Economic indicators pointing in the right direction

Chris Romer | Mon., March 4, 2013

Eagle County, by most metrics, is seeing positive economic signs as we reach the end of the first quarter of 2013. We’re certainly benefiting from increased snowfall this season compared to last and we can only hope that this translates into increased snowpack and run-off this spring. But we can only hope that Mother Nature cooperates in regards to the weather; we have solid metrics showing economic growth in other areas.

Here’s a quick hit-list of leading economic indicators and metrics courtesy of the Economic Council of Eagle County:

  • Population in Eagle County is forecast to grow 37% from 2010 to 2020 (source: Colorado demographers office).
  • To no one’s surprise, population has grown fastest in Eagle and Gypsum.
  • Eagle County is aging. While the younger population (under 24) remains at about a third of the population, the “family age” group of 25-59 is projected to drop from 60% to 50% of the County’s residents from 2000 to 2020. Adults 60 and older were about 5% of the population in 2000, and that segment is expected to make up 17% of the total in 2020.
  • The Hispanic population continues to grow in Eagle County. Two thirds of the County (67%) is white, non-Hispanic. Other races make up less than 4% of the population.
  • Unemployment continues to drop from its peak of almost 10% in 2010 and is at its lowest levels since 2008, but is still above the historic lows we saw from 2005-08.
  • Retail sales tax collections are rebounding and 2012 collections are likely to be at 2006 levels; however, there are pockets of very strong retail sales tax collections in 2012, specifically within the Town of Vail which saw record collections.
  • Real estate is rebounding as well; 2012 sales volume was higher than any year dating back to 2007 and transactions grew 131% in 2012. Dollar volume of these transactions were up 116% over 2011.
  • School enrollments in the Eagle County School District have seen steady growth since 2007.
  • Enplanements at the Eagle County Regional Airport do not follow the positive trend we see with many other indicators as they have dropped 27% in the past five years, in part due to airline consolidation and in part due to lost service.

Complete economic indicators and economic research can be found at VailValleyPartnership.com.

Chris Romer is the president & CEO of the Vail Valley Partnership and the Economic Council of Eagle County. Chris was also the guest speaker at our recent Eagle Vision 20/20 event.