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					Chapter VI                                                        Economic Development

                       VI. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT


Just as communities should provide for           of living wage jobs for the residence of
protection of their natural environments         Castle Rock.
and for consideration of natural
processes in the use of land, they also          The Economic Development element
should provide for economic                      comes in after the development of the
development and redevelopment if the             Castle Rock Community Action Plan,
community is to remain viable. The               completed in 2002 and the Castle Rock
economic health and well-being of the            Marketing and Feasibility Study,
City of Castle Rock is tied to a                 completed in 2005. Both plans provide a
commitment to promote a wide range of            program with specific activities and
employment opportunities for the                 projects which gives the business
citizens of the community as well as to          community a direction to seek
provide a setting and quality of life that       improvement of the economic
attracts businesses and residents. This          environment of the City.
element is outlined to encourage creation


Economic Development has become a                Economy, and Expanded Cultural and
major focus in the City of Castle Rock in        Recreational Opportunities.
the last five years. City officials and
residence have seen the potential for            In implementing the Community Action
future development as the area’s                 Plan the Castle Rock City Council
outlying communities are expanding.              identified the focus area of “Favorable
                                                 Business Conditions and Prosperous
The City completed a Community Action            Economy” as the top priority. As a
Plan in 2002, which was made possible            result, grants were procured from the
through a grant from the US Forest               Washington State Department of Trade
Service (Rural Community Assistance              and Economic Development (CTED)
Program) and in-kind contributions from          and the United States Department of
the City of Castle Rock and Cowlitz-             Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service to
Wahkiakum Council of Governments.                fund a Business Feasibility Analysis and
The goal of the Community Action Plan            Marketing Plan.
was to develop a community supported
“road map” for the future.                       The Business Feasibility Analysis and
                                                 Marketing Plan assessed Castle Rock’s
Results from the Community Action Plan           readiness for business development,
resulted in 8 strategies and 20 actions of       shown in Figure E-1, which was
implementation that fall under the               categorized into strengths or advantages,
following three focus areas: Healthy and         weaknesses or disadvantages, and
Effective Social Networks, Favorable             opportunities and potential threats that
Business Conditions and Prosperous               would impede success. From this

City of Castle Rock                          1                  Comprehensive Plan 2005
Chapter VI                                                                                 Economic Development

Figure E-1: Marketing Plan Chart
      Prepare Kick-Off Meeting                   Survey Shoppers                             Interview business service providers
      Community tour (business                   Secret Shopper in-store visits               & resource organizations
       perspective)                               Survey & Interview Business                 Marketing review
      Revise Previous Reports                     Owners                                      Analytical Research

   Demographic Profile                         Tourism – Visitor Potential                     Marketing Readiness
    Moderate population growth                 Mt. St. Helens: 1.5 million visitors/yr        Site selection data is negligible =
    Limited ethnic diversity                   Seaquest State Park: 356,000                     Weakness
    Slightly older population than state         visitors/year                                 No brand identity = Weakness
    Less affluent than state                   $97.5 million spending/year                    Lack of organized & prepared
                                                Shopper Survey Results: Poor                     business team = Weakness
   Community Tapestry                             selection, High prices, Limited               Potential for very responsive
    27.4% Midland Crowd                          hours, 52% say best time to shop on a           team – already conducting pre-
                                                  weekday is after 5:00 pm                        development meetings = Neutral
    23% Salt of the Earth
    20% Rooted Rural                                                                           Marketing budget available – little
                                               Business Development Readiness                     to none = Weakness
   Retail Potential
                                                Workforce & Education = Weakness
      $134.2 million/2004
                                                Ready-to-Go Real Estate = Weakness
      583,000 sq. ft. (commercial real
                                                Utilities = Strength
       estate)                                  Transportation = Strength
      CR residents in local trade area         Business Environment = Neutral
       spend well below average on              Business Services = Weakness
       virtually all goods                     Small Business / Entrepreneur Resources
                                                  = Weakness

                                                        S.W.O.T. ANALYSIS
   Castle Rock Strengths           Castle Rock Weaknesses            Castle Rock                      Competitive Threats
      Large regional market             Job loss & slow            Opportunities                        Retailers meeting the
      I-5 Corridor                       population growth           Visitor market                      needs of multiple
      Extensive shipment                Limited retail selection    Cluster of gift stores              markets
       options                           Regulatory process –        Unique specialty                   Curtail retail leakage
      Strong visitor market              mixed reviews                 shopping district                 Limited supply of quality,
      Small town friendliness           Higher than average         Untapped retail                     ready-to-go commercial
                                                                                                           & industrial real estate
                                         water & sewer fees          Entrepreneurial spirit
       Gift & antique shops
                                         Unclear identity            Competitive services               Competing with 5,000
   EONOMIC                               Downtown vacancies            through permit process
                                                                                                           acres of developed
                                                                                                           industrial land in region
   DEVELOPMENT                           Retail leakage
                                                                                                          Community readiness for
   GOALS                                                                                                   change

   Goal 1: The
   develop on being                 Castle Rock
                                                                                                                TARGET: Retail-
                            Strategic Marketing Plan
   the “gateway”,                                                                                               Commercial
                  I. Product Development: getting real estate                                                   Business
   “staging area”, and market-ready
                                                                              Implementation                        Merchandise
   shopping and                                                                                                     Services
                  II. Organize for Business Development:                          Guide
   supply              enhancing the city’s competitive advantage              (Specific steps to                   Restaurant/Food
 Strategybase for for speedy permitting and exception service                  carry out strategic                  Entertainment
            tourists Target Best Opportunities: focusing efforts
            embarkinglocal business development,
                       on                                                                               TARGET:       TARGET:
                       entrepreneurship, and an external marketing                                      Tourism-      Cottage Industries
            up the program for                                                                          Visitor
                                                                                                                       Artisan products
            Spirit Lakebusiness recruitment                                                             Market
                                                                                                                       Entrepreneurs
City of Castle Rock to                                   2                              Comprehensive Plan 2005
            Mount St.
Chapter VI                                                         Economic Development

analysis of business feasibility a                Strategic Initiative 2; Organize for
Strategic Marketing Plan was created.             Business Development
                                                       Ensure the City’s development
The Marketing Plan recommends three                       review, fee schedule and other
strategic initiatives for Castle Rock to                  regulatory processes, are
successfully achieve their goals; Produce                 streamlined and clearly
Readiness, Organize for Business                          articulate with a reputation for
Development, and Target Best                              exceptional service, such that
Opportunities.                                            businesses and developers will
                                                          say: “Castle Rock is a little city
Strategic initiative 1; Produce                           with the best development
Readiness                                                 process and location assistance
    Make Castle Rock’s industrial                        in the state; there were no
       and commercial real estate                         surprises”
       product offerings market ready                  Mobilize a proactive Business
       and enable Castle Rock to                          Team to facilitate positive
       effectively compete for targeted                   business climate and support
       businesses.                                        business recruitment and
    Present a welcoming and                              expansion efforts.
       inviting image for visitors and
       tourists                                   This initiative deals with assisting
                                                  businesses seeking a location, as well as
This initiative addresses necessary               presenting a clear and consistent
improvements to enhance industrial and            permitting process with competitive fee
commercial real estate, land and                  schedules.
buildings, to make Castle Rock
competitive in the regional market.               Currently the City offers pre-
Additional actions are directed to                development meetings with businesses
upgrading Castle Rock’s image in the              to review projects, discuss options;
eye of visitors and tourists. The                 answer questions and present anticipated
community needs adequate physical                 fees and costs for development. This is
locations to accommodate new                      a cost to developers, as well as the water
businesses.                                       and sewer rates of the city come in
                                                  higher than the state average.
Currently the City only has one
industrial site, the Hornstra property, for
major industrial development. There are           Strategic Initiative 3: Target Best
no industrial or business parks and no            Opportunities
industrial buildings available for lease.              Support local businesses to
Regionally there is too much                              prosper and expand
competition for industrial sites, with                 Encourage entrepreneurship to
other areas having ready-to-go sites.                     strengthen the business
Office space is limited and selected                      community and engage Castle
retail/commercial spaces are for rent but                 Rock’s youth.
are not in ready-for market condition.                 Augment Castle Rock’s retail
                                                          and service offering to reduce

City of Castle Rock                           3                  Comprehensive Plan 2005
Chapter VI                                                        Economic Development

        sales leakage and increase sales         prepare you to recruit targeted business
        tax revenues                             to Castle Rock.
       Implement a focused external
        marketing program to recruit a           Currently Castle Rock’s businesses are
        campground or recreational               underserved with business resources.
        vehicle park developer and               Employers have no where to seek
        operator                                 resources such as business counseling,
       Create awareness of Castle Rock          financing tools, and hiring/training
        in the minds of commercial and           services. There are also no networking
        industrial targets.                      groups within the City or surrounding
This initiative will help to cultivate the
best opportunities to grow business, jobs        The city’s goal is to continue working
and wealth creation in Castle Rock. It is        toward implementation of the above
focused on the greatest impact for your          ideas, improving the local economy as
investment of time and money, the                they go. For more information refer to
action associated with this strategic            the Castle Rock Community Action Plan
initiative will promote local business           and the Castle Rock Business Feasibility
development, spur entrepreneurship, and          Analysis and Marketing Plan.


This section provides an analysis of             For most of Castle Rock’s history, its
current trends in population and                 economic health has been tied directly to
employment. The purpose of this                  the timber industry. Logging has been
analysis is to establish a baseline              the mainstay of the city’s economy,
understanding of the character and               focusing on the processing and exporting
direction of Castle Rock’s economy,              of forest resources. With timber
including demographic turns, spending            practices being dominant in Castle Rock
patterns, labor force composition, and           and Cowlitz County, the recent
industries which are prevalent. All of           downturn in the industry has hurt local
these features viewed together provide a         economies. Castle Rock has expanded
broad overview of Castle Rock’s                  its employment opportunities for
economy, upon which policies and                 services, retail, and wholesale and needs
programs related to economic developed           to continue exploring new economic
should be based.                                 mainstays for the community.

Household Income

Household income is discussed in detail          1). Median household income for
in the Housing Element (Chapter 3). To           Cowlitz County is $43,675 for 2004
summarize, the income of the greatest            (OFM projection). Compared to the
concentration of households is around            state median income of $45,776 (2000
the $35,000 to $49,999 income range,             Census) and a projected 2004 median
with a median income of $37, 212,                income of $51,762, it is clear that
according to the 2000 census (Table E-           Cowlitz County and the City of Castle

City of Castle Rock                          4                  Comprehensive Plan 2005
           Chapter VI                                                                               Economic Development

           Rock is behind the state in terms of                              median income growth from 1980-2000
                                                                             for Castle Rock, Cowlitz County, and
 $50,000                                                                     Washington State.
                                                                             Table E-2: Median Household
                                                                             Income for Selected Cities and
 $25,000                                                                     Cowlitz County
 $20,000                                                                     City              1989         1999            Increase
                                                                             Castle Rock       $22,582      $37,212         39%
                                                                             Kelso             $23,887      $29,722         24%
     $0                                                                      Longview          $25,535      $35,171         38%
              Castle Rock      Cowlitz County    Washington State

                            1980   1990   2000
                                                                             Kalama            $30,542      $38,152         25%
                                                                             Woodland          $25,615      $40,742         59%
           median income. Table E-2 shows the
                                                                             Cowlitz           $27,866      $39,797         43%
                                                                             Source: Census 2000

           Employment Characteristics

  A significant factor in identifying potential                              With Castle Rock being such a small city
  for future employment is labor force                                       within Cowlitz County it is highly
  participation. The labor force includes                                    dependant on the economic state of the
  persons who are working or actively seeking                                County and southwest Washington. The
  work. The City of Castle Rock currently has                                labor force in Cowlitz County has increased
  a work force of 854 people. Of these 854                                   slowly over the last decade (Table E-4).
  people 165 of them work within the City of
  Castle Rock, 584 work within Cowlitz                                       Table E-4: Labor Force and
  County, 66 work outside of Cowlitz County,                                 Unemployment
  and 39 work outside of Washington State.                                   Year     Labor Force         Unemployment
  A small portion of the working population                                  1970     27,500              8.10%
  works at home (Table E-3). Cowlitz County                                  1975     31,530              8.40%
  has a labor force estimated at 40,140 people.                              1980     34,610              10.70%
  Castle Rock’s labor force is likely to decline                             1985     34,260              11.90%
  in the future due to an aging population and                               1990     37,910              6.70%
                                                                             1995     40,180              8.20%
  stagnate population growth.                                                2000     41,080              7.80%
                                                                             2004     43,190              8.60%
  Table E-3: Place of Employment                                             Source: Washington State Employment Security
Worker Location                           Workers       Percent
                                                                             As a whole Cowlitz County has relied on
Cowlitz County                            584           68%                  manufacturing and industrial activity related
  Castle Rock                             158           19%                  to the timber industry. Consistent with
  Home                                    7             1%                   statewide trends these enterprises have
Outside Cowlitz County                    66            8%                   declined in terms of their overall share of the
Outside Washington                        39            5%                   employment base. Unemployment has
Total Workers                             854           Source: Census
                                                                             fluctuated widely over the last several years
                                                                             and remains well above state and national

           City of Castle Rock                                           5                         Comprehensive Plan 2005
Chapter VI                                                                      Economic Development

averages, although it is consistent with                      Table E-6: Castle Rock Employment
adjacent counties including Lewis (WA)                        Trends
and Columbia (OR).                                                         1999 Annual Averages                Change 1995-1999
                                                      Employment            # of  Avg.       Avg.             # of   Avg.      Avg.
Cowlitz County supports over 45,900 jobs              Sector              Firms Emp.        Wage            Firms   Emp.      Wage
with manufacturing accounting for                                                                                                 -
approximately 7,100 employees, with trade,            Agriculture             13        37     $13,200          -3     -44   $6,600
transportation and utilities coming second at         Construction            36       118     $22,100         14        6    -$700
                                                      Manufacturing           30       194     $29,200           3     -64   $4,200
6,800 employees (Table E-5). Government,
                                                      TCU                     16        39     $25,600           4      17    -$800
education and health care all represent               Wholesale
major employment sectors within the                   Trade                    7        29     $45,000          -1         5      $4,900
county. Retail trade and service industry             Retail Trade            32       323     $11,200          -1        47       -$600
are two of the fastest growing sectors within                                                                                          -
                                                      FIRE                     5        11     $14,300           2            2   $6,200
the county.                                                                                                                            -
                                                      Services                80       149       $9,300         36       -48      $4,100
Table E-5: Major Employment Sectors                   Total                  219       900     $18,000          54       -79      -$600
Of Cowlitz County, Mark 2005                                  Note:     Wages have been adjusted for inflation. TCU denotes
Industry                               Employed                         transportation, communication, and utilities, FIRE
Manufacturing                          7,100                            stands for finance, insurance and real estate.
                                                              Source:   Washington State Employment Security.
Trade, Transp,Utilities                6,800
Government                             6,100                  Interestingly enough, an equal number of
Education & Health Services            4,900                  people commute from Clark County to
Health Care &Social Asst.              4,600                  Cowlitz County for employment. While
Local Governments                      4,600
                                                              there are no specifics for Castle Rock
Non-Durable Goods                      4,300
Retail Trade                           4,200                  residence, it is expected that the majority of
Natural Resource/Mining                3,300                  those who work outside of the county,
Source: Washington State Employment Security                  commute to Clark or Lewis counties. The
                                                              mean travel time to work is 24.7 minutes
In the City of Castle Rock there are                          according to the 2000 census. This is likely
approximately 900 employees, with the                         to increase as more people move to Castle
number one employer being retail trade with                   Rock and commute to Clark or Lewis
323 employees. Manufacturing is the second                    County for employment.
largest employer with 194 employees, and
services and construction round out the top                   Table E-7: Length of Commute to Work
four employers. Wholesale trade earns the                     Minutes         Number of          Percent
largest wage within the City, although there                  To Work         Commuters          Distribution
are only 29 employees, and manufacturing                      1-9             178                21%
has the second highest wage. This                             10-19           212                25%
information plus changes from 1995 are                        20-34           311                37%
shown in Table E-6.                                           35-59           82                 10%
                                                              60+             64                 7%
                                                              Source: Census 2000
In Castle Rock, around 8% of workers are
employed outside of Cowlitz County. A
                                                              As discussed before, a fair amount of Castle
sizable portion of Cowlitz County residence
(assuming Castle Rock residence as well)                      Rock’s workforce travels outside of the city.
commute to Clark County for work.                             This is a result of the cities proximity to
                                                              Longview, Kelso, Vancouver, and Centralia.

City of Castle Rock                               6                          Comprehensive Plan 2005
 Chapter VI                                                                                                                                            Economic Development

 According to Table E-7, 62% of residences                                                                                       likely work within Castle Rock or perhaps
 have a commute between 10-34 minutes,                                                                                           the Longview/Kelso area.
 meaning they are working outside of the
 city. 21% of Castle Rock residence has less
 than a 9 minute commute meaning they

 Regional Employment Outlook

 An important indicator of economic
 conditions is unemployment rates. The                                                                                           Wholesale and retail trade represents a
 unemployment rate is the percentage of the                                                                                      bright spot at the county and city level. In
 total labor force who have been unable to                                                                                       Cowlitz County the number of people
 secure jobs but who are actively looking for                                                                                    finding work in wholesale/retail trade more
 work. Unemployment rates in Cowlitz                                                                                             than doubled between 1970 and 2000
 County have been 20% higher than the                                                                                            (128%). In the City of Castle Rock between
 statewide average for three consecutive                                                                                         1995 and 2000 the wholesale/retail trade
 years (Figure E-8), meaning as of 2004 it is                                                                                    industry gained 52 employees as
 considered a “distressed county”.                                                                                               manufacturing lost 64. Even though
 Manufacturing is more prevalent in Cowlitz                                                                                      wholesale/retail trade jobs help offset the
 County than the statewide average and is led                                                                                    decline in manufacturing and timber-related
 by timber, paper and food processing. In                                                                                        jobs, the overall wages in this employment
 2000 manufacturing accounted for 26% of                                                                                         sector are quite low, averaging $23,263 per
 employment, with an average wage of                                                                                             year in 2000. The City of Castle Rock is
 $44,174, which is seventh highest wage in                                                                                       relying more on retail, wholesale, services,
 the state. Despite the high wages and                                                                                           and construction employment sectors rather
 overall dominance, manufacturing has                                                                                            than the historic manufacturing sector.
 declined significantly in the last 20 years,
 primarily related to decreasing employment                                                                                      Figure E-9: Cowlitz County Employment
 in timber and related industries.                                                                                               Trends (1970-2000)

   Figure E-8: Unemployment Rates 1980-                                                                                         45,000                                                              2.5%

                   2000                                                                                                         40,000
 Source: Washington State Employment Security (CR Community                                                                                                                                         2.0%
                                                                                             Cowlitz County Non-Ag Employment

 Action Plan)
                                                                                                                                30,000                                                                                    obs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 tatewide J

18.0%                                                                                                                           25,000
                                                                                                                                                                                                           % of S

14.0%                                                                                                                                                                                               1.0%
10.0%                                                                                                                           10,000                                                              0.5%
8.0%                                                                                                                             5,000
                                                                                                                                    0                                                               0.0%
                                                                                                                                         1970   1975    1980     1985    1990         1995   2000
                                                                                                                                                        Cowlitz County   % of State
                                                                                                                                 Source: Washington State Employment Security (CR Community











                                                                                                                                 Action Plan)
                             Cowlitz County          Washington State

 City of Castle Rock                                                                     7                                                        Comprehensive Plan 2005
Chapter VI                                                            Economic Development

Socioeconomic Trends

Another factor in considering potential for          equivalent. With the City and the county
economic adjustment and diversification of           relying heavily on manufacturing jobs, many
the economic base is the degree of                   workers have technical training and are
educational attainment by the labor force            highly skilled in their fields.
and potential labor force. Statistic for
educational attainment in the City of Castle         Table E-10: Educational Attainment
Rock shows a lower percentage of residence           City of Castle Rock
with bachelor’s degrees or higher (9%)
compared to Cowlitz County (13.3%)                   Level of Education             Percent
(Census 2000). In comparison to the overall          Less than High School          21%
state figures (27.7%) the county and the city        H.S diploma or equivalent      35%
have a lower percentage of college-educated          Some College                   30%
residence. At least 79% of Castle Rock               Associates Degree              5%
Residence have a high school education or            Bachelors Degree               5%
                                                     Masters Degree                 2%
                                                     Doctor/Professional            2%
                                                     Source: Census 2000

Education and Training Facilities

Residences of Castle Rock have access to             Vancouver), Clark College in Vancouver,
higher education and/or technical training at        and Centralia Community College in
several nearby locations. There are very few         Centralia, which offer a variety of training
Institutions or Colleges offering four-year          and degree or transfer programs.
degrees within vicinity to Castle Rock. The          Washington State University Vancouver
closest institution to Castle Rock is Lower          provides bachelor and graduate degrees to
Columbia Community College in Longview,              transfer student and will begin accepting
which offers mostly two-year degrees and             small number of freshman students in the
numerous training opportunities to a student         fall of 2006. Clark College and Centralia
population of over 4,300 people. In recent           College offer two-year degrees and technical
years Lower Columbia College has teamed              training for full and part time students. The
with Washington State University in                  greater Portland and Olympia areas offers
Vancouver and Linfield in northwest                  opportunities for study at many acclaimed
Oregon to offer a wider base of educational          institutions including Portland State
opportunity and access to classes for four-          University, the University of Portland, St.
year degrees.                                        Martins College, South Puget Sound
                                                     College, and Evergreen State, all within
Other institutions outside of the area include       approximately one hour from Castle Rock.
Washington State University (WSU

City of Castle Rock                              8                 Comprehensive Plan 2005
Chapter VI                                                               Economic Development

Travel & Retail Spending

With Castle Rock being nicknamed the                   downtown. In the last few years new
“Gateway to Mt. St. Helens”, tourism                   businesses have sprung up downtown
becomes a focus of the local economy. The              helping draw more people into the heart of
city receives revenue from tourist dollars             the city.
associated with sales in lodging, food
service, recreation, transportation and retail         Table E-11 provides a summary of local
business. The travel industry has                      businesses within the Castle Rock area (zip
experienced growth since the 1980 eruption             code 98611) as provided by the U.S Census
of Mt. St Helens. This is due to Castle Rock           Bureau. Retail spending in the Castle Rock
being located at the beginning of State                trade area, totaled over
Route 504, the tourist route for the mountain          >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
and its visitor centers. The travel industry           >>>>>>>>>>>>>>
not only brings in revenue, it also generates
employment opportunities because it is                 Table E-11: Businesses within Castle
service oriented and labor intensive.                  Rock Area (zip code)
                                                       Industry Sector                                Businesses
The largest source of revenue from travel              Construction                                   34
dollars in Cowlitz County comes from                   Forestry, fishing, hunting, Ag                 28
                                                       Accommodations & Food Serv.                    23
commercial accommodations such as hotels,              Retail Trade                                   20
motels, bed and breakfast inns and resorts.            Health Care and social assistance              15
Travel dollars in Cowlitz County topped $98            Other services(except public                   15
million in 2003 and employed over 1,500                administration)
people.                                                Transportation & Warehousing                   13
                                                       Professional, scientific & technical           10
Castle Rock provides a variety of activities           Manufacturing                                  8
for its visitors and its locals alike. With            Admin,support,waste mgt,                       7
services such as a post office, grocery store,         remediation ser
lodging, medical/dental, veterinary,                   Real estate & rental leasing                   4
                                                       Finance & insurance                            3
restaurants and service stations the citizens          Information                                    1
of Castle Rock are taken care of. With                 Management of companies &                      1
Castle Rock having a highway business                  enterprises
district that thrives from tourist dollars, they       Source: Census 2000; Zip Code Business patterns 2002

are beginning to re-vive their historic


Land Supply

The future of Castle Rock’s economy will               availability of vacant land in the study area
depend on whether adequate land is                     (Chapter 2 Land Use), it was found that the
available. Land is needed for businesses to            amount of land designated for commercial
expand operations and develop new                      uses, including retail and commercial
facilities. In reviewing the current                   development equals 61 acres. Of these 61

City of Castle Rock                                9                  Comprehensive Plan 2005
Chapter VI                                                      Economic Development

acres all of them are located outside of the       commercial development, although they are
downtown core along the Interstate-5               not rent-ready.
interchanges. This provides opportunity to         Vacant land classified as industrial equals
expand the tourism, and retail sectors. The        130 acres, which is undeveloped. As stated
downtown area doesn’t have any vacant land         in the Business Feasibility and Marketing
but they do have vacant buildings. The city        Plan the city has a lot of competition within
needs to work with building owners to              the county, due to the abundance of “shovel
ensure that available spaces are rent ready,       ready” industrial land. Due to this fact it
this will help attract business to the area.       may be beneficial for the City to explore
Currently there are 8 empty commercial             other development options for the industrial
locations within the downtown area. All of         land located at the southern most point of
these available store fronts are suited for        the city limits at exit 48.

Future Development Areas

This section outlines types and location of        on tourism associated with Mt. St Helens.
new development for Economic purposes.             The downtown area should portray historic
Exit 48 was proposed as a commercial               preservation in its re-development. The
development site in the 1986                       downtown district should consider a
Comprehensive Plan. This idea should be            downtown theme or retail idea. There
carried forward, but adding the industrial         should be some small commercial pockets
property located to the west as part of the        that serve local neighborhoods. One place
commercial/professional development                should be Four Corners off of West Side
pocket. Exit 49 development should focus           Highway (See Figure##

Business Types

Most economic development within                   and develop a program to attract new and
Washington State and Cowlitz County is in          fast growing small businesses. Not only
small enterprises. A lot of municipalities         would this bring in new business, it would
search for major industrial facilities and         help existing businesses expand. There are
compete with metropolitan areas with               several advantages to maintaining a small
greater resources to provide incentives.           business network. Small businesses value a
Castle Rock lacks the resources to compete         supportive city environment and hire locally,
for major facilities in an incentive bidding       while many large employers bring in
ware, but does have attributes that are            existing employees from outside the area.
attractive to small business such as its           Small local businesses support the local
existing and close proximity to retail and         economy. Their wages and profits tend to
services, housing market and quality of life.      be circulated locally, producing a local
Rather than pursuing big new developments,         multiplier effect for retail and services.
the City should build on economic clusters


Goal 1: To develop on being the
“gateway”, “staging area”, and shopping and

City of Castle Rock                           10              Comprehensive Plan 2005
Chapter VI                                                    Economic Development

supply base for tourists embarking up the        Goal 6: To encourage a regional economic
Spirit Lake Highway corridor to Mount St.        development strategy.
Helens related attractions.
                                                 Goal 7: Work toward implementation of
Goal 2: To ensure sustained economic             the Castle Rock Community Action Plan
growth, and increase employment                  (2002) and the Business Feasibility and
opportunities.                                   Marketing Plan (2004).

Goal 3: To ensure that the public facilities     Goal 8: Encourage the creation of family-
and services necessary to attract and support    wage jobs in and around Castle Rock
economic development is available and
adequate.                                        Goal 9: Attain an improved level of
                                                 commercial and service activities in the
Goal 4: To develop and secure Castle             City.
Rock’s position as the commercial center
serving northern Cowlitz County.                 Goal 10: Make Castle Rock’s industrial and
                                                 commercial real estate product offerings
Goal 5: To bring about redevelopment of          market ready and enabling Castle Rock to
Downtown Castle Rock in a partnership of         effectively compete for targeted businesses.
the City, downtown business, property
owners, and community interest groups.           Goal 11: Encourage entrepreneurship to
                                                 strengthen the business community and
Goal 1-5 from old plan                           engage Castle Rock’s youth.


Policy 1: The city should work with              Policy 4: Evaluate local infrastructure
Washington State Department of                   capacity and business-related regulations,
Transportation to ensure adequate signage is     and amend as necessary to attract and retain
in place to alert visitors of the amenities      the desired economic base, without
provided.                                        sacrificing Castle Rock’s high quality of
Policy 2: Work closely with Castle Rock
Chamber of Commerce, and the Castle Rock         Policy 5: Consider reinvesting a portion of
Community Action Plan Committee                  revenue gains generated by business
(steering committee) to implement economic       expansion into additional infrastructure
development strategies specified in the          capacity, to maintain momentum and
Action Plan and Marketing Plan.                  perpetuate job growth.

Policy 3: Research and structure an array of     Policy 6: Partner with local economic
new incentives to help recruit desired           development organizations to develop and
business and industry. Fold incentive into a     manage resource assistance programs,
marketing package that can be provided to        worker training and technical assistance for
existing and prospective businesses.             a variety of business types and sizes.

City of Castle Rock                         11              Comprehensive Plan 2005
Chapter VI                                                   Economic Development

Policy 7: Structure worker training             Policy 8: Ensure that sufficient commercial
programs to match existing business needs       lands exist to meet various retail, service and
as well as those of prospective and emerging    general consumer needs.
market businesses. Consider coordinating
these programs through the LCC learning         Policy 9: Encourage the rehabilitation and
centers.                                        re-use of historic buildings and /or
                                                dilapidated commercial areas.

City of Castle Rock                        12              Comprehensive Plan 2005
Chapter VI                  Economic Development

City of Castle Rock   13   Comprehensive Plan 2005

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