Economic Development Strategy

Limon’s economic development strategy, being carried out in partnership with Lincoln County Economic Development is based on the current Comprehensive Plan. The complete Comprehensive Plan is available by Clicking Here.

Diversifying and expanding the base of businesses and organizations that generate wealth and local employment is critically important for Limon’s future sustainability. The goals in the Comprehensive Plan seek to build more local employment, attract new primary industries to Limon, improve the quality of life and entice more interchange visitors to explore Limon.

Expand Limon’s Role as a Regional Center
Limon is an established regional center with no other full-service town within 70 miles. The population in Limon accounts for a third of the total population in Lincoln County, yet 75% of retail sales in Lincoln County originate in Limon. Limon currently provides groceries, health services, auto services, restaurants and some specialty retail. Residents identified primary jobs and retail businesses serving day to day needs as the two areas in need of improvement in the town. Residents are traveling or using the internet to purchase clothing, personal care goods, general merchandise, and electronics. The retail demand that is being met by businesses outside of Limon could be an opportunity to expand retail markets in Limon to serve more day to day needs of the Limon regional residents. By marketing Limon as a regional center, working with building owners to get vacant buildings occupied, investing in infrastructure, and developing commercial land with highway access and water and sewer infrastructure, the Town can increase the services it offers as a regional center. The success of Limon as a regional center will bring in more revenues and provide more local jobs and increase Limon’s economic sustainability.

Key Strategies include:

      • Market the retail opportunities to owners of vacant or underutilized commercial buildings and to retail, entertainment and restaurant entrepreneurs who have been successful in the region, and to national retail companies to facilitate the occupancy of vacant retail space in Limon.
      • Identify vacant land near the east and west I-70 interchanges that is suitable for medium and large format retail establishments that can be cost effectively served with water and sewer infrastructure and which possess safe and convenient street or highway access.
      • Make investments, adjust existing incentives, explore new incentives and take a leadership role in expanding business opportunities in Limon 

Attract New Primary Industries to Limon 

Building the local economy is of key importance to the residents of Limon. By growing the economy Limon ensures its future as a successful, sustainable town. Primary industries such as agriculture, manufacturing and energy sell goods and services outside of local boundaries, injecting money into the local economy ensuring that non-primary economic activity like retail can occur. In recent years Limon has made a strong effort to increase its appeal as a location for primary industries. The Town partnered with the Ports-to-Plains Alliance which advocates a four-lane alternative trade route from Mexico to Canada. The Town also received Foreign Trade Zone status which offers deferral, reduction or elimination of customs tariffs on imported goods depending on whether the goods are sold to the U.S. market, combined with U.S. products or re-exported outside the U.S. after import. These efforts, along with Limon’s location at the intersection of an interstate, four major highways and its proximity to the Front Range economy, mean that Limon is also well positioned for interstate and international commerce.

A recent development of Wausau Supply for a building supply distribution center that is planning to serve Colorado, western Nebraska, western Kansas and northern New Mexico demonstrates that Limon’s location, outside the congested Colorado Front Range, will grow in benefit.

Key Strategies include:

      • Establish web based and print media that market Limon’s Foreign Trade Zone designation and advertise this unique opportunity to target businesses. Target businesses include: light manufacturing, training centers, transportation/shipping, warehousing and logistics.
      • Create and map a full inventory of town-owned land. Identify land that could be developed for economic development purposes, prioritize the best sites and master plan these sites. Partner with state and federal economic development agencies to develop infrastructure, building shells, and other assets that would attract business and investment. The town-owned airport property, the Tamarack Golf Club and the Big Sandy parcel are a few examples of town properties that could be utilized for economic development.
      • Continue to partner with the Ports-to-Plains Alliance to procure funding and implement a four-lane highway along the growing trade corridor stretching from Canada to Mexico and connecting through Limon.

Promote Community Assets

Limon has a strong set of community assets and the community works hard to provide residents with a high quality of life. Limon has a number of strengths which can help attract new businesses and new residents. The town has a new K-12 school building and excellent graduation rates higher than both neighboring counties and the state average. The Town also offers competitive tax rates. The Town needs to take advantage of these assets and market them to potential businesses looking to locate in Limon. To successfully attract a new business or industry to Limon there needs to be more than just a market for the business, there also needs to be a high quality of life that entices a business’s owner and employees to want to live in the town.

Key Strategies Include:

      • Create a slogan, messages, logos, designs and imagery to articulate Limon’s brand, to solidify its identity and attract the interest of prospective businesses and residents. The Limon brand needs to play to its strengths:
        • Family-oriented community with strong schools
        • Small-town lifestyle, positive and helpful community
        • Center of events and celebrations
        • Business friendly (land, buildings, infrastructure, incentives)
        • Regional rural center; Limon is the full service town within 70 miles
        • Affordable property/cost of living/moderate taxes
        • Transportation infrastructure and location
        • Short drive to Front Range/Denver and Colorado Springs
        • Health care in town
      • Improve the Limon Community Building with a west side addition, kitchen improvements and increased parking.
      • Build a new outdoor pool and associated improvements or renovate the existing outdoor pool and associated facilities.

Increase the Supply of Quality Housing Options

The community consistently voiced the need for more options in for-sale and for-rent housing markets. Housing and economic development are linked because prospective businesses will evaluate the housing market, along with other considerations when selecting a new location or expanding. Businesses need employees to operate and prosper. A diverse housing market with quality properties for sale and units for rent is a necessity for any business who wants to open a new location, retain existing employees and recruit new ones.

Earnings from the travel industry at convenience stores, truck stops and hotels are an important component of the economy and are steady jobs, but lower wages make it difficult to earn a living in this industry. There are also seniors, veterans, disabled people and others in Limon who also have difficulty bridging the gap between the cost of living and their incomes. Housing and utility costs constitute a large portion of this gap.

Affordable/attainable housing is a key component for Limon’s long-term sustainability, but garnering the resources to get this housing built and occupied will require a surge of community effort and cooperation. The housing authority is not in a position to be able to expand their services. The housing authority manages 44 income restricted units today, which is an incredible resource for Limon, but the waiting list is long and there is much more demand for affordable units than there is supply.

One example of current efforts to increase the supply of housing for Limon is the Limon Workforce Housing Project being led by Lincoln County Economic Development and supported by the Town of Limon. There is currently an open Request for Proposals for a development opportunity of approximately 10 gross acres in Limon, Colorado for housing which may include alternatives including single family, two-family or multi-family units or a combination of these alternatives. The greenfield acreage is located in the north central portion of the Town of Limon just south of Interstate 70. Download the Limon Housing Project RFP Here.

The Limon Workforce Housing project was created through Housing Colorado's Design Charrettes Program. The Design Charrettes Program provides an opportunity for non-profit housing developers and Housing Authorities to benefit from pro-bono pre-development services for an affordable housing project. See INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES – HOUSING in the prospectus for details.

A Housing Needs Assessment was published in January 2019 by Lincoln County Economic Development Corporation. Download Housing Needs Assessment Here.

Lincoln County Economic Development has also developed a set of tools to assist interested parties in financing home purchases through various programs.

Download Housing Finance Options Here.

Download Housing Finance Worksheet Here.

Key Strategies include:

      • Consider incentives for housing developers including tax reduction and cost sharing for infrastructure improvements
      • Work with mortgage lenders, and other local housing agencies to identify additional strategies that could increase the supply of quality housing in Limon
      • Work with regional, state and federal housing entities and developers to expand the inventory of affordable rental housing in Limon
      • Encourage community organizations to broaden agency focuses to include housing efforts and attract and emphasize funding
      • Encourage area non-profits to capitalize on housing related funding opportunities
      • Develop public-private partnerships to get housing built.