IGNACIO More than 230 business professionals from La Plata County and the region filled the Sky Ute Casino and Resort in Ignacio this week for the fifth annual Economic Summit.
It was the first year the event was hosted by the La Plata Economic Development Alliance. The Alliance was formed shortly after the 2010 Economic Summit, when La Plata Economic Development Action Partnership, or LEAD, took its own advice during the event themed reinvention and reformed as a new organization with new leaders and a new mission for creating jobs and prosperity in the region.
The crowds are growing at this event every year, said Roger Zalneraitis, Alliance director.
In 2010, the event sold out with 185 attendees. Zalneraitis said he hopes to see numbers grow to 300 in 2012.
This years summit, with the theme Imagination, aimed to begin where the 2010 event left off, organizers said. Attendees saw both continuity of the annual summits themes and transition from one organization to the other while still offering changes from the previous year.
This year, the event featured breakout sessions about topics that ranged from technology to government to marketing. A session about development plans for the recreation area at Lake Nighthorse was popular among attendees, as were sessions about social networking and the communitys technology infrastructure assets and challenges.
Attendee Don Ricedorff, an agent for Wells Group, said he found the sessions were a helpful addition that allowed him to hone in to information most relative to his business interests. It made the event feel more personal than in years past, Ricedorff said.
Several others concurred, and the events planners also were pleased.
Alliance President Kerry Petranek said organizers received great feedback from attendees on this years function. Theyre already talking about recording the breakout sessions during the 2012 Economic Summit and posting the video online so attendees can take advantage of all the great information the event disseminates to business owners and development professionals.
She said events such as the economic summit are key to keeping the wheels of job creation turning.
The more we all can get in a room together, the more we can drive success, Petranek said. We all want to be moving in the same direction.
Zalneraitis said the 2012 Economic Summit will run under the same structure as this weeks event. Some themes will progress from the foundation of this years event, while new topics and areas of interest will be added.