Long known nationally and internationally as an outdoors paradise and one of the best places to live in the Rocky Mountains, Durango Colorado and La Plata County also have a sustainable economy supported by business development in key industries in the region. Key sectors that comprise a large share of La Plata County’s exported goods and services include natural resources, food & beverage manufacturing, lifestyle firms, and technology and homebased (or remote) businesses.
Learn more about who our key industries are and why they thrive here. Some of the reasons for their success may even be reasons for your success here too! Contact us today to find out more.
Recently, La Plata County has seen growth in national and international resource firms. These companies find that the strong industry presence, growing regional airport, local managerial and administrative talent, well-qualified engineers and business students from Fort Lewis College, and fantastic lifestyle makes this an unbeatable small town location for headquarter and specialized operations.
Key Natural Resource Businesses in La Plata County:
Aka Energy– exploration
Allied Pipeline– pipeline refurbishment
British Petroleum– natural gas extraction
Crossfire Seeding– land restoration
GCC Energy– coal production
Geocosm- reservoir quality risk management
Kinder Morgan CO2- pipeline and CO2 production
Red Cedar– extraction
Red Willow– delivery
Saddlebutte- exploration and investment
Samson Resources- field production
Southern Ute Growth Fund– gas and oil exploration and extraction, and alternative energy investment
United Pipeline- pipeline refurbishment
Zircon Containers– field operations
In addition to friendly local markets, tourism demand regionally and nationally, a skilled sales workforce, and sophisticated distribution networks help local firms easily grow their sales beyond La Plata County. This region has deep expertise and a collaborative environment that new businesses can draw upon to grow and thrive.
Our Food & Beverage companies were recently featured in Small Business Digest. Read more about them here!
Key Food & Beverage Producers:
Animas Chocolate Company – Chocolate
Chip Peddlar- Potato Chips
Desert Sun– Coffee
Honeyville- Honey, jams, sauces
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory- Chocolate
Solay Superfood- Organic health foods
Ska Brewery– Beer
Tailwind Nutrition- Endurance sport drinks
Zukes Pet Treats– Pet Food
Numerous farms and ranches are now offering local products and diversification opportunities for young agriculturally-minded families, including beef, sheep, dairy, wineries, and even hops growing to support local breweries. Examples include James Ranch and Foxfire Farms.
Lifestyle & Culture businesses find it easy to attract employees because people who work for them want to live in a place where they can easily get outdoors after work or on the weekends. La Plata County’s advanced internet and wireless capabilities enable these companies to manage staff and operation centers anywhere, while Durango’s national recognition as an outdoors and railroaders’ paradise make it easy for these companies to leverage our regional reputation to their advantage.
Key Lifestyle & Culture Businesses:
Boure- bicycle clothing
Chinook Medical Gear– customized emergency medical kits
Ecosphere Environmental Services– environmental services and analysis
Freenotes Harmony Park– outdoor musical instruments
King Cage- water bottles for bicycles
Open Sky Wilderness Therapy- outdoor therapy programs for youth
Purgatory Resort– winter skiing, summer activities and lodging
San Juan Car Company- narrow gauge model railroads
SoundTraxx and Blackstone– model railroad sound systems and model trains
Verde PR- marketing for outdoor companies
Wishon Golf Technology- customized golf clubs
Other Lifestyle & Culture Businesses Regionally:
Alpaca Rafts (Mancos)- raft manufacturers
Parelli Natural Horsemanship (Pagosa)- horse training
Osprey Packs (Cortez)- backpacks for hiking
Venture Snowboards (Silverton)- skis and snowboards
Voormi (Pagosa)- outdoor clothing
Pioneering foresight in developing a state-of-the-art internet, a vibrant business support system, flexible office space like DurangoSpace, and a strong and growing regional airport have provided the intellectual and physical infrastructure for homebased workers and technology firms to thrive here.
The region has also long attracted experienced executives who want to continue to invest and grow new firms. This has led to an innovative culture that nourishes and supports start-up businesses through mentoring, networking in organizations like the Durango Tech Group, a wealth of skilled employees thanks to Fort Lewis College, and debt and equity financing for start-up and growing tech businesses. As a result, computer occupations were the fastest growing occupations in La Plata County in the last decade. Homebased remote workers and technology companies alike thrive in La Plata County!
Key Technology Companies:
Airborne Media- i-phone apps and audio systems in public spaces
Datawest- utility billing software
E7 Systems- start-up consultants for technology firms
E-Work- employee and leadership training
Evergreen Education– K-12 online education
GeoCommand- integrated first responder software
Gitprime- software for managing distributed workforce
Idea-Loop– global digital media and marketing
Mercury– point of sale processing systems
Pensmore- billing software for Quickbooks