Colorado Outdoors Project

An ariel shot of the Colorado Outdoors Project.

The City of Montrose and Montrose Urban Renewal Authority recently teamed up in the hopes of helping the incoming Colorado Outdoors Project.

The two entities announced in late October an $800,000 loan, which will go toward on-site developments for the proposed 164-acre business park along the Uncompahgre River Corridor north of town.

Mayfly President David Dragoo expressed his enthusiasm Wednesday for the funds saying MURA has been an asset for the community due to its “progressive” views.

“We’re able to improve and do construction at a higher quality than other spots,” Dragoo said, adding improvements include ADA ramps, curbs, parking lots, gutters and sidewalks.

“We are excited to partner with the Montrose Urban Renewal Authority in an effort to move the Colorado Outdoors Project forward,” said Bill Bell, city manager and executive director of MURA, in a press release. “We are pleased that the public infrastructure portion of the project has come in on schedule and under budget and that the Mayfly headquarters building is nearing completion. It is important to remember that the MURA’s Colorado Outdoors Project is a 25-year investment in the future of our community and there is still much work to be done as we continue to attract businesses to fill this unique mixed-use business park.”

Montrose Mayor Roy Anderson said the funds will be paid back to the city over a few years through the tax increment financing, or TIF, method. He said TIF is a credit to the community, as entities such as Montrose County had to approve the financing process.

“Every taxing entity has to play ball,” he said. They have to be in the game and approve it because they’re giving up a certain percentage of their tax revenue during this period of time in order to help the community grow. … (Mayfly) will end up being more profitable because they don’t have to put a lot of money up front in things like streets, utilities and sidewalks.”

Anderson indicated the funds don’t just benefit Mayfly but residents as well.

The loan money will attract small industries and businesses wanting to relocate, he said, adding, in turn, such companies will pay taxes that will go back to the city.

“I think it’s a terrific investment and we will be paid back,” the mayor said. “I have no question or concern about that. At the same time, it’ll bring some good companies to provide jobs here who might have otherwise gone to some other parts of the country.”

​The ​Colorado Outdoors Project is slated to open in early 2019. The area would include river restoration and high-end commercial, residential and industrial development. Mayfly Outdoors, the parent company of Ross Reels and Abel Reels, will anchor the project with its ​41,000​-square-foot manufacturing facility, as previously reported.

“It’s going to be a showcase thing for Montrose,” Anderson said. “People are going to see that building and say, ‘Wow.’”

A portion of the site — 41 acres ­— will be donated back to the community, Dragoo said.

“They (residents) get to enjoy the river corridor and they get to see it preserved in perpetuity — (like) a fishing or wildlife habitat,” he said. “That’s a big part of our business.”

The Colorado Outdoors Project will also be in proximity to the City of Montrose and Montrose Recreation District’s “Connecting the People to their Parks and Recreation” project. The project will create 2.25 miles of new trails, with underpasses, on both ends of town to connect more of the public with parks and recreational opportunities. The 41 acres along the river corridor, which Mayfly gave back to the city, will be used for the trail and to provide more open space, Dragoo previously said to the Montrose Daily Press.

“It’s important that we have a high-quality environment over here,” Dragoo said. “... Our site is adjacent to the GOCO trail. We wanted it to be a focal point for people on the trail and have a nice amenity. So having more money to do site improvements is important because it segues into a lot of the public access around this project that the residents that will get.”

Dragoo added the trail is open for bid with the idea of rewarding the contract in mid-December and construction happening shortly after.

“That’s exciting because we’re going to be a public amenity,” Dragoo said.

The MURA was created in late 2016 by a Montrose City Council resolution. MURA surrounds around 160 acres along the Uncompahgre River northwest of downtown Montrose. Its leadership includes Brad Hughes, Montrose County assessor; Tad Rowan, Montrose Fire Protection District fire chief; Gayle Johnson, Montrose County School District board vice president; and Mark Plantz, special districts representative.

Andrew Kiser is the Montrose Daily Press’ sports/business writer. Follow him on Twitter @andrew_kpress.

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