Sunday, October 7, 2012

Three Recent Denver Region Economic Development Wins

There were three recent notable Denver Region Economic development wins worth pointing out in strategic regional industry clusters: Natural Foods, Green Energy, and High Tech.
  • Smart Balance, the healthy and natural foods company that purchased Denver-based Udi's in July 2012 announced it is changing its name to "Boulder Brands, Inc"
     and moving its corproate headquarters to Boulder, CO.   According to the company's October 2, 2012 press release:
"In 2013, the Company plans to move its primary corporate offices to Boulder, CO, and change
its name to Boulder Brands, Inc., which better reflects its recent transformation to a company
with multiple brands and a greater presence in natural foods.  Commenting on the organizational change, Steve Hughes stated, “The establishment of two business segments and the relocation of our corporate headquarters to Boulder, CO — the Silicon Valley of natural foods— is consistent with our long‐term view of the Company and will allow us to plan and execute on our strategy more effectively."

  • Its been a rough year in the U.S. for Vestas, the Denmark-based wind turbine manufacturer.   Despite bipartisan support, the U.S. congress has not yes extended the wind product tax credit currently set to expire at the end of 2012, creating regulatory uncertainty and reducing demand in the U.S. for wind energy generation expansion.   As a result, Vestas has had several rounds of layoffs at Colorado facilities.  However, one bright spot is the company's committment to Colorado seems strong as Vestas is consolidating several U.S. R and D offices (in Houston, Marlborough, MA and Louisville, CO into a single hub in Brighton, Colorado. 

  • Hitachi Data Systems which provides enterprise storage systems including hardware, softward, and services announced it is expanding its Colorado presence with a new office in Douglas County which will create hundreds of jobs over the next five years.   According to an October 5th press release from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade:
 "This expansion is very important to Hitachi Data Systems” said Randy DeMont, HDS’ Executive Vice President and General Manager. “We have experienced significant growth over the last several years and are excited to bring that to the Colorado community. In selecting the new location for our Colorado office, we weighed many critical factors and found the Denver area to best match our business goals and values. We look forward to the expansion and becoming a valued contributor to our shared community."