woman smiling, wearing glasses and a suit
Ann Hutchison
President & CEO

For comments and questions about this blog, please email Ann at [email protected]

September Tracker, Land Use and Elections

by | Oct 24, 2023 | From the CEO

woman smiling, wearing glasses and a suit
Ann Hutchison | President & CEO

For comments and questions about this blog, please email Ann at [email protected]

Economic Tracker Notes:

It’s time again for our monthly update to the Economic Tracker. Your Fort Collins Area Chamber, working with other economic development and business support organizations across the region created a tool to track the economic recovery in Northern Colorado. This valuable resource is a set of indicators that represent critical aspects of the Larimer and Weld County economies, is based on data that is accessible in a useable format and is updated frequently with little lag time. The Economic Tracker provides great insight into the impact of the pandemic and recession on Northern Colorado.

The most recent update to the Tracker includes the following insights from our Economic Analyst, Caroline Alexander:

  • Unemployment continues to rise in the region as people join the labor force at a faster pace than jobs are added. This combined with a decline in postings per unemployed person signals a slight softening of a tight labor market, which has led to some normalization in the average hourly wages.
  • The tourism sector shows a decline in visitors and hotel occupancy but a solid rise in RevPAR, which should help the sector weather this post-pandemic adjustment in travel patterns.
  • The real estate markets (commercial and residential) still appear to be stable. Even though office vacancy is elevated at 6%, it is not even close to the distressed urban core markets that have reached

Land Use Code Thoughts:

The Fort Collins City Council, on second reading, adopted an updated Land Use Code on Tuesday, October 17.  For those of you tracking this issue – it remains a case of deja vu.  A year ago, we supported the adoption of updates to this outdated code in an effort to open the door for more housing supply in our area.  That vote was followed by a group of citizens bringing forth a petition to repeal the code changes, which Council did in January of 2023. It is all happening again.

Mayor Jeni Arndt was joined by Councilmembers Tricia Kenny Canonico, Julie Pignataro, Shirley Peel and Emily Francis in adopting an updated code after another 10 months of community outreach and conversation.  The Chamber has been supportive of these changes as employers are demanding that we find solutions for the housing crisis we are experiencing in Fort Collins.  Once again, we are hearing the rumblings of another petition drive to repeal the updated code.  We invite you to stay engaged in the conversation and to support the opportunity for everyone to find their place in our community.  As well, if you have the opportunity, please let our Council know how much you value their bold vote to enable the creation of homes for all.

Elections, Elections, Elections:

The Chamber, thanks to the sponsorship of Elevations Credit Union, hosted our monthly CIVIC Conversation last night.  We had move than 20 people join us for this wonderful opportunity to discuss, in-depth, the local ballot issues.  I really appreciated the insightful and thoughtful conversation that ensued.  I also want to remind you, our members, that the Chamber is deeply engaged in election conversations.  We have created a number of resources that we believe can help you, as a voter, make strong choices for the November 7 election.  Check out our observations and detailed information about local and state ballot issues here:  https://fortcollinschamber.com/november-7-2023-election-issues/ and detailed information, including candidate questionnaires, interviews and a scorecard here:  https://fortcollinschamber.com/november-7-2023-election-candidates/.  The clock is ticking for the return of your ballot.  We invite you to be a smart business voter to create the future that you want to see!