ARCHIVED  May 1, 1996

Northern Front Range finds strength in diversity

Diversification builds good economies.

That’s why it’s comforting to see the disparate enterprises that make up the economy of the Northern Front Range, from Longmont to Greeley, from

Fort Collins to Cheyenne, from Loveland to Laramie.

Nothing illustrates the diversity of this region more than The Business Report’s list of its largest private companies, which debuts with this edition.

The list will become an annual, signature feature of this newspaper, and one we’re confident will grow from a Top 50 to a Top 100 or more in future

years. The list is a tribute to those companies willing to share – honestly – their financial information, letting all the world know how they’re doing.

It’s not easy to subject your company to such scrutiny. We’re grateful for their assistance and also for the hard work of researcher Shannon Quinn,

who spent long hours preparing surveys, contacting respondents – or nonrespondents – and tallying the results.

The result for us is a fascinating list. Respondents hailed from as disparate a selection of industries as you can imagine.

From No. 1 Hensel Phelps Construction Co., with 1995 gross sales of $647.9 million, to the $6.2 million Banner Associates Inc. of Laramie, locally

owned and based private companies pump an enormous amount of money into our community, and from a thousand different economic directions.

While Greeley-based Hensel Phelps, with 474 local employees, builds construction projects in communities across the country, Banner Associates,

with 95 employees, provides architectural, engineering and surveying services.

Taco John’s International Inc. of Cheyenne is building a 30-state fast-food chain, with 1995 gross revenues of $167 million. Compare that with Aggie

TravelPoints of Fort Collins, which posted 1995 sales of $9.6 million and employs 24 locally.

Then there’s Eaton-based Agland Inc., an agricultural supply cooperative with 1995 gross sales of $63 million. Meanwhile, Interweave Press Inc. of

Loveland posted 1995 sales of $7 million. The company publishes special-interest magazines and books.

Some companies surprised us with their volume. Fassett-Nickel Ford-Toyota of Cheyenne recorded sales of $50.5 million, while Weld County

Garage Inc. reached $48 million. Steele’s Markets Inc., a favorite of grocery shoppers throughout Northern Colorado, hit the $45.3 million mark.

Not bad for a local grocery chain that faces intense competition from the big guns.

Certain industries dominate the list, such as construction companies and car dealerships. But what stands out more than anything is the variety, the

incredible variety that constitutes our economy. It’s the one thing we as a region should encourage more than anything else.

We acknowledge that this is not a complete list. Some companies chose not to respond, and others we simply missed. Lists such as these typically

take two or three cycles before they’re even close to perfect. But it’s a start, and we think it’s a good one.

Christopher Wood can be reached at (970) 221-5400, (970) 356-1683 or (800) 440-3506. His e-mail address is ncbr@aol.com. The Business

Report’s World Wide Web address is http://ncbr.com.

Diversification builds good economies.

That’s why it’s comforting to see the disparate enterprises that make up the economy of the Northern Front Range, from Longmont to Greeley, from

Fort Collins to Cheyenne, from Loveland to Laramie.

Nothing illustrates the diversity of this region more than The Business Report’s list of its largest private companies, which debuts with this edition.

The list will become an annual, signature feature of this newspaper, and one we’re confident will grow from a Top 50 to a Top 100 or more in future

years. The list is a tribute to those companies willing to share – honestly –…

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