National site selectors tour Metro Denver
DENVER – September 14, 2018 – The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (Metro Denver EDC) hosted five national site selectors for a familiarization tour of the region during its annual Metro Denver Site Selection Conference, Sept. 12-14, 2018. 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.
During the three-day familiarization tour, the site selectors gained first-hand experience of the industries, talent, real estate and cultural amenities driving Metro Denver’s top ranking economic performance, with the area's top companies and economic developers as their guides.
The tour kicked off on Wednesday, Sept. 12, with a regional economic briefing by J. J. Ament, CEO of the Metro Denver EDC, highlighting factors that make Metro Denver a leading location for corporate expansion, such as the region’s diversified economy, extensive infrastructure development, and robust talent pool. Afterward, in true Mile High style, the site selectors took a multi-passenger bike tour of downtown Denver’s real estate.
The next morning, the site selectors participated in a breakfast and healthcare innovation panel discussion at the Catalyst HTI Event Center in the RiNo District. Executives from Qualmed, Catalyst HTI, Hitachi Consulting, NymblScience, and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield discussed how Colorado’s climate of innovation and leading-edge healthcare and technology systems help companies succeed in the region.
The program continued with a multi-site tour and meetings with area business leaders. The group’s first stop was Maxar Technologies’ new global headquarters in Westminster, followed by a visit to the Innovation Center of St. Vrain Valley Schools in Longmont. Talent development is a timely topic in site selection, and site selectors also met with St. Vrain Valley high school students who are gaining paid, real-world work experience in STEM fields.
The site selectors then visited Broomfield for an in-depth conversation with representatives from some of the region’s major industry clusters about doing business in the Metro Denver area. Participants included executives from Swisslog and Trimble. The day wrapped up with an opportunity to experience Metro Denver's cultural scene during a reception and dinner with business leaders at the History Colorado Center.
In the conference’s final event on Friday morning, site selectors took part in a panel discussion focused on current site selection trends, Making the Cut: Factors Driving Today's Site Selection Decisions. Nearly 500 business leaders attended the event held at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Moderated by Carla Dore, President and CEO, Workplace Resource and Co-Chair of the Metro Denver EDC Executive Committee, the site consultants shared their perspectives on Metro Denver’s competitiveness and opportunities for future corporate expansions and relocations.
Dore asked the site selectors how Metro Denver stacks up against its other competitor regions in the site selection process.
“The one thing that really jumped out at me was the level of education of the workforce,” said Karen Chelstowska, managing director for Duff & Phelps. Noting the importance of global connectivity, she added, “The strength that you have is your airport and your light rail.”
A theme heard throughout the panel was Metro Denver’s regionalism in action.
“I’m amazed at the level of collaboration we’ve seen across the region,” commented Stuart Mason, senior vice president for AECOM. “The other big piece of it is alignment. When you say you’re collaborative and a regional group, that shows in everything we’ve seen... your companies have bought into that culture.”
“What’s unique about the methodology that Colorado uses is it’s a unified message throughout the state,” said Paul Nelson, vice president of global real estate & facilities for Arrow Electronics.
Corporate sponsors of the breakfast were: Presenting Sponsor, Dynalectric; Gold Sponsors, Colorado Investment Services Coalition and Cushman & Wakefield; Silver Sponsors, GE Johnson, Mortenson Construction, OfficeScapes, Saunders Construction, Workplace Resource, WSP, and Zayo Group; and Media Sponsor, the Colorado Real Estate Journal.
Additional conference event sponsors include: Alpenglow Rail, the Associated General Contractors of Colorado/Colorado Association of Mechanical and Plumbing Contractors/National Electrical Contractors Association, Hensel Phelps, Howell Construction, U.S. Engineering, Husch Blackwell, L.C. Fulenwider, Miller’s Landing, 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, DEN/international air travel, tax reform, and special opportunities. The organization also leads four industry-focused affiliates: the Colorado Resource Council, 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.
About the Metro Denver Site Selection Conference
The Metro Denver EDC, in partnership with its investors and economic development partners, has hosted Site Selection Conferences in the region for more than 25 years. The conference is one of the Metro Denver EDC’s most effective strategies for promoting the region’s major business attributes to national site selection consultants, who are key decision makers in corporate relocation and expansion decisions that bring new jobs and investment to Metro Denver. Through conversations with Metro Denver’s top business and industry leaders, tours and site visits encompassing real estate developments, transportation infrastructure, and an up-close look at cultural venues and quality of life attributes, the visiting consultants leave with an unprecedented perspective on what makes Metro Denver a leading region for job growth and infrastructure development.
Media contact: Sam Bailey – Vice President of Economic Development, Metro Denver Economic Development Corp., 773.255.7227.