Publisher’s Notebook: Recent headlines offer economic snapshot

It was, if anything, a typical few days.

News stories reported by BizWest in the past couple of weeks capture perfectly the key drivers of the economy in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado, with no letup in sight. From health care to banking, the outdoor industry to clean tech, real estate to retail, telecommunications to construction, recent headlines point to more of the same in the region: economic growth.

Consider these headlines from

• UCHealth breaks ground on medical campus in Greeley (July 10, 2017). We’ve known this was coming, of course, but even with the new UCHealth Broomfield Hospital, the under-construction UCHealth Longs Peak Hospital in Longmont and other UCHealth facilities planned along the Front Range, one suspects that population growth will drive medical construction for years to come.

• BCH plans to partner with Ernest Health on rehab hospital in Lafayette (June 28, 2017). See above: more people means more demand for health-care services, and Boulder Community Health has been expanding as it attempts to maintain its independence.

• Centennial-Citywide merger ends up being $211M bank deal (July 10, 2017). Banks have been in a merger mania, as financial institutions seek economies of scale amidst a challenging regulatory environment. Banking-industry executives tell me that they expect more mergers and acquisitions, and new players entering the market.

• Largest U.S. outdoor-industry trade shows moving to Denver (July 6, 2017). Colorado’s outdoor industry has recaptured some momentum in the face of tough competition from Ogden, Utah; Portland, Ore.; and other markets. Now, however, thanks to some ill-advised decisions by Utah, Colorado has landed the biggest trade shows in the industry, something that analysts expect to have a measurable impact on the state’s outdoor industry.

• Eyeglasses retailer Warby Parker opening first Colorado store (July 6, 2017). This one is coming to the Pearl Street Mall, and it’s not the first trendy retailer to discover the wonders of the region. (Where are you, Fabletics and Ikea?) Natives love their mom-and-pops, but they still get excited when such announcements are made.

• Viega breaks ground on U.S. headquarters in Interlocken (June 27, 2017). How many major employers can you pack into the booming U.S. Highway 36 corridor? Viega LLC, which designs and manufactures high-tech plumbing equipment, is the latest, with plans to employ about 200 people there.

• Vancouver-based firm pays $69.6M for buildings in Campus at Longmont (June 21, 2017). Several large office/industrial portfolios have sold this year in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado, as national and international money starts flooding into the region. Look for more portfolio sales in the months ahead.

• Broomfield Chamber CEO Jennifer Kerr steps down (July 7, 2017). This region has seen its fair share of turnover among chambers of commerce and economic-development organizations. Kerr’s departure follows the May resignation of Bruce Partain as CEO of the Longmont Area Chamber of Commerce.

If you missed any of those stories — or many others — visit our website at You never know what we might be reporting next.

Christopher Wood can be reached at 303-630-1942, 970-232-3133 or via email at


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