Economic Development

Downtown Loveland Association

Voters in downtown Loveland will soon be casting a ballot in a special election on whether to create a downtown development authority. Proponents believe an authority to fund development will help the downtown thrive.

Trends show more and more people want a downtown experience, so it may be the perfect time.

Stephen Butler / Flickr - Creative Commons

Governor John Hickenlooper received a warm reception from lawmakers in both parties during his annual State of the State Address. The Governor talked about policies he wants the legislature to adopt, announced a few new initiatives and urged lawmakers to face facts about the challenges facing Colorado.

During his roughly 45-minute speech Hickenlooper highlighted many of his budget proposals, such as giving more money to higher education and K-12 schools. He also pledged to look at ways to creatively fund roads and bridges, and threw his support behind a felony DUI law. Colorado is one of four states without one.

David Shankbone / Creative Commons/Flickr

A proposed new group aimed at touting the business benefits of Northern Colorado is creating some waves, even though it hasn't officially launched yet. The Northern Colorado Economic Alliance would take a regional approach to attracting employers to an area that would include both Weld and Larimer counties, though its focus could extend as far south as Longmont (which straddles Weld and Boulder counties) and as far north as Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The problem? Northern Colorado already has two economic development organizations.

Kyla Duhamel / Creative Commons/Flickr

Colorado’s economy is projected to continue its upward trajectory in 2015, although the growth won’t be quite as robust as in the past two years. Economists with the University of Colorado in Boulder expect the state to add about 61,000 jobs.

"It won’t be quite as strong in terms of job growth as 2014 or 2013, but another strong year," says Richard Wobbekind with CU’s Leeds School of Business.

Nathan Heffel / KUNC

Towns across the Vail Valley are accelerating construction projects in anticipation of the "Super Bowl of alpine skiing," the 2015 FIS World Alpine Ski Championships. While the valley is no stranger to the event, there's still a lot of work to be done.

"Since the inception of the World Championships in 1931 there have only been 23 resorts around the world that have had the opportunity to host this once," said Vail Valley Foundation spokesman John Dakin. "This is our third time."

That unprecedented opportunity means investments in infrastructure, technology and services. The hope is that it will not only benefit the races, but the valley over the long haul as well.

Kent Kanouse / Flickr - Creative Commons

It’s no secret that Denver has a burgeoning arts and culture scene. While the rising tech industry, a fast growing population and Colorado's relatively low unemployment rate are all signs of economic growth, arts and sciences are also making their mark on Denver’s healthy business climate.

Growing Marijuana Industry Creates Real Estate Rush

Nov 6, 2014
Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

The showing starts inside an empty office building, the kind you’d see in any humdrum workplace sitcom, stripped of its cubicles and ceiling tiles, leaving just a bare, dusty shell.

Jason Thomas with Avalon Realty Advisors, a commercial real estate firm that deals with the marijuana industry’s entrepreneurs, shows off the building’s features: a fully operational HVAC system, fire sprinklers, heavy duty warehouse doors, equipped with locks.

It’s a blank slate for a marijuana grower, ready to be outfitted with thousands of lights and complex water delivery systems.

Legalizing marijuana in Colorado created a land rush. State law says the drug has to be grown indoors, but layers of regulation meant to curb out of state investment and tight zoning requirements have made real estate hard to come by for pot growers.

Prizmatic / Flickr - Creative Commons

Boulder residents can officially rest easy knowing that they have the most toilets per person of any city in the country. Denver has a place on the porcelain ranking too. That’s according to Redfin, a real estate broker and technology company, who recently mused on their blog on the cities in America with the most toilets per household.

Grace Hood / KUNC

Hotel construction across the U.S. has been on a tear in 2014. The number of rooms being built is up almost 50 percent compared to the previous year. In Colorado, the demand is partially fueled by the oil and gas boom along the state's eastern plains. But if history is any guide a bust usually follows a boom.

So how long can the building go on? What are developers doing to prepare for that change?

Stephanie Paige Ogburn / KUNC

In southwest Denver, just blocks off a stretch of West Evans Avenue liberally dotted with auto repair shops and paint stores, a ladder stretches up the side of a small, one-story tan house. Workers atop the roof wield tape measures and oil crayons, calling off numbers and making marks outlining a setup for solar panels.

The house belongs to Erika Caraveo, a short, soft-spoken woman who offers child care services as her main means of income. Normally, Caraveo couldn't afford the cost of a solar installation.

"I'm the only one paying the bills. I'm a single mom," she said.