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Posted: September 02, 2014

Top Company 2014: Real Estate/Construction/Contracting

Nora Caley

Real Estate/Construction/Contracting winner: Boulder Creek Neighborhoods

livebouldercreek.com

Boulder Creek Neighborhoods kept its focus this year, and that helped the homebuilder double revenues and add staff. That focus was on building what it calls “lock and leave” homes, for the demographic of active adult empty-nesters.

That’s a growing audience for the Louisville-based company, as the baby boomer retiree segment continues to grow, with an estimated 10,000 people in the U.S. reaching age 65 each day, according to the Pew Research Center. Baby boomers, famously, do not want what their parents did. While “silent generation” homeowners wanted to live their final years in their large, memory-filled houses, the 60-somethings of today are ready to exit their houses, not to mention their lawns.

“Baby boomers are getting to a stage in their life where they want a different house,” says David Sinkey, president of Boulder Creek Neighborhoods. “They do not want two-story homes designed for kids. They want a low-maintenance lifestyle because they prioritize the Colorado outdoors, traveling and seeing people.”

That means less raking leaves, more hiking. The Boulder Creek Neighborhoods website even features a chart noting the typical homeowner spends four to eight hours a week on yard maintenance, and shows how many more hours Boulder Creek Neighborhoods homeowners spend doing yoga, backpacking and taking classes.

Sinkey says the company had 460 percent revenue growth from 2011 to 2013. Revenue is currently between $40 million and $50 million a year, he says, and he expects that to grow to $80 or $90 million in the next two years. He attributes much of Boulder Creek Neighborhoods’ success to the 65 employees, many of whom were hired in the last year and a half. “We’ve been gelling as a team,” Sinkey says. “We’re taking all these experienced people, and we are inventing this newer company almost every day.”

The company, launched in 2006, supports area nonprofits such as Brent’s Place, a safe-clean house for children with cancer. For each home that Boulder Creek Neighborhoods sells, the company donates money to the charity. The builder also supports Boulder County CareConnect, which assists seniors and other adults with disabilities with grocery shopping, minor home repairs and other services.

As part of the company’s culture of “lifefullness,” it promotes work/life balance. Staff members are encouraged to take a Friday off during the summer. That’s not easy, Sinkey says. “When you grow a company there is more work than anyone can do,” he says. “We are slammed, but we have a culture. If you request a day off, you will be held to it.”

Real estate/construction/contracting finalists:

Breckenridge Grand Vacations

Breckenridge

Breckenridgegrandvacations.com

Privately held Breckenridge Grand Vacations has been recognized by the American Resort Development Association as the most successful single-site developer in the timeshare industry. The company has developed three resorts in Breckenridge – Gold Point Resort, Grand Timber Lodge and the Grand Lodge on Peak 7 – and it currently is developing a fourth, The Colorado Grand at the base of Peak 8. The company attributes its success to a business philosophy based on four components: investors, owners and guests, employees and the community. The company has demonstrated a commitment to the environment by investing $1 million in a local solar array to offset energy use at its corporate offices.

McWhinney Real Estate Services Inc.

Loveland

Mcwhinney.com

McWhinney is a real estate development, investment and management company with offices in Loveland and Denver. The company builds innovative and sustainable master-planned communities and award-winning vertical commercial and mixed-use projects. McWhinney is perhaps best known for the 3,000-acre master-planned community of Centerra in Loveland that combines residential, business, education, health care and retail. In recent years, the company has expanded its work into some of the most high-profile projects in the country, including the redevelopment of Denver’s historic Union Station, for which McWhinney is a managing member and master developer.

Nora Caley is a freelance writer specializing in business and food topics. She can be reached at noracaley@comcast.net.

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