New Year’s wishes for 2019

2019 has gotten off to a turbulent start, with a partial federal-government shutdown, a stock market in the doldrums and political uncertainty at the national level. Here in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado, a strong economy should help the region weather any potential storm, but here are some New Year’s wishes to help promote a positive and prosperous 2019:

To Apple: We extend a hearty welcome to Boulder, wherever you might land with the hundreds of jobs that BizWest first reported in December. While some circles might look askance at more tech jobs in the city, your presence will further solidify the region as a technology hub.

To the University of Colorado and Colorado State University: successful searches for new presidents. CU has embarked on search for a replacement for President Bruce Benson, who will retire next summer, and CSU seeks a president for the Fort Collins campus, as Tony Frank will step down from that role while retaining his position as chancellor of the CSU system. Both institutions play vital roles in the Colorado economy.

To Colorado’s brewers and liquor stores: strong sales in the wake of changes to the state’s liquor laws, through which grocery stores can sell full-strength beer. Craft brewers had fought such changes, believing that national grocers would be less likely to carry their brews, and that the new competition will threaten the livelihood of local mom-and-pop liquor stores. The simple answer? Frequent your favorite local liquor stores, and sample more local brews.

To Hensel Phelps Construction Co.: best wishes to retiring CEO Jeff Wenaas and incoming CEO Mike Choutka. Few realize that the company, which boasts revenue of $3.4 billion, is based in a nondescript building in east Greeley. But the employee-owned company contributes enormously to the economy, locally, nationally and globally.

To the Colorado Legislature: courage and wisdom in implementing a statewide climate action plan. Retrenchment at the federal level from addressing climate change requires greater efforts at the state, local and private-sector levels. Care must be exercised, however, to not hurt Colorado’s traditional energy sector or the overall economy. It would be easy for legislators to promote measures that could wreak economic havoc. But much progress could be made with a series of incremental steps that would reduce carbon emissions. Utilities such as Xcel and Platte River Power Authority have already begun that process.

To the Greeley Area Chamber of Commerce: a very happy and successful 100th anniversary year. The Greeley Chamber, led by Sarah MacQuiddy, champions a strong local and regional economy. This milestone year represents an appropriate time to celebrate the chamber’s role and influence.

To Phillips 66: a buyer for its 432-acre parcel in Louisville, the former Storage Technology Corp./Sun Microsystems campus. This land has been on and off the market for years and was once presented as an option for Amazon HQ2. While that effort obviously failed, the property along U.S. Highway 36 provides an excellent opportunity for redevelopment.

To Brinkman: continued success with its downtown redevelopments. The Fort Collins-based development company is building major projects in downtowns in Fort Collins, Greeley, Longmont and Loveland, helping to revitalize the areas with housing, retail and entertainment options. All I can say is, “Keep it up!”

Christopher Wood can be reached at 303-630-1942, 970-232-3133 or cwood@bizwest.com.

2019 has gotten off to a turbulent start, with a partial federal-government shutdown, a stock market in the doldrums and political uncertainty at the national level. Here in the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado, a strong economy should help the region weather any potential storm, but here are some New Year’s wishes to help promote a positive and prosperous 2019:

To Apple: We extend a hearty welcome to Boulder, wherever you might land with the hundreds of jobs that BizWest first reported in December. While some circles might look askance at more tech jobs in the city, your presence will further solidify the region as a technology hub.

To the University of Colorado and Colorado State University: successful searches for new presidents. CU has embarked on search for a replacement for President Bruce Benson, who will retire next summer, and CSU seeks a president for the Fort Collins campus, as Tony Frank will step down from that role while retaining his position as chancellor of the CSU system. Both institutions play vital roles in the Colorado economy.

To Colorado’s brewers and liquor stores: strong sales in the wake of changes to the state’s liquor laws, through which grocery stores can sell full-strength beer. Craft brewers had fought such changes, believing that national grocers would be less likely to carry their brews, and that the new competition will threaten the livelihood of local mom-and-pop liquor stores. The simple answer? Frequent your favorite local liquor stores,…