Who Should Complete the Survey and How can I Help?

Survey Distribution
The initial phase of the Mountain Community Survey involved sending postcards to a random sample of residents and second homeowners across the five counties in the NWCCOG area. This part of the survey, already conducted, was designed to gather statistically accurate data from a control group, ensuring a reliable and representative dataset.

Open Survey for Wider Participation – This is where you and other NWCCOG and CAST partners come in
We appreciate your help in sharing this link for the wide distribution of the survey between December 7th and January 15th to key community email groups. Please forward this link to municipal email groups including boards and commissions, homeowner associations, local chambers, resort management groups, and other citizen groups you may know. This version is promoted through local newspapers, social media, and online platforms and can be accessed at: mountainlifesurvey.org.

This effort aims to cast a wide net of participation across as many communities and interest groups as possible within the membership area. While this data collection is less statistically controlled compared to the initial phase, the information gathered will be crucial. It will be used in a White Paper by the consultants, with data analyzed for each community.

What is the Mountain Community Survey?
The Northwest Colorado Council of Governments (NWCCOG), in collaboration with the Colorado Association of Ski Towns (CAST), Western Mountain Resort Alliance (WMRA), and Insights Collective, is pleased to announce the launch of the Mountain Community Survey. This initiative aims to address the evolving landscape and challenges in mountain communities by utilizing survey research to gather current data on social dynamics and tourism trends.

The Mountain Community Survey is a research project designed to understand the diverse experiences and perspectives of those living in, owning property, or working in western mountain regions. This includes local residents, second homeowners, and employees. The survey focuses on understanding the changing needs and challenges these groups face, particularly considering the shifting balance between tourism and resident interests.

For over a year, the Insights Collective group has collaborated with NWCCOG staff to develop new tools and metrics that respond to evolving economic conditions and forces in mountain communities. This partnership with CAST aims to study current conditions and assess the need for innovative approaches to understanding mountain town dynamics.

This project is founded on the belief that analytical methods and management techniques can create tools to support community objectives and further NWCCOG’s mission. The research project aims to: 

  • Understand the post-Covid mindset of mountain community residents.
  • Measure components of quality of life in mountain communities through survey responses from residents and second homeowners.
  • Identify potential metrics useful in understanding current conditions and planning for future community developments.
  • Explore key issues and challenges, such as tourism trends and short-term rental units (STRs), that are currently important to local leaders and residents.

Why is This Important?

The survey seeks to understand the balance between tourism and resident interests in mountain communities. Recent shifts due to factors like overcrowding, in-migration, and out-migration have significantly altered how residents and visitors perceive and interact with these areas. The survey will help pinpoint where communities currently stand on the tourism/resident continuum and what adjustments might be needed to achieve a desired balance.

Deliverables

This project is through a contract between Insights Collective and NWCCOG thanks to partnership from CAST ($10,000), DOLA ($25,000), OEDIT ($40,000) and NWCCOG Dues ($15,000) plus $5,000 estimated for design and publishing of the final report with other vendors.  Deliverables include:

  1. Conducting the Survey, compiling the raw Data and formatting it for distribution to Members (RRC for Insights Collective)
  2. Analysis of the data trends and publication of a White Paper (Insights Collective)
  3. Presentation of the findings (Date and Location TBD watch NWCCOG website)
  4. Publication of a printed and PDF report (NWCCOG with design team)

Stay tuned here for publication of the White Paper, Report and date of presentation.