Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here's more information about the Summit Prosperity Initiative


What is the Summit Prosperity Initiative?

For over a year, a broad-based effort branded the Summit Prosperity Initiative (SPI) has brought local constituencies together in data-informed discussions over the county’s future.

SPI has focused on five Prosperity Elements to build a sustainable, prosperous
community providing for economic opportunity while protecting Summit County's community values:

  • Supporting more workforce housing
  • Focusing on sustainable tourism
  • Addressing gaps and needs for Infrastructure
  • Supporting health & human services needs
  • At the center has been: economic resiliency and economic prosperity

Born out of the mounting pressures to sustain a viable workforce in the central Rocky Mountains of Colorado, SPI collected local workforce data, studied several
demographic and economic assessments, and worked with local leaders to identify
significant local challenges and threats to Summit County’s local economy.

The goals of SPI include:
• Improve overall livability for the residents of Summit County.
• Develop a long term framework to support county-wide and regional
collaboration to create stronger communities and more resilient economies for
the future.
• Engage local businesses, non-profits, governments and residents to support
economic prosperity at the local and regional levels.
• Identify and support community projects that have local and regional economic
significance


Why is the Summit Prosperity Initiative needed?

The (SPI) task force believes that improving the quality of life in Summit County is our number one goal. And, we can achieve that by a focus on economic prosperity.

Tourism accounts for 70 percent of Summit County's economy. This outsized role in the local economy impacts every facet of Summit County life, from wages and income to housing, land use, mobility, workforce
capacity, politics, infrastructure, social services, health and wellness, environmental protection and stewardship, race relations, education and training, and so many others.

Summit County’s tourism sector has
fueled a sustained expansion of the
economy as a whole during the past 10 years and created thousands of local jobs, overall, however these are generally low-paying, low-skill jobs.

An economy like Summit County’s that is dominated by a single, lower-paying sector has resulted in a crisis with a "missing middle" class who can't afford housing, childcare, healthcare and the high cost of living, which causes many in their late 20s to 30s to leave the community in search of better opportunities.

The SPI has identified the need to diversify the local economy away from low-wage tourism jobs by creating new opportunities to “ladder” employees to higher-paying positions in future-focused industries that can leverage the county’s current economic
base.

This will require creative approaches. That is where the SPI will focus.


How Can I get involved?

Invest your time: To help shape the strategy and implement the tactics

Invest your funds: We're looking for funding to help with the planning efforts and the launch of programs and initiatives.

Contact us: judi@summitchamber.org