Enjoying one of the most spectacular settings in the West, Dubois rests in a valley between jagged peaks of the Absaroka and Wind River Mountains and the high desert landscape of the Badlands. The region is abundant with wildlife and populated by recent settlers from all corners of the US and the world as well as descendants of the homesteaders and loggers who began living here a century ago. The laid-back, independent Western way of living welcomes newcomers and allows them to assimilate at their own pace. Residents enjoy a small-town lifestyle with a subtle undercurrent of cosmopolitan sophistication.
Lacking mineral and oil deposits, the Upper Wind River Valley has been spared the boom-and-bust economy of other parts of Wyoming. In the half-century since the area’s last lumber mill closed, the Dubois economy has been based on a quiet mixture of ranching, tourism, and arts and crafts.
All this is being transformed by the steady expansion of high-speed internet to the Valley. Today the area remains peaceful and geographically remote, but a new breed of pioneers is arriving to take advantage of this resource. Quite a few of the area's residents work from home, in fields such as engineering, design, coding, consulting, publishing, and law.
The high quality and favorable teacher-student ratio at the local K-12 school, availability of full university scholarships and the proximity of Central Wyoming College with a branch location in Dubois and main campus in Riverton to the east, offer opportunities for employee training and workforce development for companies wishing to take advantage of new technology. The state-sponsored ENDOW initiative has as one of its goals to promote expansion of Internet-based business in rural areas of Wyoming with new incentives.
Wyoming’s business-friendly tax structure, and the fact that no general business license is required in Dubois (except for restaurant owners and liquor vendors), makes this region ideal for those seeking a new business opportunity.
New business opportunities
Informal local surveys indicate that there are many new businesses that would be welcomed and would have a ready customer base in Dubois. Some of these include: a microbrewery and pub, drive-through car wash, goat rental for weed control, barber shop, art and crafts gallery, mercantile/general store, chiropractic office, mental health counseling, rock shop, light manufacturing (e.g. after market snowmobile parts, supplement bottling), call center, welder, general contractor, and so on.
The Upper Wind River Valley is the “banana belt” of northwest Wyoming. Dubois ranks above average for days of sunshine and on Sperling’s comfort index. The dry desert climate keeps the town cool in summer and creates mild winters compared to nearby towns such as Jackson. Don’t be fooled by the numbers you may see on weather apps. On most winter days, we’re quite comfortable running out to get something out of the car without putting on a coat. Layering suffices to keep us warm, and we might sit out on the back porch with a glass of wine in the late afternoon. We don’t need air conditioning in the height of summer, because opening the windows overnight is enough to keep the house cool all day.
Residences in Dubois range from modest apartments and prefabricated homes to large log-built mountainside lodges. Newcomers may choose homes within town limits, some of them fronting on the Wind River, or they may find a residence at the edge of a forest on a mountain slope or nestled at the base of a draw in the badlands. For further information, please click here.
A comprehensive listing of organizations and services is available here.