Montrose, Colorado, population 19,000, located in the western part of the state, is about to become a case study in work/life balance theory. Colorado Outdoors, a planned development designed specifically to attract outdoor industry businesses is set to host a welcoming/coming out party in December. And unlike any other outdoor business campuses, this one includes hundreds of housing units too, a small, pre-fab town for outdoor enthusiasts.
It also boasts a lake and nearly 1.5 miles of riverfront access along the banks of the Uncompahgre. Residents could fly fish in the mornings or after work, timing fish rises, maybe SUP to their office, or hit nearby mountain bike trails at lunch. It’s like Disneyland’s Main Street USA, but for adventure sports lovers.
The whole community is planned to be 164 acres, with enough room for 30 product manufacturers, plenty of office space, retail shops, apartments, townhomes, and single family homes. It’s estimated that the community will support 1,900 jobs paying somewhere near $80 million in salaries, with a total economic output of $300 million.
Mayfly Outdoors, a fly fishing gear manufacturer and the anchor tenant for the community, is moving to Montrose from Colorado Springs, and it expects to have plenty of neighbors—the company will soon announce six brands that will be joining it this year alone. State of Colorado authorities have approved big tax incentives for the community in an effort to lure other outdoor business to Montrose, with the goal of revitalizing the rural area surrounding Colorado Outdoors.
Beside the outdoor industry jobs that will lure newcomers to Montrose is the cheap cost of living, far lower than most existing outdoor hubs. Denver, for example, is 30 percent more expensive than Montrose, though it’s still attracting companies like VF Corp., which recently announced its relocation from California to Colorado, along with its North Face and other brands, as well as other outdoor heavies.