Reports from the Knowledge Labs about our recent findings, research topics, and interviews with lifestyle leaders who are creating their own futures.

How to stimulate your own powers of foresight. Consider the following thought provokers. Ask yourself, in these categories what are the brand new trends and forces? Which are the ones growing in importance? Which current forces are loosing their steam? Which have peaked or are reversing themselves? Which are the "wildcards" about to disrupt us in the future? POLITICAL AND TECHNICAL thought for food: Electronics, Materials, Energy, Fossil, Nuclear, Alternative, Other, Manufacturing (techniques), Agriculture, Machinery and Equipment, Distribution, Transportation (Urban, Mass, Personal, Surface, Sea, Subsurface, Space), Communication (Printed, Spoken, Interactive, Media), Computers (Information, Knowledge, Storage & Retrieval, Design, Network Resources), Post-Cold War, Third World, Conflict (Local, Regional, Global), Arms Limitation, Undeclared Wars, Terrorism, Nuclear Proliferation, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Governments (More/Less Power and Larger or Smaller Scale), Taxes, Isms: Nationalism, Regionalism, Protectionism, Populism, Cartels, Multinational Corporations, Balance of Trade, Third Party Payments, Regulations (OSHA, etc.) Environmental Impact, U.S. Prestige Abroad. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC Food for thought: Labor Movements, Unemployment / Employment Cycles, Recession, Employment Patterns, Work Hours / Schedules, Fringe Benefits, Management Approaches, Accounting Policies, Productivity, Energy Costs, Balance of Payments, Inflation, Taxes, Rates of Real Growth, Distribution of Wealth, Capital Availability and Costs, Reliability of Forecasts, Raw Materials, Availability and Costs, Global versus National Economy, Market versus Planned Economies, Generations: Y, X, Boomers, Elderly, Urban vs. Rural Lifestyles, Affluent vs. Poor, Neighborhoods and Communities, Planned or Organic Growth. Got Knowledge?

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The Journal of 2020 Foresight
Friday, September 05, 2003  

Big City Incomes Discover the Up-And-Coming Boondocks

Chapter Three: The Outpost

By Steve Howard, CKO
The Knowledge Labs

Table of Contents
Chapter One: Basecamp
Chapter Two: The Ridge
Chapter Three: The Outpost
Chapter Four: The Tribal Territories

“The group that left the Louisville-Clarksville area on October 26 (1803) was the foundation of the Corps of Discovery. It was this group that made some of the most important contributions to the success of the expedition. From this group came two of the initial three sergeants, three of the best hunters, and the Corps’ primary blacksmith and gunsmith…. A brief stay at Fort Massac on the lower Ohio (River) provided the opportunity to recruit one of the most important members of the party. George Drouillard, a half Shawnee-half French Canadian hunter, scout, and interpreter, earned high praise from Lewis and Clark.”

James J. Holmberg

Journal of 2020 Foresight: You told us that two learning expeditions forwarded information to Grey Owl so he could synthesize their discoveries into a knowledge base. In other words, sweet spot patterns begin to assert themselves. Can you give us an example?

Explorer: Let’s try using the Birds of a Feather (BOF) knowledge base a little differently than how we demonstrated the migration network from Dana Point (CA), Parker (CO) and Austin (TX) to find Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

Eagle: Why not show some of the synchronicity. Let’s see what happens when we compare the progression of real estate appreciation from innovation, early growth, mid-growth, through late-growth and maturity to the findings from the team profiling the state of Colorado.

J2020F: If I follow you, based on the trend-setting profiles, we should see more and more of the affluent profiles show up as we progress up the growth maturity s-curve, right?

Eagle: Yes, and remember, what we’re focusing on are the Resort Towns at the top of Harry Dent’s list of 9 categories that represent the best places to consider for a lifestyle change, a real estate investment, and or an entrepreneurial venture.

Explorer: Let’s start with Pagosa Springs, Colorado. When you search on its zip code in the Claritas PRIZM ‘s public website you see the complete profile as: Agri-business, New Eco-topia, Grain Belt, Blue Highways, Rustic Elders. Out of the 5 primary neighborhood profiles, only one – New Eco-topia – fits the trend-setting indicator.

J2020F: Are there any other high risk, high appreciation innovation towns in Colorado?

Explorer: Here’s Basalt, Colorado. When you search on its zip code you retrieve Agri-business (same as Pagosa Springs) and two others – God’s Country and Big Sky Families. Basalt includes a trend-setting profile – God’s Country. That is different than Pagosa Springs.

Eagle: Wait, here’s one more. This one has both of the trend-setters – God’s Country and New Eco-topia. And, like both Pagosa Springs and Basalt, shares the Agri-Business profile.

J2020F: What’s it called?

Eagle: Well, it looks like it is an area that includes Carbondale, Redstone and Marble, Colorado based on the shared zip code.

J2020F: So far, then, we’d want to find out more about Pagosa Springs, Carbondale and Basalt, Colorado. Now what about some towns that may not appreciate as much, but should be a little less risky?

Eagle: These would be the equivalent of a 10% breakout in Dent’s s-curve, right when the curve begins to accelerate at the early growth stage. I see Minturn, Red Cliff, Durango, and possibly Estes Park, though it hasn’t been confirmed.

J2020F: Do they show more evidence of trend-setting neighborhoods?

Explorer: Hmm. Interesting. The only one that doesn’t is Red Cliff. But it does have the Agri-business profile as does Minturn and Durango. Red Cliff’s three clusters include Country Squires and Big Sky Families (which show up in Carbondale, Minturn, Estes Park and Durango).

J2020F: So, does that mean we should rule out Red Cliff?

Explorer: Wait a minute. It might be a better place. Look at this.

Eagle: Country Squires. That happens to be an elite exurban family profile – what the Claritas folks call “big bucks in the boondocks” or what Dent describes as “Big City Income in Small Town – as in Lake Arrowhead, and Running Springs, California.

J2020F: Maybe Grey Owl should consider adding it to the list of Dent’s trend-setting profiles. What about the Estes Park profile?

Eagle: Wait, I’ll ask him. It looks like I’ve just received a message from him.

J2020F: Did he accuse you of cheating?

Explorer: Probably a new riddle. He doesn’t stay in one place too long. What is it?

Eagle: Paul Newman, Film Festival, Ghosts in the River, Snow in Hell, and Million Dollars.

J2020F: Doesn’t sound like Estes Park to me. Do we have to solve the riddle to figure out where to meet him?

Explorer: Yes.

J2020F: But we’re leaving Cabo tonight.

Explorer: Don’t worry.

J2020F: OK. Where were we? Oh, yes, Estes Park’s profile.

Explorer: Of the ones on the list it’s the only one without the Agri-Business neighborhood, but it has the most trendsetters: Gray Power, God’s Country, and New Eco-topia.

Eagle: And, it shares Big Sky Families with each of the previous towns, except Pagosa Springs.

J2020F: So the frequent profiles, so far seem to be Agri-business and Big Sky Families. What do we know about them?

Explorer: I’ll take Agri-business. These are the rural ranch and farm families, typically middle aged – from 45 to 64 age groups with a child under 18 still at home. What do they like to do, why go horseback riding, of course. And, like a lot of young California males these days, are likely to won a pick-up truck.

Eagle: Don’t forget other occupations include forestry, fishing, mining and other blue-collar employment. Agri-business cluster falls within Claritas’ Heartlander social group – families practicing self-sufficiency with a low cost of living.

J2020F: What about the other popular cluster, Big Sky Families?

Eagle: Basically, they are a younger version of Agri-business – mid-scale couples with kids under 18, but they’re in the 35 to 64 age groups. Not only a frequent profile in Colorado, but across most of the Western states including Hawaii. At last count, this profile pops up on roughly 33 different towns.

Explorer: They’re a part of the Country Families group that enjoy mid-scale affluence. Big Sky Families fall within the upper middle affluence category in the Claritas affluence categories. Other cluster members in this group include New Eco-topia, River City USA, and Shotguns and Pickups.

J2020F: Now, what about the last of the early growth towns, Durango?

Eagle: Well, it has two zip codes and the same trendsetter profile in both of them, New Eco-topia.

Explorer: And, it diverges from the pattern more than the others.

J2020F: What do you mean?

Explorer: It also has Big Fish, Small Pond. And Golden Ponds, Town & Gowns, Grain Belt, New Homesteaders, Mines & Mills, as well as the Big Sky Families we already profiled.

Eagle: Let’s come back to it later.

J2020F: Any more early growth?

Eagle: No, but you’ll begin to recognize the names of the mid-growth investment opportunities – Telluride, Steamboat Springs, Glenwood Springs, Beaver Creek, Crested Butte, Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Snowmass.

J2020F: These are somewhere around Dent’s 50% growth rate? Shouldn’t we begin to see more affluent trendsetter profiles, then?

Explorer: Of the first three, Telluride, Steamboat Springs and Glenwood Springs all include God’s Country and New Eco-topia in their zip codes.

Eagle: I’m looking at Beaver Creek, Crested Butte (two different zip codes each with New Eco-topia), Copper Mountain, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Snowmass. All of them, except for Crested Butte as noted, include two out of three trendsetter combinations from Country Squires, God’s Country, and New Eco-topia.

Explorer: Breckenridge has all three. And look at one other pattern. All of them, except Copper Mountain are home to Big Sky Families.

J2020F: Is that it?

Explorer. It is for mid-growth, but we have one late growth or early maturity town – Boulder.

Eagle: In terms of trendsetters, out of Boulder’s 4 zip codes, one zip code includes our Country Squires profile. A second zip code has both Country Squires and God’s Country, and a third includes God’s Country.

Explorer: But compared to the rest, Boulder also diversifies into other, new neighborhood clusters: only one, Towns & Gowns matches the outlier – Durango.

J2020F: What are the other profiles?

Eagle: Greenbelt Families (shared with Parker), Upward Bound, Boomtown Singles, Middle America, Second City Elite, Middleburg Managers, and Smalltown Downtown.

Explorer: Towns & Gowns show up in 3 out of the 4 zip codes. And look at this over here. I know we’re focusing on Colorado, but Boulder’s pattern looks very similar to Reno, Nevada’s.

J2020F: Where does Reno sit on the real estate s-growth curve?

Explorer: Like Boulder, late growth or early maturity.

Eagle: Here are the matching profiles scattered across 10 zip codes in Boulder: Towns & Gowns, Smalltown Downtown, Middle America, Boomtown Singles, Middleburg Managers, God’s Country, Greenbelt Families, Second City Elite, Country Squires.

J2020F: So, for Colorado, those towns in the innovation and early growth attract Agri-Business profiles and Big Sky Families, together with the trend-setting New Eco-topia or God’s Country neighborhoods. In early growth, often both trendsetters show up, as does a more diverse set of profiles – including Towns and Gowns in more mature towns.

Eagle: And, don’t forget the trend-setting profile we just discovered – the Country Squires. Add them to the list if you’re considering a real estate investment.

Explorer: We also have to caution that Colorado, like California, has recently experienced a trend-reversal when contrasted to the over 200 year old migration pattern.

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Copyright ©2002 - 2006 Aarnaes Howard Associates. All rights reserved worldwide.

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