Wyoming downtown advocates learn new strategies from national experts

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

About 50 small business owners, city planners, elected officials and downtown advocates from more than two dozen Wyoming towns recently braved foul May weather to learn about a concept called placemaking from the national experts at nonprofit Project for Public Spaces.

The two-day workshop, held in Douglas, espoused a new perspective on what economic development means in the 21st century.

Economic development in the United States used to mean attracting large companies by offering a vast workforce and access to raw materials. CEOs looked for cheap land and utilities. Workers followed jobs.

Today’s economy is increasingly focused on technology and services. Small firms can spring up anywhere with an internet connection and do business with the rest of the world instantaneously. The change in circumstances means people are now finding places they love first, then tracking down a – or creating their own – job later.

This is an economy in which Wyoming can compete. The Cowboy State is flush with Western culture, friendly communities and epic outdoor recreation.

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