East Haddam’s location in the lower Connecticut River Valley, is convenient to, yet apart from, the New York/Hartford/Boston metropolitan development corridor. The rural town offers a superb quality of life and its economics are intrinsically tied to its market niche as a historic and scenic place.
The town's primary economic base is in "tourism" - visitor services, restaurants, inns/resorts, specialty shops, theatre, history and culture. Tourism refers to people staying overnight, people making daytrips from their suburban or coastal homes, and to East Haddam's own second and seasonal home owners. The town's secondary economic base is home occupations and specialized light manufacturing.
The economic development strategy is to promote compatible, sustainable economic development that utilizes East Haddam’s untapped tourism industry, maximizes its industrial zones, and capitalizes on the Town’s resident-driven market potential. Development should be consistent with East Haddam’s historic character, quality of life and natural environment.
The economic development effort focuses on several areas:
MOODUS CENTER is the convenience retail and service location, meeting the needs of town residents. Anchors include Grist Mill Market, a small grocery store, and Nathan Hale Pharmacy. Family-style restaurants, take-out food, health services, office space and other retail establishments have succeeded in this area. Various areas in Moodus are zoned commercial and light industrial and are available for future development. (There is no public water or sewer.)
EAST HADDAM VILLAGE CENTER/GOODSPEED LANDING is the specialty retail and restaurant area, that appeals to visitors. Most of the area is contained in the Village District zoning area with several opportunities for future development available. (This area is a sewer district, but there is no public water supply.)
EAST HADDAM INDUSTRIAL PARK is located less than 2 miles from the East Haddam swingbridge crossing of the Connecticut River off of exit 7 of Route 9. Light industrial, and commercial businesses utilize this location. Various opportunities are available in this expanding district. (There is no public water or sewer.)