Idaho Springs, CO

For nearly 40 years Henderson Mine (a sizable molybdenum mine) in Empire has contributed significantly to the mountain towns in Clear Creek County. Henderson Mine accounts for 70% of the property taxes collected in Clear Creek County and 36% of the County budget. These figures are staggering, making the communities susceptible to market shifts. Due to a decrease in the demand for molybdenum the mine announced that it will shut down much sooner than anticipated. Henderson Mine, Idaho Springs, Georgetown and the County all pitched in together for the economic analysis of Clear Creek County in order to help the communities identify additional revenue streams to pursue ahead of the mine closure.

The heart of the communities is clearly shown to be in their central business districts. These revenue analytics communicate the value of the downtowns. Though Clear Creek County is primarily rural, the focused development in the towns along the Interstate 70 corridor is plainly evident in the model. Georgetown and Idaho Springs serve as economic centers of their communities, and each generates efficient tax value from dense, downtown-style development.

 

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Andrew Marsh

City Administrator, City of Idaho Springs
October 2016