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October 2014 Issue

Cover Story

Made in Colorado 2014: Food

By Eric Peterson

Colorado makes certain things remarkably well. The list includes: Spacecraft, beer and burritos – to name a few. In other words, we’ve got some serious range. And the state’s manufacturers are an increasingly nimble lot. A group of companies as diverse as Omerica Organic (jewelry), Guerrilla Gravity (mountain bikes), and Circle Graphics (billboards and canvas-wrapped wall decor) are busy toiling to fuel growth by offering on-demand production of custom designs – a forté that gives a notable leg up on those pesky mass-market off-shorers. The technology is

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Articles

Women business owners thrive with confidence, conviction

No limits

By Suzie Romig

For women starting their own businesses in Colorado, especially those entering non-conventional job sectors, get ready to bring the passion. Ample self-confidence and conviction in one’s business model are key assets needed to build a successful woman-owned business from the bottom up, say female entrepreneurs across the state. Hard work and chutzpah help, too. “My biggest challenge was worrying if I was going to be successful,” said Kathy Boe, who founded her defense contractor company in her home basement in 2000. “I decided that I had to be successful. I just had to keep working hard and not believing I was going to fail. I’m an optimist, and I have determination and perseverance.” Boe went from. . .

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Alone in the Mountain time zone

Rockies part of Denver’s summer tourism mix, but regional appeal hard to measure

By Kyle Ringo

When the Colorado Rockies set up shop in Denver and began play in 1993, the organization brought Major League Baseball to the Mountain time zone, and millions of fans from the region finally had a team to root for and travel to see. For the past 21 seasons, the Rockies have been consistently among the top-drawing franchises in baseball, and it stands to reason plenty of fans who attend games at Coors Field each summer travel from surrounding states, what with the closest MLB team, the Kansas City Royals, some 600 miles away. Gregory Feasel, the Rockies’ executive vice president and chief operating officer, said the franchise doesn’t have statistics on how many fans visit from out-of-state each year. However, he said, the organization does. . .

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Made in Colorado 2014: Creative/Home/Consumer;

Tech & Electronics

By Eric Peterson

Creative / Home / Consumer Omerica Organic Body jewelry / omericaorganic.com / Denver Ryan Lorenz started Omerica Organic in 2004. A decade later, Lorenz says the company is “definitely the largest” manufacturer of wooden earlobe plugs - worn in stretched piercings - in the country. “I was in the military and served in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he recalls. “When I got out, instead of looking for a job, I started eBaying random things, then I started importing body jewelry and selling it on eBay. I saw a lot of opportunity.” The opportunity was in making the plugs, not importing them. He started crafting them to order on his parents’ peach farm in Palisade with a lathe and sandpaper, then relocated to. . .

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Real estate round up: Arrested development

Construction-liability law puts a freeze on condo construction

By Margaret Jackson

During the Great Recession – which officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009 – developers stopped building condos as financing dried up for both the projects and the buyers. Instead they focused on apartment buildings, which are easier to fund and attract those who can’t afford or choose not to buy a home. Now that the recession has come to a close, you’d think developers would have reawakened to for-sale condos, but that’s not the case. Coming out of the economic slowdown, for-sale attached housing construction has trailed other housing segments, dropping from a high of 30 percent of total construction in 2006 to a low of 11 percent in 2012, according to a recent report prepared for the Denver. . .

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Sports biz: Preseason baseball 2014

Color it Dodger blue

By Stewart Schley

If the Rockies are able to compete in the National League West this year, the team will have to pull off some serious Billy Beane magic by overachieving from a payroll standpoint. That’s not because the Rox are skinflints. The projected 2014 payroll – around $90 million – would land the team near the midpoint of MLB spenders; but because of what’s happening in Los Angeles, where the L.A. Dodgers are shrugging off baseball’s luxury tax penalty and blowing like a 100-m.p.h. fastball past any fiscal reason. If you missed it during the pre-Super Bowl mania, the Dodgers checked a big item from the to-do list by rewarding the sterling left hander Clayton Kershaw with a $215 million, seven-year contract, the largest ever handed to a pitcher. Kershaw, who fortuitously lives in Texas where there’s no state income tax, pocketed an $18 million upfront bonus. . .

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Connecting the arts and business

CBCA showcases Colorado businesses’ commitment to creativity and culture

By Gigi Sukin

From startups to Fortune 100 companies, a growing number of businesses are leveraging creativity to rethink, restructure and reposition their leadership, collaboration, communication and innovation. To some – such as the companies that make up the 2014 list of the 27th Annual Business for the Arts Awards finalists – the intersection is clear. “We continue to seek out interesting and vibrant companies,“ says Deborah Jordy, executive director of the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts. Established in 1985 by local business leaders, the organization is affiliated with Americans for the Arts, a national nonprofit that attempts to advance creative and cultural industries. Today, more than 100 metro area businesses and. . .

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From classrooms to capitalism

CU's Tech Transfer Office aims to turn big ideas into businesses

By Mike Dano

It was an unlikely pairing – she was an experienced business executive and he, a cutting-edge academic researcher. But after a year of refining the company’s business model and strategy, she knew they had something special. Leslie Kimerling, an entrepreneur with years of experience growing early stage companies, met professor Rafael Piestun at a dinner party in 2008. The two talked about Piestun’s work in the electrical and computer engineering department at CU-Boulder on 3D super-resolution imaging and stayed in touch thereafter. In 2011 the two realized they had all the ingredients for a potentially successful startup. Fast forward a year to the launch of Double Helix, a Boulder-based technology firm. Kimerling said Double Helix recently brought its first official beta product to market and is currently in talks for “strategic partnerships.”. . .

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Remote possibilities

Entrepreneurs call mountain towns home

By Suzie Romig

From offices overlooking the snowy main street of a Colorado mountain town, business owner Michelle Geib helps customers with questions about sailing on a schooner on Lake Michigan or whale watching off the California coast. Geib runs Xperience Days, her company that offers unique activity gifts in locations across the country, from headquarters in downtown Steamboat Springs. The MBA graduate from New York University started her e-commerce company in New Jersey in 2004, but after several years, Hoboken no longer met the needs or desires to achieve a balanced lifestyle for the avid trail runner. In early 2012, Geib moved her business to Western Colorado for the “year-round activities and great community,” but, she also. . .

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Images under fire

More doubts cast over fear-inducing ‘Gasland’ images

By

(Sponsored Energy Section) No image has stoked fears and rallied the anti-fracking movement quite like the “flaming faucet” scenes in the “Gasland” documentaries. But key aspects of that depiction – and the attempt to connect the presence of methane in tap water to hydraulic fracturing – have been met with doubt and in some cases outright invalidation since the film’s debut in 2010 and the release of the “Gasland” sequel in 2013. A counterpoint documentary “FrackNation,” produced by journalists Phelim McAleer and Ann McInhenney last year, points out that the scene in the original “Gasland” showing a Weld County resident lighting his tap water took place in an area. . .

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Made in Colorado 2014: Aerospace; Energy/Environment;

Medical & Bioscience

By Eric Peterson

Aerospace Falcon UAV Unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) falcon-uav.com Aurora Chris Miser’s Air Force background led directly to his founding Falcon UAV in 2007. “I designed and developed unmanned aircraft for the military,” he says of his service. “I know how these will be used in a tactical sense.” When Miser left the Air Force in 2007, he asked himself, “What’s the next big market?” His answer: “The civic market.” It follows that Falcon UAV markets its unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, to law-enforcement agencies, farmers, surveyors and other civilian customers. Compared to a survey crew’s “crude” glimpse, a UAV can give planners, farmers, oil-and-gas crews, and. . .

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Made in Colorado 2014: Industrial, miscellaneous

By Eric Peterson

Industrial / Misc. Aqua-Hot RV heating systems aquahot.com Frederick Hap Enander patented an on-demand water heater in 1989 and moved from the RV aftermarket to factory installations with Winnebago and other major manufacturers by the mid-1990s. Aqua-Hot today commands a 95 percent market share for heating systems in high-end RVs. “We really dominate this niche,” says Aqua-Hot President Paul Harter. Harter came to Aqua-Hot from Chrysler in 2006 and soon found himself in the midst of a perfect storm for the RV industry. The company’s revenue dipped to $4 million in 2009, but has since bounced back. “We’ve tripled in revenue since 2009,” says Harter. “We’re going to be at $12 million this year. We came. . .

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Rundles wrap up: The business world is getting smarter

... thanks to women

By Jeff Rundles

As a business writer for many years, I have met a ton of people, and the thing that just amazes me these days is how smart everyone seems to be, especially the young ones (which admittedly, for me, is a wide slice). I keep meeting bright, accomplished, energetic, creative, hard-working and dedicated people with knowledge in their particular specialty that my peers and I could have only aspired to 30 years ago. The world is just so complicated now, and I find these young people so impressive that working with them/competing against them would be challenging indeed, not to mention an amazing education. I think the reason for this gigantic uptick in intelligence and expertise can be explained with one word: women. It’s not that women are by and large smarter than men; they’re not. But their sizable presence in banking, law, accounting, high tech, et al, and especially. . .

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High standards in the spotlight

Colorado Ethics in Business Alliance primed for 22nd awards program

By Jeff Rundles

When the Colorado Ethics in Business Alliance (CEBA) was founded in 1990, as Ethics and Business – The Colorado Corporate Responsibility Awards Program, the idea was to divert some of the spotlight from the many ethical breaches running rampant in the news and illuminate the good things that Colorado professionals engaged in. The program was founded by Bruce Hutton, then a professor and later dean of the University of Denver College of Business; R.J. Ross, executive director and founder of the Samaritan Institute; and this reporter, Jeff Rundles, then editor of Colorado Business Magazine. Its intention was to discover best practices in Colorado business, ask business students at DU to research and evaluate these businesses, and then bestow awards amid a. . .

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Tech startup: Zen Planner

By Eric Peterson

Zen planner INITIAL LIGHTBULB: Ben Pate started Zen Planner in 2006 after realizing how much of a pain point scheduling was for the martial-arts studio where he was a student. Due to a lack of effective booking software on the market, he developed his own in Zen Planner. With a résumé that includes stints at General Electric, Avaya and PaySimple, Jeff Gardner came aboard as CEO in 2011. “I fell in love with what Zen Planner was doing,” Gardner says. “I’ve always had a passion for technology, but my big passion has always been fitness.” Today the company has 34 employees and Pate serves as CTO. IN A NUTSHELL: Zen Planner makes scheduling software for member-based businesses or groups, with. . .

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CBCA: Impact Award finalists

Winner: AspenPointe

By Gigi Sukin

Creative ideas, strategies, designs, communication tactics or community partnerships can benefits both businesses and consumers. The Impact Award highlights innovative uses of the arts to propel business forward and engage employees. Watch a video about the Impact Award winner and finalists. Arts Brookfield Since 1992, Arts Brookfield has made a concerted effort to “set art free,” offering free cultural experiences, animating public spaces, and ultimately attempting to improve communities internationally. “We’re making the world our stage and giving emerging, established and amateur artists worldwide the chance to have their art shared internationally with millions of people,” said Debra Simon, vice president of arts and events at Brookfield Properties. Exhibitions are produced quarterly in three public areas with rotating outdoor sculpture programs.. . .

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The Economist: The Bitcoin phenomenon

When is money not really money?

By Tucker Hart Adams

 When I wrote my Ph.D. dissertation back in 1979, my research topic was the money demand function and the effect financial innovations had as a result. I unearthed my copy this morning — all 391 pages — to remind myself what I’d learned. Money, in case you’ve forgotten your macroeconomics, serves three functions:          •  A medium of exchange          •  A store of value          •  A unit of account In the late 1970s, people were using a lot less “money” – cash and checks - than the traditional demand function predicted. My thesis was that this was thanks to innovations like credit cards, sweep accounts, overdraft protection, debit cards and corporate cash management practices.. . .

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Made in Colorado 2014: Sports, agriculture

By Eric Peterson

Sports Crescent Moon Snowshoes Snowshoes crescentmoonsnowshoes.com Boulder Jake Thamm and Tamara Laug went snowshoeing in 1997 and the experience led the husband-and-wife team to start a snowshoe company. “It was really and truly one of those sitting at a bar, thinking about our snowshoeing day,” says Thamm. “We said, ‘We can make a better binding than what we saw today.’ It was an opportunity to extend our passion into a vocation.” Making their snowshoes outside of Colorado was never an option. “We made the decision from the beginning to make our products here - not just in the U.S., but here in Colorado - because it was the right thing to do.” Crescent Moon sold $20,000 worth of. . .

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State of the state: Aerospace

Amid challenges, Colorado aerospace industry poised to soar

By Mike Dano

At the close of World War II, Colorado quietly but surely emerged as a hub for America’s aerospace industry. As Edgar Johansson, president of the Colorado Space Business Roundtable explained, Colorado was selected as the site for what is now the U.S. military’s Cheyenne Mountain nuclear bunker, near Colorado Springs. Planners selected the site based on the state’s inland location and the Rockies’ super-hard granite. Today, Cheyenne Mountain plays a central role in the North American Aerospace Defense Command. But that wasn’t the only draw for the aerospace industry. Johansson said the University of Colorado at Boulder was one of the first universities that worked on the V2 rocket that the Allies captured from the. . .

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Executive Edge: Maja Rosenquist

Mortenson Construction VP toughened by fishing experience

By Lynn Bronikowski

Maja Rosenquist, 39, joined Minneapolis-based Mortenson Construction in 1994 as an intern in the Seattle office’s estimating department.  In 2012 she was named vice president and general manager of Denver operations – the highest ranking woman on the operational side. Today she oversees a Colorado team of 500 and has been involved in the construction of the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Justice Complex, Exempla St. Joseph’s new hospital, Exempla Good Samaritan Hospital in Lafayette and several other projects. How did you get interested in the construction industry? My dad’s a builder and was in the construction industry when I was very young, so I think there was always a strong appreciation for the craft. What could be. . .

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CBCA: Create Award finalists

Winner: Rakun

By Gigi Sukin

Acknowledging an uptick in Colorado businesses raising the profile of locally made goods, the Create Award recognizes for-profit initiatives that have made a significant impact on Colorado’s creative economy. Watch a video about the finalists. Hope Tank With notable surge in socially conscious companies and purpose-driven consumerism, Erika Righter’s long-time concept of a philanthropic enterprise, Hope Tank came to fruition in 2012. Her eclectic Baker neighborhood boutique supports more than 45 local artists and for each item purchased — from accessories to home goods and gadgets — the retailer contributes to at least one of roughly 100 nonprofit organizations. “I think people underestimate their customers and how much they want to know how their money is being spent, and where it goes“ said Righter, who started the brick-and-mortar. . .

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Business as usual: Denver author at intersection of psych and biz

By Mike Taylor

When it comes to business books, executive coach and speaker Tasha Eurich figured there must be 100,000 books out there on leadership alone. She made it 100,001 last year when she wrote “Bankable Leadership: Happy People, Bottom Line Results, and the Power to Deliver Both.” And despite the crowded field, it climbed to No. 8 on the New York Times bestseller list last October in the “Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous” category. For Eurich, who holds a doctorate in industrial-organizational psychology from Colorado State University, the book was the culmination of 12 years in leadership-development. “Nobody’s going to become Nelson Mandela by reading a book, but my hope was that I could write something that would serve as an encyclopedia of leadership and get leaders 80 percent of the way there to being effective on a daily basis,” said. . .

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Robo-parking makes Colorado debut

Boulderites’ slash gripes with added tech-savvy

By Katie Feldhaus

The redevelopment of the old Boulder Daily Camera headquarters at 11th and Pearl streets is set to break ground this March. Denver-based Nichols Partnership plans to utilize 4,100 square feet of the space for three levels of conventional parking and Colorado’s first Automated Guided Vehicle parking system underground. “With escalating land prices and real estate at a premium in Boulder, we’re excited to be able to offer additional parking downtown for residents and visitors at our PearlWest site,” said Dan Schuetz, partner at The Nichols Parnership and project manager for the undertaking. “While construction costs to build an automated parking structure are 50 percent more per space than conventional parking, we can. . .

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Can you get the best work out of the people you manage?

From just over the hill

By Pat Wiesner

Whether they number in the thousands or just a handful, encouraging your team to produce at full throttle is tough to achieve because you have to enjoy the process along the way. When I start thinking about this problem, I recall the best boss I ever had. Why do I think that he was so great? His name was Boo Bue (don’t ask me where the first name came from) and he was the manager of the California division of a management training company. I was a young salesman trying to break into and learn how to call on top management in Northern California companies and get them to have us train their managers. It was really tough. I never worked harder, making presentations every day, working on straight commission and trying to raise a young family. Why do I still think Boo was the best? Because I’m absolutely convinced that Boo liked me. He made me think that I had the. . .

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CBCA: Workspace Award finalists

Winner: Gates Family Foundation

By Gigi Sukin

One’s physical environment — the architecture, design, space planning, décor and decorative elements of a workplace — has the potential to dramatically influence the individual team members and business itself, particularly when that space is where people spend the bulk of their waking, workweek hours. The Workspace Award acknowledges an exceptional designed work environment that advances business objectives. Watch a video about the winner and finalists. Gates Family Foundation Since its establishment in 1946, the Gates Family Foundation has made more then $232 million in philanthropic and financial investments statewide, in its attempt to contribute to a high quality of life. Inside the confines of the Foundation’s headquarters as of 2012, the organization strives to further solidify its commitment to the Centennial State. “In the context of. . .

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CBCA: John Madden Jr. Leadership Award finalists

Winners: Robert and Judi Newman

By Gigi Sukin

Named after CBCA’s founding chair, The John Madden Jr. Leadership Award honors individuals who inspire participation and contributions to the arts, whether through philanthropy, corporate collecting, volunteer work or advocacy.  Watch a video about the winner and finalists. Duke Hartman High Noon Entertainment’s co-founder Duke Hartman has undoubtedly contributed to the creative economy in Colorado. The TV production hub has produced more than 10,000 programs for 25 networks in its 17 years since doors opened for business. High Noon employs 225 local creative individuals and has hatched a thriving professional industry in the region. With his wife, Pam, Hartman has provided long-term support to the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and Wonderbound, and as an honorary lifetime Trustee for the Colorado Ballet, he works directly with the staff to maximize marketing. . .

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Colorado’s aerospace a ‘champion’ in the sector’s top three trends

By Mike Dano

Jay H. Lindell's official title is "Aerospace and Defense Industry Champion." Late last year, Gov. John Hickenlooper named Lindell to the state's new post in order to push Colorado's aerospace industry forward. And it's no surprise that Hickenlooper selected Lindell as the man for the job: Lindell is a retired Air Force major general with more than 20 years of experience in aerospace. During his military career, Lindell served as "Capability Director" for the U.S. Air Force Global Power Programs at the Pentagon, where he directed policy covering $10 billion worth of equipment. So what is top of mind for Lindell in 2014? 1. "Our economy in Colorado is heavily clustered on government spending," he said. "We'll see a decline in the government spending in space, and that will affect Colorado." 2. "Customers are demanding a premium on space-based information. . .

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CBCA: Philanthropy Award finalists

Winner: Arrow Electronics

By Gigi Sukin

When corporate philanthropy comes in the form of support for the arts, businesses have the potential to impact economic development, education and quality-of-life here in Colorado. The Philanthropy Award honors exemplary corporate citizenship and generosity to arts, cultural projects and organizations. Watch a video about the winner and finalists. Arrow Electronics Though Arrow relocated its headquarters to Denver roughly two years ago, the electronic components provider had no intention of abandoning its 80-year tradition of supporting the arts. “It starts with Arrow’s vision, values and brand message,” said Rich Kylberg, vice president of corporate communications for the $21.4 billion annual revenue business with a 53-country footprint. “A core principle of ours — guiding innovation forward — it’s not just a buzzword … As we were. . .

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Navigating the new

How Colorado employers are handling the ACA

By Nora Caley

The Affordable Care Act will not change everyone’s health insurance coverage, but it will likely alter how some businesses offer insurance to their employees, and how individuals shop for insurance. Industry experts say there are some misconceptions about the ACA, familiarly known as Obamacare. Still, small business owners, workers with families, and independent contractors are all faced with challenges due to the new law, but many are determined to figure out the new changes. QUESTIONABLE COVERAGE     The 2010 law was reportedly intended to help uninsured individuals buy insurance, but some adults say they already have insurance, and the new law is not going to help them. Michael R. Davis is an attorney in. . .

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Pot not on top

Legalized marijuana not seen as chief tourism draw

By Maria Martin

Ask experts in the state why tourism spiked in the first part of 2014 and they’ll offer a long list of treasures the state has to offer: spectacular views, the National Western Stock Show and great ski conditions. But even if he had to drum up a “Top 10 reasons people visit Colorado” list, a la David Letterman, the director of the Colorado Tourism Office would not put the legalization of recreational marijuana on the list. “There are too many reasons to come to Colorado for pot to be a decision- maker,” says Al White. While few would argue that Amendment 64 is historically insignificant, in that it makes Colorado the first state where recreational marijuana can be grown and sold legally, White doubts that out-of-state. . .

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Fracking debate: What’s in it for families?

Proximity and access to energy means colorado households pay less despite using more

By

(Sponsored Energy Section) Colorado is one of the top six natural-gas producing states in the country, and residents paying utility bills every month are among those who benefit directly from that production. Average household energy costs in Colorado – $1,551 per year – are 23 percent less than the national average, primarily due to historically lower natural gas prices in the state, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration’s Residential Energy Consumption Survey from July 2012. “The report certainly supports many of the assumptions and attributes of the energy and utility industries in Colorado, and for that matter, consumer use patterns,” said Xcel Energy spokesman Mark Stutz. “Certainly as a state, we. . .

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Fracking and Colorado’s economy

State leaders weigh anti-business and anti-energy ballot proposals

By

(Sponsored Energy Section) Tom Clark likes to tell the story of the time a delegation of top businesspeople from Turkey was visiting Denver and took a particular interest in the region’s advancements in oil and gas development. “They had interpreters, and they certainly made a good effort with their English,” recalls Clark, the CEO of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. “And one says, ‘We would like to know how you get oil and gas from rocks.’ We said, well, it’s called fracturing or fracking, and we explained to them how it works. And they said, ‘What company has that technology? We would like to license it.’” Clark remembers explaining, “‘You don’t. . .

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Fracking may save water

In arid states like Colorado, switch to natural gas may alleviate water scarcity

By

(Sponsored Energy Section) Critics of hydraulic fracturing like to point to the amount of water it requires, typically millions of gallons per well. But compared to other industries, the amount of water used for hydraulic fracturing across the state is actually tiny – about 0.1 percent of Colorado’s total demand according to the Colorado Division of Water Resources. And the natural gas from fracking may also help save water in other parts of the state economy. For example, a recent story in Time magazine says fracking may help alleviate  water scarcity, because natural gas development has enabled a switch from older, coal-burning power plants that use even more water in the long run.  Colorado is often looked. . .

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What would an anti-fracking statewide amendment look like

Business leaders warn it could pose a threat to the entire business community

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(Sponsored Energy Section) A ballot initiative filed with the state’s Title Board – the first step in getting a measure onto the state ballot – has economic leaders throughout Colorado particularly concerned about the potentially crippling economic consequences it would bring. One such measure seeks to amend the state’s Constitution to give municipalities “the power to enact local laws establishing, defining, altering, or eliminating the rights, powers, and duties of corporations and other business entities operating or seeking to operate in the community, to prevent such rights and powers from usurping or otherwise conflicting with the fundamental rights of people, their communities and the natural environment.” Tamra Ward, the president and CEO of Colorado Concern, a pro-business alliance of top executives and civic leaders, has called the. . .

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Colorado city loses tech jobs due to fracking ban

By

(Sponsored Energy Section) Sometimes the appearance of anti-business regulation can deter business development as much as the reality of it. That appeared to be the case earlier this year when a Boulder-based company looking to relocate to a larger space ultimately chose Louisville over Lafayette. The company, XetaWave, cited concern over the Lafayette Community Rights Act, passed last November, which bans all new oil and gas drilling within city limits. XetaWave, which makes wireless technology platforms and long-range radios often used by oil and gas operators among others, weighed the uncertainty and chose to move to a 17,000-square-foot building in Louisville. XetaWave founder and CEO Jonathan Sawyer told the Boulder Daily Camera he was concerned about the language in the Lafayette ballot measure that reads: “It shall be unlawful for any corporation, or person using a. . .

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