A CEO’s Insights

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“Vote Yes on 1A for DIA” an Easy Choice

In the first week of October, mail-in ballots were sent to registered voters throughout Colorado. In Denver and Adams County, one item in particular on this year’s ballot - the 1A for DIA measure - harkens us back to the 1989 election that paved the way for creating Denver International Airport (DIA).

Today, DIA generates $26 billion of economic impact for Colorado. This astronomical number is part of the economic insurance our state enjoys due to DIA’s unique position and success among the nation’s airports. 

Since 1989, both Adams County and Denver abided by an intergovernmental agreement that limited development on DIA land to give neighboring communities an advantage in attracting development. While the agreement served as a means of reducing the possibility of rekindling generations-old conflicts, both cities lost potential job-creation opportunities.

The 2015 ballot measure would amend the original agreement to allow tax sharing between Denver and Adams County for commercial development planned on up to 1,500 acres at DIA. In exchange, Denver would provide a one-time payment of $10 million to Adams County for the privilege of collecting land lease income from prospective development.

The advantage for Adams is the signal this amendment sends within the marketplace. Prior to the proposed agreement, support for needed infrastructure investments around the airport generated little interest from companies we worked with. Now, with both on- and off-airport opportunities, we expect to see increased interest and activity, especially along Tower Road just west of DIA.

While the 1A for DIA initiative isn’t as monumental of an undertaking as the original 1989 election, it is in that category of importance. DIA and its neighbors are setting a new standard for job creation – one that will enjoy the historical bookmark that DIA’s creation brought about.


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About Phil Kalin

Phil Kalin joined Pinnacol Assurance as CEO in 2013. He has served as the chief executive of both public and privately-backed companies, including large hospital systems, as well as organizations focused on health care data, technology and education. He has been active nationally on health care topics related to insurance, data analytics, technology innovation, cost improvement and risk mitigation. Phil is providing an informed opinion on what we see in the Monthly Economic Indicators.

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About Pinnacol

Pinnacol Assurance is the Metro Denver EDC's Research Sponsor. Pinnacol is Colorado’s leading provider of workers’ compensation insurance. Pinnacol provides comprehensive, competitively priced coverage; immediate attention to claims; a highly qualified network of medical providers; and proactive safety programs to more than 55,000 Colorado businesses. Annually, Pinnacol supports nearly $500 million of Colorado’s economic activity, spends over 35,000 hours keeping Colorado worksites safe and provides compassionate care to over 40,000 Coloradans injured on the job.

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