Today is the last day to register for next weeks fifth annual Economic Summit presented by the La Plata Economic Development Alliance. The event will be held Wednesday, Oct. 19, at the Sky Ute Casino and Resort.
The theme of the summit is imagination and creative strategies for business.
There are companies that have not just been surviving this recession, but growing and thriving, said Roger Zalneraitis, executive director of the alliance. Its a question of how that has been happening and the creative things (businesses) have been doing to get where they are.
Continuing that theme, the alliance tried to feature business owners and community members at this years conference who havent been in the spotlight in the past, Zalneraitis said. Another aspect that differs from last years conference is the focus on base businesses those that export goods and services out of the county and therefore bring outside revenue in, he said. Many of the presenters represent those types of businesses, he said.
There will be two morning breakout sessions this year with six presentations each and a networking reception after the conference. Presentations topics include the Lake Nighthorse Recreational Master Plan, educations role in workforce development, local agritourism opportunities and a discussion of how local governments can support business. One general session in the afternoon will focus on strategies of successful growing businesses.
The summit is a unique opportunity for attendees to mingle with many major players in the area, said Brad Tafoya, a local certified pubic accountant and the former president of the La Plata Economic Development Action Partnership, which evolved into the alliance.
It is one of the few places that many of the key decision-makers in community are in same room at once, Tafoya said. This is a more encompassing conference where it includes both big and small business and the public sector.
The event provides a broad view of countys entire economy, he said.
Steve Pease, a certified financial planner with Oxford Asset Management, attended the event last year and said it provided valuable networking opportunities and a good update on economic development efforts in the county. In his business, Pease said, he is always interested in what is being done to attract new businesses.
More businesses in town make it easier on me, he said.
Last year, the summits 200 spots sold out, so organizers bumped up the capacity to 300 people this year, said Donna Bauer, the alliances administrative assistant. Organizers said the summit will be the largest annual business and economic program in Southwest Colorado.