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March 2015 Issue

Cover Story

New hope for natural gas autos

By Eric Peterson

Natural gas is domestic and cheap and clean, so the story goes. So why are we still guzzling gasoline in our cars instead of sipping natural gas? There are no easy answers, but Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has reached across party and state lines in search of one. To push for the adoption of natural gas as a transportation fuel, Hickenlooper, a Democrat, signed a November 2011 memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead, and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett – all Republicans. The MOU has a stated goal "to attract automobile manufacturers

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Best of CoBiz: Duffeyrolls same as they ever were

Sweet taste of success

By Mike Cote

Nick Ault says he didn't know much about running a business when he and his short-time business partner Jim Duffey founded Duffeyrolls. He only knew they had a great recipe for cinnamon buns and that it was something he could get passionate about. Over the next 25 years, Ault found out just how much he didn't know, and he's happy he can talk about it from the perspective of someone who has been to the brink and found his way back. And the way back was the Duffeyroll. Ault just had to wander away from it for a while to discover the secret to his success was flour, butter, cinnamon and homespun appeal. On a recent fall morning outside the Duffeyroll Café on South Pearl Street in Denver, Ault was excited to talk about his latest business addition. He just tricked up an air-cooled Volkswagen van to sell Duffeyrolls on the 16th Street Mall, a new twist on the. . .

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The Economist: Fiscal cliff gives way to slippery slope

By Tucker Hart Adams

Well, there was no dramatic leap off the fiscal cliff on Jan. 1, just the start of a gentle slide down a long, slippery slope … which is likely to have us end up the same place. My husband is raging about his taxes going up $1,000 a year so the government can send barrels of greenbacks to NASCAR. My grandson in Afghanistan writes, "If the poor are going to be taken care of then jobs need to be created, the educational system revamped and we have to stop spending billions of dollars on programs that are designed in a way that encourages individuals to do nothing." I’m sick of the whole topic. So, let’s talk about something else for the next two months, until the hype about the next budget crisis – $110 billion in automatic spending cuts and bumping up against the debt ceiling – dominates thinking in Washington (perhaps I’m being too kind in my. . .

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Rundles wrap up: Underemployed

Call me hopeful

By Jeff Rundles

Someone asked me recently how I was, and for some reason I replied "Underemployed." They laughed, and I laughed, and we both let it pass like "Oh, I’m fine. You?" But actually I meant it. To most people, I suppose, "underemployed" can mean that the work they are doing is beneath them; beneath their educational level, beneath their vision of themselves, beneath what they planned, or, often, beneath what their spouse thinks is possible. What they (and the spouse) really mean, of course, is that they aren’t making enough money. The money part is interesting. I know a ton of people who think they should earn more money, and almost as many who think all their troubles would be over if they got a raise of, say, 10 grand. But I have never met a person – poor,. . .

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Q&A: Jamie Sabatier

New president of Destination Hotels & Resorts foresees growth on the ‘urban side’

By Eric Peterson

One of the architects of the W Hotels brand, James "Jamie" Sabatier focused on commercial real estate in the New York City area after a run with Starwood Hotels and Resorts from 1999 to 2006. Then Englewood-based Destination Hotels & Resorts came knocking last year and brought him back into hospitality and across the country to Colorado as the company’s new president. With $800 million in annual revenue, DH&R has emerged as the fourth largest hotel-management company in the country after adding nine properties to its portfolio in the past two years. DH&R has a 40-year history in hotel management in Colorado, beginning when Robert Lowe, founder of Lowe Enterprises, built the Gant in Aspen in 1973. (Lowe Enterprises is the L.A.-based parent of DH&R.) The Gant. . .

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Top 50 Family-Owned Companies: Success in small batches

Denver’s Continental Sausage gains a following with natural ingredients, old-country principles

By Cathie Beck

Photography by Jeff Nelson Continental Sausage’s street cred is made most evident by its staying power, devout fan base and steady sales growth – about 5 percent a year since 2003. That growth trajectory took a decided upturn three years ago when John Roelke came aboard as VP of sales. With the apparent mantra "tasting is believing," he set about introducing Continental’s European-style and gourmet sausages to as many worthy restaurants, outlets and individual tasters as he could. Continental’s sales have surged an average of 22 percent annually since Roelke’s arrival. A whirling dervish of energy and enthusiasm, Roelke became the company’s chief sales engine after first showing Continental’s owners his. . .

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Tech startup: P2Binvestor Inc.

By Eric Peterson

company P2Binvestor Inc. INITIAL LIGHT BULB After a career in high-tech manufacturing in Boulder, Bruce Morgan started talking to Mike Stanki about starting a receivables finance company to buy the receivables of midsized companies that are starved for capital. The low-risk model gives growing companies quick access to capital upon invoicing. "I started to realize it was a match made in heaven to bring the power of crowdfunding to receivables financing," says Morgan, now P2Bi’s CEO. Currently, P2Bi is working with accredited investors with whom the principals had preexisting business relationships. Once Title 2 of the 2012 Jobs Act is enacted, P2Bi will be able to advertise deals to all accredited investors. If and when Title 3 is enacted, the. . .

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Sports biz: Tech it out, sports fan

By Stewart Schley

Tech it out, sports fan The annual industry forum for the display of electronic gadgets that are better than stuff you bought last year concluded last month in Las Vegas, and if even only some of the trend indicators come to pass, you, sports fan, are in for some serious sensory stimulation. The international CES (formerly Consumer Electronics Show) is an exhausting week of hurrying and scurrying past a city’s worth of displays and booths from technology titans like Sony and Samsung, punctuated every few hours by learned pontification from industry big shots who appear on panel sessions and in keynotes speeches. The CES isn’t a sports industry event per se, but anymore, just about every device that plugs in, draws power from a battery, has twinkling indicator lights or features a video screen relates to watching, tracking or conversing about sports. With that in mind,. . .

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CU Denver’s downtown brand

Education corridor’ targets work-school synergies

By Nora Caley

As the University of Colorado Denver expands its downtown campus, it is doing more than just constructing new buildings. The school, which has more than 14,000 students in downtown Denver, is building an education corridor. "The symbolism is that a corridor connects," says Chancellor Don Elliman. "As an urban-based research university, we have the ability to connect to the community." CU Denver connects to the community by making it easy for adults who work downtown to attend classes at the campus, and for students to get internships and jobs downtown. The university’s emphasis, Elliman says, is on a professionally targeted education. The average age of CU Denver undergraduate students is 24, which is older than traditional college students.. . .

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2013 Best Doctors for Executives

For the second straight year

By Mike Taylor

The adage "health equals wealth" applies to everyone, and for business executives it’s not only true in the figurative sense. Simply put, optimum workplace productivity requires wellness – a healthy body and mind. And yet, finding the right doctor – whether it’s a primary-care physician or a specialist – can be a daunting, time-consuming task for an executive or anybody else beginning such a search with no reference point. That is why ColoradoBiz is pleased to present, for the second time, Best Doctors for Executives. The doctors on the following pages cover a range of specialties, including: internal medicine, cardiology, dermatology, oncology and hematology, urology and orthopedic surgery. See the complete list here: /uploads/BestDocs.pdf Also included. . .

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Business as usual: School for home-growers

By Mike Taylor

The ink was barely dry on Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Executive Order formalizing Amendment 64 and making it legal to possess and grow marijuana in Colorado, when Matt Jones and Freeman Lafleur sprang into action, launching THC University. Named for the active ingredient in marijuana, THCU at this point is offering one full-day class, "Growing Marijuana 101," scheduled for Feb. 9 in a classroom they’ve rented on the Auraria campus in downtown Denver. Attendees will be able to choose from three offerings: an "associates" program consisting of the daylong class for $175; a "bachelor’s" program that includes the class and 24/7 online support for $275; and a "master’s" program that includes the class, 24/7 support and a grow kit. Jones and Lafleur hope to fill a need in light of the fact that while the law makes legal the personal use, possession and limited. . .

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