About half of Hayden's residents shop locally for basic goods and services, a percentage that reflects about the same amount of retail "leakage" as other communities in Routt County.
That is according to a consumer preference survey conducted over the past year by the Steamboat Springs Chamber Economic Development Council and the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Office, which was presented to the Hayden Town Board on Thursday night by CSU Extension Agent Debbie Alpe and Acting Chairman of the Economic Development Council Scott Ford.
"It's heartening to see that we do support local businesses," Alpe said later. "It seems we support them as much as we possibly can. It seems it is the same with Steamboat Springs and other surrounding communities."
More than half of Hayden residents regularly bank in Hayden, repair or maintain their vehicles in Hayden and buy gasoline in Hayden.
When buying groceries, Hayden shoppers buy in Hayden 34.3 percent of the time, while 35.4 percent of the time they drive to Steamboat, and 24.3 percent of the time they drive to Craig.
When Routt County residents choose to shop outside their immediate communities, usually by using the Internet or catalogs, it is most commonly for clothing, large household and home improvement items, furniture and vehicles, the survey reveals.
Also, when out of town, if residents get the chance, they typically stop by Target, Sam's Club or Home Depot to take advantage of the often lower prices offered by bulk retailers. However, the survey states that most residents don't leave town for the primary reason of shopping.
The Economic Development Council held a focus group this spring including residents from all areas of Routt County. Alpe said many of those in attendance said they felt it was important to shop locally because they could be helping their friends, family or peers.
The survey backed that up, indicating that many consumers shop locally because they have long-standing relationships with business owners. Respondents also said it was important to support businesses because those people could in turn support their own business. Some also cited local shopping as more convenient and fun.
Local customers said they chose to shop out of town or via the Internet or catalogs for certain items because of the wider variety and more competitive prices. Changing those habits, respondents said, would require local merchants to offer a wider variety and more competitive prices. Some respondents said they thought merchants cater more to high-end clientele.
In other business Thursday, the Town Board:
n Approved final reading of the carport regulation ordinance, which states that all future carports will be regarded as structures and will have to follow setback regulations.
n Tabled a resolution to extend water lines to county residences so all trustees could participate in the discussion. Trustees Tim Frentress and Ken Gibbon and Mayor Chuck Grobe were absent.
n Officially approved a $158,000 grant from the Gates Family Foundation, most of which will be used for impact studies for the 900-acre Sunburst Ranch residential/commercial development.
n Approved a contract to pay Planning Consultant Tim Katers $80 per hour for planning in the first phase of Sunburst Ranch, Sunburst Park North. The money paid to Katers will be reimbursed by Sunburst developers 4S Development.
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