Limon’s efforts to achieve this designation and look forward to seeing future successes.”

“Trade creates jobs and grows economies,” said U. S. Senator Cory Gardner. “As a longtime advocate for rural Colorado, I’m glad to that the Limon Foreign Trade Zone has been approved, and I look forward to the many economic benefits that it will bring to Limon and Lincoln County as well as Adams, Arapahoe and Morgan counties.”

“Congratulations and job well done, Limon,” said U.S. Representative Ken Buck. “Earning Foreign Trade Zone status for the Hub City and surrounding area is an accomplishment of which you should be proud.”

“I am pleased that Arapahoe and Adams counties will be included. It will increase opportunities to grow their economies and attract jobs for the region,” said U.S. Representative Mike Coffman.

“The Limon Foreign Trade Zone is a great additional economic development tool for the eastern plains," said Governor John Hickenlooper. "This new designation further strengthens the region and helps attract new businesses to the area, as well as grow existing businesses and create jobs in eastern Colorado.”

The Town of Limon FTZ provides an additional tool for these primarily rural areas to attract global businesses to their communities.

“It’s exciting to think about the impact that this designation will have for this region of Colorado,” said Adams County Commissioner Charles “Chaz” Tedesco. “With access to every Interstate, rail lines and two airports, Adams County has a lot to offer businesses that will benefit from this designation.”

"Lincoln County Economic Development Corporation couldn't be happier to see the official approval for the Town of Limon Foreign Trade Zone!” said Troy McCue, Executive Director.  “This important step represents the beginning of great progress and development as our region becomes eligible to host import partners making their products readily available to the U.S. and global markets while creating jobs in our rural communities. We look forward to the countless economic benefits to be realized in the region!"

“This foreign trade zone designation is about increasing the competitiveness of Colorado companies in the global marketplace.  We will continue to give our businesses every advantage to succeed,” said Ron von Lembke, Chair, Adams County Economic Development.

"This FTZ designation adds another tool to our ‘economic development tool box’ in Morgan County! It is a step in the right direction in helping us be more competitive in attracting and retaining business. Thank you to the Town of Limon and Lincoln County for taking the lead on this initiative, it is a true win for Colorado when counties join forces to make things happen!" Kari Linker-Nation, Executive Director, Morgan County Economic Development Corporation.

Download Complete News Release and Background Materials