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Posted on: October 22, 2019

City Earns Opportunity Zone Marketing Grant

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Montrose, CO — The City of Montrose has been selected to receive $10,000 from the Colorado Department of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) to market the “Montrose, CO Opportunity Zone Prospectus: Invitation to Invest” and associated video highlighting the city and county’s three designated Opportunity Zone Census tracts on the east side of Montrose County.


The census tracts identified as 966202, 966503, 966300 encompass a large portion of the City of Montrose expanding north and east to the Montrose County boundaries with Delta and Gunnison counties. 


The city will utilize the grant to deploy a marketing strategy created by Slate Communications, a Fort Collins company, which focuses on community engagement marketing for local governments. The robust strategy combines owned media, paid media, earned media opportunities, and leverages existing partnerships. Specifically, the grant will fund social media advertising, ad-buys in targeted investor magazines, and advertising in airports such as Seattle-Tacoma, Mineta San Jose, and Denver international airports. 


The marketing strategy, along with the video was funded by a $14,500 grant from  Colorado Main Street, which is a division of the Colorado Department of Local Affairs. 


The opportunity zone prospectus outlines the community’s priorities and was created through a community visioning process in which feedback was gathered from various professions and industries and includes demographic data on the community and population, a profile of strategic advantages, and an outline of important projects in Montrose accepting opportunity zone investments. 


The video and prospectus speak to the collective value of the opportunity zones located in the heart of Southwest Colorado. Montrose is a central hub for outdoor recreation and thus for the outdoor recreation economy. The video notes the $2 billion annual outdoor recreation economy on the Western Slope, more than 241 regional outdoor businesses, Montrose’s vibrant airport with direct flights to both coasts, and the city’s $10 million investment in developing a fiber-optic network to become a Gigabit City. 


Combined with unlimited recreational opportunities and 300-plus days of sunshine, Montrose is primed for development. Current investors, business owners, as well as county and city staff/officials are featured in the video. 


"This momentum is building, and you have all the right people on the government side you have all the right people on the private side," said David Fishering, co-owner of Storm King Distillery. "I think we are going to be the hot spot on the Western Slope here in the next 10 years."


The city applied for the marketing OEDIT grant in September.


The city in partnership with Montrose County previously received a $25,000 grant through the Colorado Department of Colorado Local Affairs to create the prospectus. The grant was matched with $25,000 in funds split between the two governments.  


Due to the city and county’s previous investment in developing the prospectus, a match waiver was granted for the OEDIT marketing grant. 


The Opportunity Zone program was created as part of the 2017 federal tax reform package also known as the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act," to encourage capital investment in low-growth and economically distressed communities across the country. 


In exchange for investing in low-income urban and rural communities, investors have the potential to defer, reduce, or eliminate capital gains taxes. Potential eligible investments include, but are not limited to: funding the development of affordable and workforce housing, new infrastructure, and investing in start-up businesses. 


Opportunity zones were nominated to the U.S. Treasury by the governors of each state in 2018 and are required to be low-income community census tracts. 


Currently, there are 126 census tracts in Colorado designated as opportunity zones. 


Montrose County has a total of four opportunity zones with the fourth, identified as 966100, encompassing the entire West End of the county.


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