In an effort to pinpoint where Moffat County consumers are spending their hard-earned dollars, Yampa Valley Data Partners compiled a Consumer Preference Study and presented it to the community at a lunchtime learning session Wednesday.
The lunch was held at Colorado Northwestern Community College. The study shows that the annual consumer purchasing power in Moffat County is roughly $227 million.
“Of this $227 million, consumers have direct choice (preference) over about 52 percent of their spending,” the study states. “The remaining 48 percent includes household spending areas such as mortgages, utilities, insurance, pensions including social security and education.”
That means that more than half of a household’s spending power goes back into the market in various forms.
The goal of the study is to find out exactly where people are spending their money.
“Most of it says that people are spending here — so that’s a good news story,” said Kate Nowak, executive director of Yampa Valley Data Partners.
And that’s exactly what the audience was hoping to hear.
“Moffat County households are spending approximately
$118 million in areas where they have great choice as to the geographic location of where they spend,” the study showed. “Of this $118 million, over 75 percent is being spent locally.”
Moffat County spending by location shows that 76 percent is being spent in Moffat County, 7 percent is spent in Routt County, 12 percent is out-of-0area spending and 5 percent is mail order/Internet.
Groceries, personal care and housekeeping supplies are lumped into one category of spending, and 22 percent of residents buy such goods in Moffat County, 5 percent shop for these items in Routt County and 8 percent get it out of area, the study states.
When looking at transportation — purchasing cars, fuel, service, repairs and parts — 23 percent of residents are buying such items in Moffat County, 3 percent in Routt and 36 percent out of area.
Moffat County logged 6 percent of purchases for home furnishings, and Routt tallied 5 percent while out of town got 13 percent.
Food away from home (fast food and sit-down restaurants) had 12 percent of its business staying in Moffat County, 5 percent going to Routt and 6 percent out of town.
“Why are people shopping out of town?” Nowak asked participants. “We travel and we’re out doing our shopping. It’s because we’re already out of town.”
The study came out at the end of last year, but it was the first time it had formally been introduced to the public.
“The first thing I would do (as a business owner) is look at my selection and promot it,” Nowak said. “Focus on my competitive pricing. If you are capable of competitive pricing, I would definitely look at that.”
Craig Mayor Terry Carwile participated in the lunch, and he found the information useful.
“As a business owner, we need to get a handle on this kind of data,” he said. “I do know that there are folks (from out of town) that come over and shop at Walmart. Today, we had folks (in his store Downtown Books) from New Mexico and Washington. I think it’s really interesting.”
Noelle Leavitt Riley can be reached at 970-875-1790 or nriley @craigdailypress.com.