Sunday, March 14, 2010

Westword on DIA's Future

Westword publishes an occasional excellent long form feature article on the Denver Region's future. These discussions are packed with detailed information not available in other news outlets. The latest by Alan Prendergast, "DIA Dreams," is about the future plans for the Denver Region's main airport. For a link to the Westword take on the Union Station redevelopment see my previous blog entry on Joel Warner's outstanding 2008 story.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Boulder: The New (Green and Crunchy) Peoria

My beloved hometown, the eco-fabulous, natural foods and outdoor recreation mecca of Boulder, Colorado has seen its global profile raised by a couple of recent corporate announcements by international consumer brands the Mars Candy Company and Wenger, the swiss army knife maker. Boulder, it seems, has become a highly desirable test market for global brands seeking to increase their presence in the healthy living, outdoor recreation, and natural foods sectors - kind of like a green and crunchy version of that old middle American stalwart test market - Peoria, Illinois. I guess the theory is if it plays in Boulder, it will play in similar upscale demographic enclaves around the nation.


Press Release: Mars Chocolate North America Introduces goodnessKnows™ Luscious Snacksquares Brand to Boulder, Colo. Market

“HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. --- Mars Chocolate North America announced today the
premiere of goodnessKnows™ luscious snacksquares in Boulder, Colo.

'This area is world-famous for its emphasis on and appreciation of −
healthy living,' said Suzanne Stites, cocoa flavanol platform leader, Mars
Chocolate, North America. 'If we can get a stamp of approval from Colorado’s
discerning, health-conscious consumers, then consumers everywhere should embrace this new snack!' "

Press Release: Wenger Announces Plans For Retail Store in Boulder, CO

"February 24, 2010 — Wenger, Maker of the Genuine Swiss Army Knife, and
Established Brands International today announced plans to open its first United
States retail store, to be located on iconic Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado.
The 3,000-square foot retail shop, scheduled to open in April, 2010 will be
situated in the heart of Boulder’s historic downtown district.

The new retail store... will be designed in a vintage, natural environment,
to reflect one of the most highly recognized outdoor brands in the world in one
of the most outdoor-centric locations within the United States. The Pearl Street
site will be the first retail outlet in the U.S. to house Wenger’s entire global
family of products and will serve as a key facility to launch new product

'Boulder provides a sense of authenticity for all things and activities
pertaining to the outdoors,' said Ron Page, CEO Established Brands
International. 'It’s a perfect fit for us.' "


Although the tone in the first part of this blog post was a bit bemused, this is serious business for Boulder which is uniquely positioned as an innovator in the natural and organic food and outdoor recreation industries. Boulder's long-term economic vitality depends in part on growing these segments of the local economy.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Louisville and ConocoPhillips Working Together on Campus Planning

The Daily Camera reported that the Louisville Planning Commission and ConocoPhillips seem to be having a productive working relationship in planning the company's proposed research and training campus at the former StorageTek site off U.S. 36.

This project is one of the most important economic development efforts underway in the Denver Region and is critical to the growth of the region's sustainable energy cluster.

For more information about this project see the ConocoPhillips web site and these previous blog entries.

Image above from ConocoPhillips web site.

IBM's "Quiet" Layoffs in Boulder

The Denver Post recently published an article about IBM layoffs in Boulder. The company has been very quiet about this "resource action" which reportedly impacted 2,800 workers across the country and all the Post deduced was that it was not a large layoff because it did not trigger Colorado state labor laws that require public disclosure about the size of the impact. IBM currently has 2,800 employees in Boulder and it is the largest private employer there.

I am wondering how this will impact the company's plans to hire 500 new customer service workers in Boulder.