Regional Assets

What makes Trinidad-Las Animas County so appealing? Why is it a great place to for entrepreneurs and forward thinkers?

 
 

Great weather, growing businesses related to creative industries, agriculture, energy, recreation and tourism are what make Las Animas County attractive. With a growing Front Range population, southern Colorado becomes attractive to those seeking an affordable cost of living, while also giving entrepreneurs and employers an alternative place to grow their businesses.

After years of economic decline and outward population migration, many realize the area’s potential as the next great place live, work, and play in Colorado. Trinidad-Las Animas County is at a crossroads in its history, where the horizon is filled with positive and vibrant possibilities. New businesses are setting up shop and tourism is attracting people to explore its storied heritage and past. More advantages include soon to be improved healthcare offerings, and the prospect of a more robuust open space and mountain park system.

Regional Assets:

  • El Corazon de Trinidad Creative Arts District
  • Trinidad Industrial Park
  • Farm & Land
  • Purgatoire River
  • Scenic Byway - Highway of Legends
  • Scenic Byway - Santa Fe Trail
  • Trinidad Triggers Baseball Club
 

El Corazon Creative Arts District 

 

In 2013, the historic Corazón de Trinidad was certified as a Creative District by Colorado Creative Industries, a designation that provides a platform of support for individual creative artists, entrepreneurs and businesses, as well as local government. In 2015, Trinidad was selected as the first city in the state's Space to Create Colorado initiative, which aims to make it easier -- and cheaper -- for artists and entrepreneurs to open creative studios and businesses in Trinidad.

What is attracting a new generation of artists and creatives to Trinidad is affordability and accessibility. Currently there are 100 or so artists who live and work here full-time, many of whom have fled rising costs in more established and gentrified "art" cities, including Denver. With a connected world of online galleries, publishing houses and media platforms, the possibility of showing and selling work to anyone in the world is a 21st century reality.

More information →

 

Trinidad Industrial Park

 

The Trinidad Industrial Park is a prime 400 acre parcel of developed and developable land located just north of the city. It is bordered on the west by Interstate 25, along the south by State Highway 239, and on the north by El Moro Road. Two interstate exits Park, Exit 15 at Goddard Avenue, and Exit 18 at El Moro Road.

The Park was planned to utilize the cluster approach for industrial and business sitting. The idea is to cluster compatible businesses together around a central access and circular plaza, with industrial sites available around the plaza area. Lot sizes range from three acres on up, with much larger tracts situated in the Park.

In most instances, main utility lines are near each site, with utility feeder lines required to individual building sites. Transportation facilities are excellent. Interstate 25 is visible from most building lots. The Burlington Northern Railroad main north-south line travels through the heart of the Park. Santa Fe Railroad services is available within a few blocks of the south entrance to the Trinidad Industrial Park.  

 

Farm & Land

 

The mostly rural Las Animas County still relies heavily on farming and ranching as its main economic engine. Rural living is increasingly appealing to many, even drawing newcomers to the county in recent years. Add food production and consumption trends of recent years, which has shifted towards local community supported agriculture models, and the area's farming and ranching heritage provides a basis for attracting new residents and businesses to Las Animas County.

In 2012, Las Animas County had 2,140,776 acres of agricultural land. There are 602 farms, with an average of 3,556 acres. According to the 2012 Agricultural Census, Las Animas County’s largest crop harvested is forage and top livestock is cattle and calves.

With an aging farming and ranching population, an opportunity to attract a new generation has presented itself. Food media has identified a growing audience consisting of a community that cares passionately about the food on their tables: farmers, entrepreneurs, and responsible consumers who are conscientious about what they eat and who want a more sustainable planet for themselves and their children.

Highlights:

  • Male/Female: 40% / 60%
  • Young: Primarily between 25-54 years, with a median age of 49
  • Educated: 74% college graduates, and 34% have a post graduate degree
  • Affluent - Median HHI $88,700
  • Family Oriented: 74% are married, and 36% have children in the household
  • Active: 50% farm as their primary business, and 37% farm as a side business  

In recent years, state agricultural producer groups have sought to increase brand awareness and sales of a wide range of Colorado products. These efforts appear to be successful as awareness and trial of branded products are high among Coloradans. This means Las Animas County is positioned to increase its share of Colorado agricultural products and continue to build upon its farming and ranching heritage, while also cultivating a local modern food movement.

 

Purgatoire River 

 

The Purgatoire River Watershed stretches from the New Mexico border northeast to the town of Las Animas, Colorado. Originating in the Culebra Range of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the Purgatoire River traverses 196 miles before it drains into the Arkansas River. The total area of the Purgatoire River Basin is 2,206,204 acres. The elevation of the Watershed averages 6,008 feet above sea level, with a maximum elevation of 13,962 feet and a minimum elevation of 4,321 feet.

River flows in the Purgatoire River are highly variable depending on the season and the location. Snowmelt from the headwaters largely contributes to the water supply in the basin area. The Trinidad Dam at Trinidad Lake State Park controls much of the river flows and therefore the flow regimes in the river are substantially different between the upstream and downstream reaches of the Dam. The Dam is used for both storage of irrigation water and flood control. The outlet gates at the Dam are shut outside of the irrigation season for storage, generally between mid-October and mid-April. Average flows into the reservoir are highest during the spring snowmelt runoff months of May and June. Major flooding also occurs during spring runoff when rapidly melting snow is augmented by rain or during summer torrential thunderstorms. The average annual precipitation in the Purgatoire Watershed ranges from 43 inches per year at the headwaters to 13 inches per year at the lower end of the Watershed.

Today, the Purgatoire River serves an important role in the community. It is an economic and recreational resource for businesses in the region’s growing agricultural, outdoor recreation, and tourism industries.

Citizen Groups Involved in Watershed

Purgatoire Watershed Partnership

The Purgatoire Watershed Partnership is comprised of diverse stakeholders, coming together to form a cooperative partnership focused on the conservation, protection, and enhancement of the Purgatoire Watershed. As the group continues to grow, it is important that no local stakeholders are excluded, and that they hear as many of the voices in the watershed as possible.

Their mission is to proactively acquire and maintain a watershed-wide stakeholder partnership aimed at assessment, restoration, protection, and improvement of all aspects regarding the Purgatoire River watershed.

More information →

Stream Flow Data

 

Scenic Byway - Santa Fe Trail 

 

On a clear spring day, a sharp observer can still discern the wagon-wheel ruts of the Santa Fe Trail wending their way across the prairie. The cultural legacies of this historic trade route, which saw its heaviest use between the 1820s and 1870s, remain just as distinct.

The byway, which comprises a 188-mile portion of the trail, traverses one of the last strongholds of the nomadic Plains Indians and one of the first toeholds of Anglo-American pioneers, who began homesteading along the Arkansas River in the 1860s.

The Mountain Branch of the trail traveled through what is today Trinidad and crossed Raton Pass, a mountain gap used by Native Americans for centuries. The byway’s midpoint is Bent's Old Fort, once a trading post and cultural melting pot, now a National Historic Site.

The Santa Fe Trail was designated by the U.S. secretary of transportation as a National Scenic Byway in 1998.

More information →

 

Scenic Byway - Highway of Legends

 

Did George Simpson really save Trinidad from marauding Utes by distracting them with taunts? Where is the lost gold vein that supposedly offered nuggets so rich a 19th-century prospector could live off one for a full year? And what fate befell Juan Humana and his band of conquistadors, who disappeared near the Purgatoire River in 1594 and were never again seen alive?

You may not find the answers on the Highway of Legends, but you will enjoy the dramatic settings that have inspired tall tales among Native American nomads, Spanish explorers, and Anglo and Hispanic settlers for hundreds of years. From the impenetrable heights of the Sangre de Cristos and Spanish Peaks to the ominous redrock abutments of the Dakota Wall and the Devil's Stairsteps, this land is truly larger than life.

An extension was recently added to the byway from the town of Aguilar on I-25 west over the 11,248-foot Cordova Pass, reconnecting to Colorado Highway 12 at Cuchara Pass. The 35-mile extension follows Huerfano/Las Animas County Road No. 46 through the San Isabel National Forest.

More information →

 

Trinidad Triggers Baseball Club

 

The Trinidad Triggers are a professional baseball team based in Trinidad, Colorado. The team is a member of the Pecos League, an independent baseball league which is not affiliated with Major or Minor League Baseball. The team plays its home games at Trinidad Central Park and began operations for the 2012 season. In their short existence, the team has become a community force despite being in one of the country’s smallest pro baseball markets.

The team, which like all Pecos franchises, is owned by the league. However it does receive some financial support from the City of Trinidad by way of the parks department, which spent about $25,000 on ballpark improvements over the past two years at the field it owns.

Trinidad Central Park Statistics

  • Built: 1907
  • Capacity: 1,000
  • Address: 700 Smith Street
  • Dimensions: 360 feet to left; 385 feet to center; 350 feet to right
  • Admission: $6 general admission, $4 students/seniors/veterans, $2 kids 12 and under

More information →

 
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Incentives & Financing

We seek to attract new businesses, and help existing ones, expand and grow in Trinidad-Las Animas County. A renewed interest in what the area offers culturally, economically, and socially is fueling an opportunity to do business in a part of the state that is the second busiest port of entry. Incentive programs offered through the city, state, and federal government is are designed to be catalysts in a part of the state looks to grow.

With a low cost of living in comparison to other parts of Colorado, Trinidad-Las Animas County is uniquely positioned to use to its advantage low taxes and business costs, performance based incentives to qualified companies to create new jobs, customized training, to stimulate the local economy.

It starts at the local level,  where incentive packages are granted on a case by case bases. These incentives are considered according to employee count, wages, and industry type. They are powerful tools to attract and retain business to Trinidad-Las Animas County.

 
 

City of Trinidad

The City of Trinidad Office of Economic Development has a strong portfolio of incentives designed to encourage businesses to relocate, to expand, and to encourage the development of employment opportunities. These local incentives, coupled together with the State of Colorado, can provide competitive packages to meet your businesses needs and objectives. 

Local Tax Credits
Sales Tax: Ability to apply for a waiver of your company's City of Trinidad portion of the sales tax. Opportunity to waive up to 100%. 

Local Financing
Loan Interest Rate Subsidy: Provided by the Trinidad Urban Renewal Authority, this program assists business and/or property owners in subsiding a business loan's finance costs. The loan interest rate subsidy covers a secured business loan that is used to in capital development in retaining, expanding, or relocating the applicant business.. 

Otero-Las Animas County Business Loan Fund: This partnership between Otero and Las Animas County is designed to work with local lending institutions to provide low interest loans to higher-risk, for profit businesses in both counties. The employer is required to create or retain one full-time position for every $20,000 borrowed.

More information →

Local Lenders

Business has a variety of financing options available. Trinidad-Las Animas County has three banks and one savings and loan institution. All are receptive in considering community and industrial projects. 

Banks
Bank of the West
125 N. Commercial St
Trinidad, CO 81082
719-846-4464

Century Savings & Loan
233 E. Main St
Trinidad, CO 81082
719-846-2257

International Bank
320 N. Convent
Trinidad, CO 81082
719-846-1600

First National Bank
100 E. Main St
Trinidad, CO 81082
719-846-9881

 

 
 
 

State of Colorado

Businesses of all sizes and origins, as well as non-profits, real estate developers, higher education partners and investors are encouraged to apply for the resources most applicable to helping you achieve your goals. These financing and incentive programs are made up of cash incentives, business grants, tax credits, debt and equity financing among others. Furthermore, state Business Funding and Incentives team are available to assist you navigate this wide range of opportunities to find the available programs that best fit your business operation and goals.

Incentives

Department of Agriculture

USDA Rural Development. is committed to helping improve the economy and quality of life in rural America.

They offer loans, grants and loan guarantees to help create jobs and support economic development and essential services such as housing, health care, first responder services and equipment, and water, electric and communications infrastructure.

They offer technical assistance and information to help agricultural producers and cooperatives get started and improve the effectiveness of their operations.

FInancing

Programs & Services

Sharing the right information and resources to succeed.

While Trinidad-Las Animas County is a place of opportunity, we know businesses need local, state and federal government resources in order to activate on it.

Here are programs and resources designed to give a businesses the confidence to plan and implement their goals and objectives in a region experiencing renewed development.     

 
 

Local Government

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Jump Start Las Animas County

Jump Start Las Animas County is a part of a statewide effort to grow rural economies in Colorado. As a potential qualifying start-up or expanding business, you are eligible for massive tax credits for both your business and employees. As a participant of this program, you will have access to state-wide support networks through our contacts within the business and academic communities.

Benefits

  • Relief from state income taxes
  • Relief from state and sales use 
  • Relief from state income taxes for employees
  • Relief from county and municipal personal property taxes

 More information →

State of Colorado

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Colorado First and Existing Job Training Programs

These programs increase transferable job skills that support both the company’s economic competitiveness and enhance worker’s resumes and long-term employment opportunities.

Benefits

  • Colorado FIRST grants are for companies that are relocating to or expanding in Colorado and provide funds only to net new hires. Deadline for applications: July and December
  • Existing Industry grants focus on providing assistance to established Colorado companies in order to remain competitive within their industry, adapt to new technology and prevent layoffs. Deadline for applications: July and December

 More information →

 

Department of Agriculture

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USDA Rural Development Programs provide financial backing and technical assistance to stimulate business creation and growth. The programs work through partnerships with public and private community based organizations and financial institutions to provide financial assistance, business development, and technical assistance to rural businesses. These programs help to provide capital, equipment, space, job training, and entrepreneurial skills that can help to start and/or grow a business.  Business Programs also support the creation and preservation of quality jobs in rural areas.

Programs Available

 

Center of Rural Affairs

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Center of Rural Affairs promote farmer and rancher linking programs that connect new farmers with retiring landowners. When the new and retiring generation match up, they can work out mutually beneficial arrangements to transfer ownership while maintaining a small farm’s legacy and promoting good stewardship.

National Farm and Ranch Linking Programs

Colorado

 More information →