Edit ModuleShow Tags

Made in Colorado 2013: Technology & industrial


Gamma Two Robotics


www.gamma-two.com and


Drs. Jim and Louise Gunderson are the husband-and-wife, CTO-and-CEO team behind Gamma Two Robotics. They incorporated the company in 2003 but didn’t begin developing a biologically inspired cybernetic brain until 2006. Now that they’ve honed the technology, they’ve plopped that brain into the Vigilus indoor security robot.

“It can do tasks that are too dull, dirty and dangerous for humans,” says Louise. “You need some intelligence to do these things – these are not toys.”

Robots lease for $2,000 a month with a maintenance contract and sell for about $40,000. Next up: the outdoor security market and home-assistance robots.

Louise says the company works with numerous local vendors. “Two-thirds of the equipment going into the robot is made in Colorado and the robot is assembled here in Colorado,” she says, counting Gamma Two’s size as a blessing.


  Leitner-Poma of America

Grand Junction


Chairlift and gondola systems

The U.S. subsidiary of a French parent company, Leitner-Poma has been making chairlifts and gondolas near Grand Junction since 1981, averaging about 10 installations a year at ski resorts all over the world. A $5 million high-speed quad chairlift is Leitner-Poma’s “bread and butter,” says Rick Spear, president of Leitner-Poma of America. “We usually do between five and eight a year.”

While the uphill-transport market has changed markedly, “things have leveled off,” says Spear.

The company’s highest-profile in-state project came online this ski season at Vail: One, the fastest 10-person gondola on the continent with all of the bells (heated seats) and whistles (Wi-Fi). “The gondola increased the capacity over the old chairlift by about 40 percent,” Spear says. “The skier feedback is very positive.”

Merritt Equipment Co.



Aluminum livestock trailers and other products

Founded in 1951, Merritt was one of the first manufacturers to offer an aluminum livestock trailer. The company traded Oregon for Colorado in the 1970s to get a better location for its central market. Today the company has 290 employees and makes a wide range of livestock and commodity trailers as well as aluminum parts for the trucking market.

“We’re well known in the industry but not so well known in Colorado,” says CFO Taylor Merritt, noting that the company has “seen a lot of change” in its 40-plus years in the Centennial State.


Bal Seal

Colorado Springs


High-tech seals

               Based in California, Bal Seal manufactures innovative seals for automotive, medical and other applications in Colorado.


BASE Electronics

Colorado Springs


Electronics for CCTV and security

               Making a wide range of modules and controllers since 1989.


Colorado Precast



Precast concrete

               Precast concrete structures and products for architecture, agriculture and industrial markets.





Cabling systems

               Manufacturing in Colorado and elsewhere, fast-growing comCables has emerged as the little company that could take out the billion-dollar competition.


Deltech Furnaces



Industrial furnaces

               Deltech has made glass-melting and other furnaces since 1968.


Display Devices



A/V displays and accessories

               Displays and A/V accessories for commercial applications.



Colorado Springs



               Providing high-resolution imaging solutions to medical, industrial and military markets.


Glenwood Springs


Composite materials

               Spun off of the Rocky Mountain Institute, Fiberforge makes advanced composite materials for the automotive and aerospace industries.


Golden Aluminum

Fort Lupton


Aluminum cans

               Golden Aluminum was established as Golden Recycling in 1983 by Coors Brewing Company and still uses up to 95 percent recycled aluminum today.


Hach Co.



Analytical water testing instruments

               Making water analysis a cinch for more than 60 years.





               Largest manufacturer of commercial ice-making machines in the country.


Intertech Plastics



Plastic injection molding

               High-speed, high-volume plastic manufacturing.


Owens-Illinois, Inc.



Glass and plastic packaging

               Boosting the Northern Colorado economy is one of the world’s premier glass and plastic packaging manufacturers.


Palmer DCS



Industrial systems

               Motors, electrical and drive systems for water, oil and gas, and other industries.

Ponderosa Industries Inc.



Machine parts

               Producing the parts and pieces for machines since 1988.





Backup software and drives

               Rebit assembles its hard-disk products in Longmont.


Reynolds Polymer Technology

Grand Junction


Polymer technology

               Acrylic windows for a worldwide market of aquariums, zoos, pools and more.


RPC Manufacturing



Contract electronics manufacturing

               Circuit boards, control boxes and cabling.


Sierra Detention Systems



Technology for corrections industry

               Manufacturing for prisons, jails and other secure facilities.


Spectra Logic



Data storage

               Tape and disk-based backup for more than 30 years.


Stolle Machinery



Can-making technology

               Stolle’s flagship manufacturing facility is in Englewood.





Waterblast tools

               Heavy-duty waterblasting technology for dirty jobs of all kinds.

Walker Mowers

Fort Collins


Lawnmowers and tractors

               With 155 employees, Walker Mowers are distributed in 28 countries.

Edit Module
Eric Peterson

Denver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer's Colorado, Frommer's Montana & Wyoming, Frommer's Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver's Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at Eptcb126@msn.com

Get more of our current issue | Subscribe to the magazine | Get our Free e-newsletter

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

Key to growth: A relationship with your lender

It isn’t a secret – Colorado’s economy is vibrant and strong. New developments continue to spring up across the state, many entrepreneurs have started new businesses, and many more companies are growing and need resources to meet their increased demand. What’s the secret to ensure business owners...

Do we need a new word for entrepreneur?

Has the word entrepreneur become too trendy as to have lost its meaning? I’m hearing it and the word entrepreneurship being used in so many conversations incorrectly. I’m critical of the use of the word "entrepreneur"...are you?

Hot tips for emerging company boards

Emerging companies comprise a significant portion of Colorado businesses. Venture capitalists, angel investors and founders make up the shareholders and the boards of directors of many of these companies. I spoke recently to Fran Wheeler, a partner in the Business Department of the Colorado Office...
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Thanks for contributing to our community-- please keep your comments in good taste and appropriate for our business professional readers.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags