Economic Development Studies

To better identify key areas of economic development within the city, the City of Trinidad requisitioned a series of studies to pinpoint what issues need improvement, what industries are best suited for Trinidad's growth and what recommendations leading experts have for creating momentum in implementing these suggestions. Below are their findings and the recommendations for those economic development projects.

Trinidad Housing Needs Assessment   |   Trinidad Homelessness Survey   |   Trinidad Visitor Trade Areas & Profiles  |  Trinidad: Bicycle Tourism Vision  |  Market Analysis & Opportunity Assessment  |  Market Analysis & Strategy

Trinidad Housing Needs Assessment
The City of Trinidad, Colorado contracted Root Policy Research to complete a well-researched and data-driven Housing Needs Assessment to provide baseline data on housing needs as it relates to economic development and a clear, actionable housing strategy to address the unique housing needs of the City of Trinidad.
Top Housing Needs in Trinidad Today: Additional affordable rentals, particularly for service industry residents earning less than $25,000. The current gaps in rental housing are largest for households earning less than 30% AMI and households earning more than 100% AMI. With a shortage of 146 rental units for households earning less than 30% AMI in 2019, the city could support an additional LIHTC development to meet these needs. Starter homes and workforce housing priced near or below $250,000. Stakeholders emphasized a need for new single family detached (two to three bedroom) housing for young families. Increased ownership product diversity. Stakeholders emphasized the extremely limited opportunities for seniors who want to downsize and first-time homebuyers entering the market. There is a need for condos, patio homes, or townhouses specifically geared toward seniors and first-time homebuyers. Home modifications and improvements are needed. Half (49%) of homes sold from 2017 to 2021 were built prior to 1950—these homes appear affordable but are likely in need of major repairs and remodels prior to move in. Downtown Trinidad offers opportunities for tourism, placemaking, economic development, and a variety of housing types. Stakeholders expressed a growing interest in tourism and downtown revitalization efforts. The ongoing renovations of entertainment venues, a new hotel, and the growing arts scene in the city offer opportunities to leverage the renewed energy in downtown to produce new housing units and rehab existing buildings...
Link to Full Assessment: Trinidad Housing Needs Assessment Full Report 9-7-2022

Trinidad Homelessness Survey
Many communities where individuals and families are experiencing homelessness, data regarding history and personal circumstances which led to their homelessness often informs community and shapes service system responses. The City of Trinidad Colorado hired the Burnes Center on Poverty and Homelessness to conduct in-depth interviews with individuals experiencing homelessness and develop a report presenting collected data. The interviews were conducted by Burnes Center staff and local volunteers over a two-day period (June 13-14, 2018) and reached 63 individuals. This report presents the data collected from surveys over the two-day time period in June. The report also provides analysis of potentially interesting relationships between data points and an infographic is included to highlight key findings. Information in this report will help stakeholders better understand the background and circumstances that has led to an individual’s experience of homelessness in Trinidad, Colorado. Then, this data can be used to guide strategy development to prevent and end homelessness. Often, data indicates that those experiencing chronic homelessness – while typically a minority of the overall population experiencing homelessness – can be the highest utilizers of public systems (i.e., emergency rooms, in-patient hospitalizations, detox center, jail, courts, etc.). Local data that support this trend can be used to establish and bolster housing and service resources to end chronic homelessness. Research indicates that the resulting costs of high system utilization is more than the average cost of housing with services for our most vulnerable households...
Link to entire survey: Trinidad Homelessness Survey 2018

Trinidad Visitor Trade Areas & Profiles
GPS data was used to capture visitors to the polygons of interest over a twenty-six-month period: August 1, 2017, through November 16, 2019.
Visitors to both Trinidad and the Mobile Study Area are predominantly middle- income families and retirees on budgets living in town and country areas. Compared to the Trinidad profile, the Mobile Study Area profile over-indexes for middle-class segments working blue-collar and service-sector jobs, including some younger, family-focused segments. Both Trinidad and the Mobile Study Area encounter visitors from all 50 states, plus Washington D.C. and have a high frequency of visitors from outside the state. Texas and New Mexico are the most frequent states of origin after Colorado. Visitors to Trinidad and the Mobile Study Area originate most frequently from the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metro, followed by the Dallas-Fort Worth- Arlington, TX Metro and the Colorado Springs, CO Metro (Mobile Study Area) ...
Link to entire study: Trinidad Visitor Trade Areas & Profiles 2017-2019

Trinidad: Bicycle Tourism Vision
About The Project: The City of Trinidad and the Tourism Board retained RPM Events Group to develop a BICYCLE TOURISM VISION for the city and its people. We conducted visioning workshops and conducted dozens of interviews with stakeholders in Trinidad, cycling and tourism, while reviewing city, county, and state planning documents. This document presents a vision for how Trinidad can use bicycle tourism to advance the city’s goals and action items to implement that vision.
Link to entire study: Trinidad Bicycle Tourism Vision

Trinidad Colorado Market Analysis & Opportunity Assessment
The purpose of this report is to utilize objective information to identify strategies and recommendations to further increase the success of downtown Trinidad. The Colorado Main Street Program provided the funding for RPI Consulting to conduct this Market Analysis and Opportunity Assessment along with a business and Building Inventory and Business Survey for the Corazón de Trinidad Main Street Program.
The following is a description of the sections in this report.
  - Market Geography – Defines Trinidad’s market area, the geographic area in which Trinidad generates most of its local (residential) customers.
  - Consumer Demographic Profile – Describes the demographics of the population within the city and the market area.
  - Retail Market Opportunity Assessment – Retail leakage analysis for the City of Trinidad boundary and the Trinidad market area, shows which retail categories exhibit leakage and which categories exhibit a surplus.
  - Role of Downtown and Existing Conditions – Describes the structure of the downtown economy and identifies the role of downtown in the local and regional economy, identifies specific retail opportunities given demand from local      consumers.
  - Base Industry Market Assessment – Examines base industry opportunities appropriate for downtown.
  - Strategies and Recommendations – Combines data from previous sections to highlight opportunities for development and provides strategies and recommendations to help capitalize on opportunities.
Link to entire study: Market Analysis & Opportunity Assessment

Market Analysis & Strategy 2017
Trinidad is at a turning point. A wave of new investment is transforming the city’s commercial environment, revitalizing its historic core, and raising the potential of new development along the interstate corridor. The City’s administration and elected leaders can further stimulate business expansion and attraction, along with associated real estate development, through strategic actions supporting the commercial sector.
Colorado has grown and transformed tremendously over the past three decades. Patterns of change can be traced from the major metropolitan areas of Denver and Colorado Springs outward along transportation corridors, spreading ever further outward. These changes have been fueled by increasing traffic, favorable costs, available land, and other factors. Dying mining towns have been brought back to life. Sleepy cities like Salida and Buena Vista have boomed and become destinations. Now the attention appears to be focusing on Trinidad, for its strategic location and the distinctive character of its historic buildings.
This study was commissioned by the City of Trinidad to examine the market potential for retail and dining uses within the community, and to recommend specific actions that can be taken to enhance the performance of existing businesses, encourage new business formation, recruit local or national chain businesses, and to encourage commercial real estate development or redevelopment. Achieving these goals will result in a better quality of life for residents through expanded shopping and dining options. These will also be an attraction for visitors to the community, fostering growth in the tourism sector. New businesses and an increase in sales will increase the City’s sales tax revenues, and rents paid by these businesses will fund continued renovations to historic buildings in the downtown, and new construction along the interstate.
Link to entire study: Market Analysis and Strategy