Downtown Denver Partnership releases oil and gas industry economic impact study

April 17, 2015

The Downtown Denver Partnership has released a comprehensive study detailing the substantial direct and indirect economic impacts of the oil and gas industry to Downtown Denver. The study, conducted by Economic & Planning Systems (EPS), provides a strong research base on the significance of the oil and gas industry (industry) to the Downtown Denver economy.  

“The oil and gas industry has a proven legacy and presence in Downtown Denver, and we have always known it was a key economic driver in our Center City,” said Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership.  “We now have the numbers to support our assumptions, and these facts will enable us to drive policy and support the oil and gas industry in Downtown Denver.” 

The study documents the industry’s wide variety of economic contributions to Downtown Denver, including the number of direct and indirect jobs, wages, employment and sales taxes, value-added and public revenue contributions, as well as office space occupancy, convention and tourism revenue, and charitable contributions. 

Highlights of the study include: 

-          10,446 industry jobs are located in Downtown Denver, which is 11 percent of all private-sector jobs Downtown.

-          90 percent of industry employment in the City and County of Denver (City) is located in Downtown Denver.

-          On average, an industry employee working in Downtown Denver earns $156,005 per year, 180 percent more than the average wage of other private-sector industries in the City.

-          Direct and indirect industry firms occupy 5.1 million square feet of Downtown office space, or 22.6 percent of the total private-sector office space Downtown.

-          The direct economic output of the industry’s Downtown activity (i.e. the demand for the industry’s services) totaled $5.8 billion in 2014, accounting for 8.9 percent of the City’s $64.9 billion output.

-          The industry’s Downtown presence yielded $542 million in state and local taxes, as well as $608.4 million in federal taxes.

-          The industry contributes $20.8 million in annual convention and conference activity, which is 4 percent of the City’s total.

-          The industry also generated general business visitation activity totaling $30.5 million in lodging revenues and $22.1 million in other retail expenditures Downtown.

-          The industry gave an estimated $27.9 million to charitable organizations in 2014. 

The Downtown Denver Partnership convened a taskforce to help inform the scope of the study that included Downtown Denver Partnership board members, representatives from leading oil and gas companies, real estate firms and other business leaders, and the support of the Colorado Oil and Gas Association. The Downtown Denver Partnership will continue to work with the taskforce to monitor and evaluate the industry and update employment statistics through its annual State of Downtown Denver report. 

“This research provides a conservative baseline to set the stage for how the Partnership grows, supports and sustains this industry in the long term,” said Rob Cohen, chairman and CEO of IMA Financial Group, member of the Downtown Denver Partnership Management Group board of directors, and chair of the taskforce. “It is the first comprehensive study of its kind for the industry, and a project driven by ongoing policy conversations and the changing oil and gas market.” 

A full copy of the report is available at downtowndenver.com.