Wondering what makes up the economic base in the Gunnison Valley? We’ll walk you through historical economic drivers and our current largest industries and employers.
Key Industries in the Gunnison Valley
Like most of Western Colorado, the economic base of the Gunnison Valley was historically in mining and agriculture. Today these industries make up under 6% of the local economy. Currently the education sector makes up nearly twice as much of the economy, largely due to the strong learning environments at the elementary and post-secondary levels.
Tourism makes up the heart of the Gunnison Valley economy in 2018. Over 200,000 people per year visit the Valley to enjoy our extensive recreational opportunities on over 2 Million acres of public lands. Tourists bring with them disposable income and a generous appetite for our food, entertainment, culture and, of course, outdoor recreation.
|NAICS Industry Sector||Employee Count*|
|Accommodation and Food Service||1,261|
|Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation||1,040|
*Data from US Census Bureau, 2015
The largest 4 non-governmental employers in the Gunnison Valley are:
- Western Colorado University
- Crested Butte Mountain Resort
- Gunnison Valley Health
- Gunnison Watershed School District
Finding Work in the Gunnison Valley
If you’ve moved to the Gunnison Valley and are looking for work, here are some major sectors of the economy you could consider.
Dreaming of a job that keeps you outside or on the slopes most of the time? You’re not alone. Our outdoor recreation opportunities are what bring most people to the Gunnison-Crested Butte region. The Gunnison Valley is a major mountain bike and ski destination and most of the jobs you’ll find are related to tourism. Many wind up working at Crested Butte Mountain Resort – or one of the many shops, restaurants, galleries and other recreational amenities in the Valley.
It’s worth keeping in mind that many of these employment opportunities are seasonal and are typically associated with lower wages. It’s not unusual for locals who work in tourism to hold more than one job that will carry them through shoulder and off-peak seasons.
Explore job opportunities at Crested Butte Mountain Resort:
Search CBMR Opportunities
Western Colorado University is the singular largest employer in the region and the job opportunities range from part-time administrative and support roles to full-time, tenured faculty positions. As a teaching institution, Western offers competitive compensation and benefit packages, but qualification requirements can also be demanding. Approximately 90% of the faculty hold PhD’s.
Of course, Western is not the only place to find a teaching position in the Gunnison Valley. The Gunnison Watershed School District is considered a top-notch public school system by teachers, students, and parents alike. Excellent job opportunities exist for licensed teachers, as well as in substitution, coaching and administrative roles.
Western Colorado University
View Western Colorado University employment opportunities.
K-12 Public Schools
View employment opportunities in the Gunnison Watershed School District.