PEP Searching for New Headquarters


Prowers Economic Prosperity, PEP, is looking for a new office as their last day at the Rodeway Cow Palace Inn will be Friday, January 5th.  Several locations have been considered, according to PEP President, Rick Robbins, during their January 2nd meeting at Las Brisas Restaurant.  He stated a facility that includes a conference room as well as office space tops the needs list for the economic development organization.  “We would need a conference room that could hold up to at least 12 persons,” Robbins explained.  Lamar Community College President, Dr. Linda Lujan said the college can offer available space on an interim basis while a search for a suitable location continues.  Board member, Michael Beard, said he would have an office providing up to 2,500 square feet by the first of February as that facility is being upgraded on South 5th Street in Lamar.  Following the meeting, several board members went to view the location.

Robbins began the monthly meeting with an overview of Rotaract, an outgrowth of the international Rotary organization that was created for a younger professional membership, between 18 and 30 years of age. “There are six Rotaract organizations now in Colorado,” Robbins said, adding that Lamar has had one for the past year.  “They helped the local Rotary this past December 16th when we held our Kid’s Christmas activities in downtown Lamar,” he explained.  More information on the local group is available at or by contacting John Rodriguez at 719-563-0929 or Heather Whisenhand at 719-691-0987.

PEP Executive Director, Eric Depperschmidt, provided an update on a jointly funded feasibility study to determine if there is sufficient need for an upscale motel/hotel in Lamar. Depperschmidt said funding for the study is provided by SECED, Southeast Colorado Enterprise Development, PEP and a 50% contribution by the City of Lamar.  Although there is current involvement with representatives from Cobblestone Inn and Suites, the study would be locally owned and its use would be determined by PEP, not any particular motel chain.  Depperschmidt said there had been some concerns that a new Cobblestone Motel would draw clients away from the one in Eads and could potentially hinder the development of another, planned for Springfield.

Board members received an update on the first meeting of an anti-marijuana committee held on December 12th at the Lamar Light Plant.  An idea was expressed several months ago, to market Lamar and the Prowers County area as being marijuana-free, in an effort to attract businesses which would consider this area based on local regulations.  There are no retail marijuana or grow businesses in the County based on local ordinances.  Board member, Anne-Marie Crampton, cautioned for the need to be specific on how any advertisement was worded as the use of medical marijuana and personal grow operations are permitted.  Depperschmidt said he would also explore the magazine recommended to carry the advertisement should the PEP board decide to pursue the idea.

The next PEP meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, February 6 at 7pm which will also serve as the group’s annual meeting. There has been no location announced at this time.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: City of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyCollegeConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyFeatured


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