Nine site selectors tour Metro Denver
DENVER – September 15, 2017 – Nine global site selection consultants attended the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation's (Metro Denver EDC) annual Site Selection Conference, Sept. 13-15, 2017. The event was coordinated in partnership with the Metro Denver EDC's investors and economic development partners throughout the nine-county Metro Denver and Northern Colorado region.
Over the three-day familiarization tour, the site selectors experienced the region's business assets first-hand with the area's top companies and economic developers as their guides.
The first event on their agenda Wednesday, Sept. 13, included a private meeting with Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, where the group discussed job growth and the advantages of doing business in Colorado. The meeting was preceded with a regional briefing by J. J. Ament, CEO of the Metro Denver EDC.
The next morning, the site selectors participated in a breakfast and innovation panel discussion at DaVita’s world headquarters near Union Station. Executives from Johns Manville, Intel, and Vertafore discussed their research and development operations in the region and how Colorado’s innovative and entrepreneurial climate helps companies succeed in the region.
The consultants got a 360-degree look at the region’s major employment centers, infrastructure, and real estate developments by helicopter, touching down along the way for meetings with area business and workforce leaders. The first stop included a tour and panel discussion at the Charles Schwab Lone Tree campus. Panelists included executives from Charles Schwab and TIAA, both members of the Colorado Investment Services Coalition.
The site selectors then toured Panasonic Enterprise Solutions, and received an exclusive look at Denver’s future smart city Peña Station Next. A private conversation with executives from the Colorado Department of Transportation, Denver International Airport, and Panasonic Enterprise Solutions followed the tour. The consultants also experienced Metro Denver's cultural scene Thursday evening during a reception and dinner with business leaders at the Denver Art Museum.
At the conference's final event on Friday morning, site selectors took part in a panel discussion about current site selection trends, Making the Cut: Factors Driving Today's Site Selection Decisions. Moderated by Jerome Davis, Regional Vice President, Customer & Community Relations, Xcel Energy and Co-Chair of the Metro Denver EDC Executive Committee, the site consultants shared their thoughts on Metro Denver’s competitiveness and opportunities for future corporate expansions and relocations.
Davis asked the site selectors how Metro Denver stacks up against other regions and markets for new jobs and investment.
The site selectors were unanimous in their praise of the region’s collaborative approach to economic development and supportive political climate. “Most communities say they have a regional approach. Here, you can really see it,” said Michael Krajcer, manager of national multistate tax services with Deloitte Tax LLP.
Samuel Lee, principal partner with Euclidean5 LLC added “You have one of the best political climates I’ve ever seen.”
The panel noted challenges that are a result of Colorado’s 2.5 percent unemployment rate. However, they also commented on the region’s unique ability to attract talent. “A lot of us are losing our friends to Denver,” quipped Krajcer. He added, “When you have that level of unemployment, that’s one of the reasons they’re coming.”
Corporate sponsors of the breakfast were: Presenting Sponsor, Pinnacol Assurance; Gold Sponsors, Newmark Knight Frank and ARA Newmark, Denver International Airport, Dynalectric Colorado, and Mortenson Construction; Silver Sponsors, GE Johnson, Workplace Resource, WSP, Zayo Group; and Media Sponsor, the Colorado Real Estate Journal. Hensel Phelps sponsored the conference app.
Additional conference event sponsors include: the Associated General Contractors of Colorado/Colorado Association of Mechanical and Plumbing Contractors/National Electrical Contractors Association, Colorado Investment Services Coalition, Millers Landing, Husch Blackwell LLC, Swinerton Builders, and Xcel Energy.
The Metro Denver EDC is the nation’s first regional economic development organization. An affiliate of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Metro Denver EDC focuses on six areas to expand the economy in the nine-county region: national marketing, new and existing business, mobility, DIA/international air travel, tax reform, and special opportunities. The organization also leads four industry-focused affiliates: the Colorado Energy Coalition, the Colorado Investment Services Coalition, the Colorado Space Coalition, and the Metro Denver Aviation Coalition. For more information, see or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Media contact: Sam Bailey – Vice President of Economic Development, Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., 773.255.7227.