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John Bristol, Routt County Economic Development Partnership

John Bristol


Routt County Economic Development Partnership

John Bristol is the Executive Director of the Routt County Economic Development Partnership (RCEDP), a nonprofit multi-investor economic development organization (EDO) serving Routt County and the communities of Hayden, Oak Creek, Steamboat Springs, and Yampa in rural northwestern Colorado. RCEDP focuses on industry diversification with programing for entrepreneurship, business retention and expansion, target industry clusters, and relocation services. This work moves the community towards a more sustainable and resilient future with quality jobs across a more diverse mix of industries.

RCEDP is the evolution of John’s previous work as the economic development director at the Steamboat Springs Chamber where he led a three-way partnership between Routt County, City of Steamboat Springs, and the Steamboat Springs Chamber for economic development.

Prior to moving to Routt County, John worked in Denver for Colorado’s then-Governor John Hickenlooper in his Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) where he led foreign direct investment and trade promotion work to connect Colorado businesses to international markets. He coordinated the Governor’s trade missions to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro along with foreign trade delegations to Mexico City and other locations.

Before taking the position at OEDIT, John served one year in El Salvador with the U.S. Peace Corps Response program as a consultant with a local destination management organization to develop their capacities in community relations, marketing, planning, and product development.

John moved to El Salvador after a decade of federal service with U.S. Senator Mark Udall. As the Senator’s grants director he bridged the policy and outreach teams as the liaison for private business and government seeking federal grants, loans, contracts or special designations and related policy changes. He advocated for $234M in funding to Colorado and took on additional projects including: federal political appointments, federal judicial nominations and the Colorado Capital Conference, among others.

After college John served two and a half years as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Peru and led small business development projects including participation in international trade shows in Chile, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and the U.S.

John earned a B.A. in both Spanish for International Business and Political Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a M.P.A. in Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Denver. He speaks fluent Spanish.

John is originally from Buena Vista, Colorado where his parents ranched and operated an excavation company. He is proud to be in Routt County where his great-grandparents’ homesteaded and subsequent generations worked in farming, ranching, coal, and other sectors of the local economy. In his free time, he heads to the mountains to backpack, camp, climb, fish, ski, and spend time with his family and friends.