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Manufacturers picky about where they make camp

We all have reasons — sometimes leaking into rationalization — for being where we are. But whether it’s love, location or incredible luck or lucidity, here are some of our favorite reasons for outdoor manufacturers to be where they are in Colorado — which, of course is always a good place to continue to be, […]

From wartime work to peaceful play

Everyone in Colorado knows why people from other states continue to move here. The area is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream, with lots of hiking and biking trails, places to mountain climb or boulder, many areas for water sports, camping and fishing. But how did Colorado become one of the major outdoor industry hubs in the […]

Outdoor startups embrace small Colorado towns

Small mountain towns in Colorado are increasingly home to incubating manufacturing startups in the outdoor industry, and none seems to be doing a better job of it than Steamboat Springs. While famous for being the home to more Winter Olympics athletes than any other in the nation, it also is home to an incredible assortment […]

Industry association: There’s green in those green spaces

The outdoor industry accounts for $646 billion in retail sales and services, $80 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues and 6.1 million American jobs, according to the Boulder-based Outdoor Industry Association. The industry shows no sign of a slowdown. Colorado established itself as a major outdoor-industry hub in the aftermath of World War […]

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  • Sports-centric venture firm raises $640,000

    BOULDER — Black Lab Sports, venture-capital firm that specializes in sports, has raised $640,000. The Boulder-based company is raising the funds by offering equity, according to a Form D filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Nov. 13. Black Lab Sports did not return a request for more information. The company’s website states it is “an innovation hub, at the intersection of business, sport and art.” Companies like Isplack Inc., which makes eye black in various colors, Can-ice, which makes manufactured ice for indoor and outdoor use, are part of Black Lab Sports.  

  • Colorado’s GDP increases 3.8% in second quarter

    DENVER — Colorado’s gross domestic product for the second quarter of 2017 increased by 3.8 percent, according to a report released Tuesday by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The report also said that the state is on track to add 48,700 jobs this year, a number that may be bumped up slightly when numbers are revised in March. Key takeaways from the report are: The Colorado population is growing at a faster rate than the U.S. and most other states. The population and workforce is growing because of net migration and the natural rate of change. People move to Colorado to work and play. In the process, jobs are created to support their lifestyle. Colorado has large counties with almost 700,000 people and small counties with about 700 people. The population in some counties is increasing, while it is decreasing in other counties. The largest municipalities and areas of absolute growth are along the Front Range. In the years ahead, there will be a higher concentration of older people and a lower concentration of younger people in Colorado Over time, the population of Colorado will become more diverse. With the passage of time, the number of working-age people will increase at a rate that is slower than the growth rate of the population. Click here, for the full report.  

  • Honey, I shrunk the anemometer

    LONGMONT — Husband-and-wife company Anemoment LLC has developed a new ultralight 3-D wind sensor. Elizabeth Osborn is chief executive of Anemoment, which makes meteorological instruments. Her husband, Stephen, is chief technology officer. Together, the company is releasing a line of products called TriSonica, “whisper-weight” sensors that are only 50 grams and are 9 centimeters by 9 centimeters by 5 centimeters. “Our original product idea, which we started working on in 2005, was to take the scientific features of a three-dimensional anemometer (wind sensor) and put them into the commercial anemometer space,” Stephen Osborn said in a prepared statement. “The challenge was to shrink down a 3-D anemometer without compromising accuracy and sample rates. We actually had to wait on technology to catch up in order to obtain microcontrollers small enough and fast enough to perform all calculations a product like this requires. As a result, the TriSonica Mini is as compact as we can make it with the transducer technology and circuitry technology that’s available today.” The company is releasing the TriSonica Mini and the TriSonica Mini Weather Station. The TriSonica Mini is ideal for mobile situations and small spaces and can measure how fast wind is blowing and from which direction and its temperature. The Weather Station can provide those measurements as well as moisture in the air, dew point and other features. The TriSonica Mini retails for $1,250, and the TriSonica Mini Weather Station retails for $1,350.  

  • TriSonica-Mini anemometer

    This anemometer, or wind sensor, from Longmont husband-and-wife duo Anemoment LLC, is just 9 centimeters by 9 centimeters.

  • Fort Collins ranks in top five of energy competition

    FORT COLLINS — Fort Collins ranks fifth in the Georgetown University Energy Prize competition after residents reduced overall energy use 5.4 percent — enough to power 9,800 homes for one year, Georgetown University announced Tuesday. The community now advances with nine other cities to the final round of the national contest, which challenged small- and medium-sized cities and counties to reduce energy consumption and increase efficiency in 2015 and 2016. A winner will be named in December. Fort Collins is the only Colorado city to advance to the final round out of the 50 communities that originally competed for the $5 million prize package. Brighton and Aspen had also entered the contest. “The City of Fort Collins is honored that Georgetown University lists us among the most efficient communities in the country,” said Mayor Wade Troxell in a prepared statement.  “Cities can lead by example the scaling up of real solutions that make an impact both locally and globally.  It makes financial, social and environmental sense for us to increase our energy efficiency and integrate our energy resources for a more resilient community.” City manager Darin Atteberry said the city’s efforts are part of an overall attempt to reduce greenhouse gases. “Our mission … includes a commitment to making the most efficient, sustainable choices possible.” The city of Fort Collins named its two-year energy reduction campaign “Lose-A-Watt.” The community saved more than 160 billion BTUs of energy and reduced carbon emissions by 34,436 metric tons. The contest targeted electricity and natural gas use by residential and municipal and K-12 sectors. Also advancing in the final round of the competition: Bellevue, Bellingham and Walla Walla, Wash.; Berkeley and Chula Vista, Calif.; Fargo, N.D.; Oberlin, Ohio; Montpelier, Vt.; and Takoma Park, Md. In December, a panel of judges representing academia and industry will pick a winner based on energy performance and innovative practices over the two-year period. “This is a national effort, so participants were encouraged to find solutions that were likely to yield continuing improvements within their own communities and also inspire replication in other communities,” said Energy Prize executive director Uwe Brandes, who is formerly senior vice president of the Urban Land Institute. “Fort Collins should be commended for its tremendous efforts and creative contributions to reduce energy consumption and innovate new best practices.” More information on the Georgetown University Energy Prize and Fort Collins’ participation may be found at www.guep.org or www.lose-a-watt.com.  

  • Colorado fines Uber $8.9M for inadequate driver background checks

    DENVER — Uber faces $8.9 million in fines in Colorado after investigators found 57 drivers had felony records, drunk driving conditions and violations that should have prohibited them from employment. The investigation was launched this year by the Public Utilities Commission following an incident in Vail where a driver was accused of assaulting a passenger, the Denver Business Journal reports.  Investigators found while looking into drivers’ criminal records that many of them had major moving violations, felony convictions and suspended licenses. Staff also says that in some cases background checks were never performed. “PUC staff was able to find felony convictions that the company’s background checks failed to find, demonstrating that the company’s background checks are inadequate,” PUC Director Doug Dean said in a statement, reports the DBJ. “In other cases, we could not confirm criminal background checks were even conducted by Uber.” The PUC said it looked at Lyft as well but did not find issues in background checks. “We recently discovered a process error that was inconsistent with Colorado’s ridesharing regulations and proactively notified the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC),” Uber said in a statement. “This error affected a small number of drivers and we immediately took corrective action. Per Uber safety policies and Colorado state regulations, drivers with access to the Uber app must undergo a nationally accredited third-party background screening. We will continue to work closely with the CPUC to enable access to safe, reliable transportation options for all Coloradans.” But Dean said it is not true that Uber proactively identified the PUC about the issue. In fact, Dean said it took Uber 10 days to respond to a request for more information. Colorado was the first state to officially legalize Uber and Lyft, known as transportation network companies, in 2014. Uber is being fined $250 for not responding to the PUC’s initial request, and $2,500 per day for each day a disqualified driver was working. Uber can contest the judgment of pay half of the $9 million fine within 10 days to settle the case.

  • Colorado Mills mall reopens today

    LAKEWOOD — The Colorado Mills mall reopens at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, after a massive May hailstorm left holes in the roof and flooded the interior. The relaunch of the 1.1 million square foot space has left the Denver Post wondering whether it will succeed at a time when so many indoor malls are struggling. In Colorado Springs, the Chapel Hills Mall was recently served with foreclosure notices totaling $37 million. How well Colorado Mills will do — at a time where Credit Suisse says 20 to 25 percent of indoor malls could close in the next five years — will be determined after today. where shoppers will get their first return to the mall in months and in time for Back Friday. But experts say that Colorado Mills still has enough going for it to be a destination for shoppers. “Generic malls are in dire shape, especially in large metro areas,” Jon Schallert, a Longmont-based retail analyst with the Schallert Group, told the Denver Post. “Colorado Mills has a large enough concentration of unique specialty stores that people are going to go there.” The Mills’ owner, Simon Property Group, has enough experience and knowledge in the mall business to adapt to the changing retail market. “These guys are not dumb guys,” Paula Rosenblum, retail analyst and managing partner at RSR research, told the Denver Post. “They know they have to create a destination.”

  • Part of Medical Center of the Rockies named in honor of Hach

    LOVELAND — Kathryn “Kitty” Hach, a longtime Loveland entrepreneur and pilot” is having a part of UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies named after her, following a philanthropic gift she made to the hospital. Her donation will be used to invest in new innovative medical equipment and expand MCR’s surgery capabilities. To celebrate, MCR’s fifth-floor outdoor deck has been named “The Hach Landing.” The deck is a favorite spot for patients, families and staff to get some fresh air and get a view of Longs Peak. Hach said the inscription on the plaque at the Landing is meaningful to her, as a pilot, and will be beneficial to those who read it: “Where healing, aviation and generosity culminate. You are invited to slow down, stop, rest and reflect.”

  • Hach-Landing-photo

    Several members of the Hach family, from left, Muriel Hach, Bruce Hach, Kathryn (Kitty) Hach, Amy Hach and Paul Hach, gather at a recent special celebration at The Hach Landing outdoor deck on the fifth floor at UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland. Photo courtesy of UCHealth.

  • Boulder County: The acupuncture epicenter

    BOULDER — Boulder County is overflowing with acupuncturists – 321 licensed practitioners to be exact – which is a huge number, even when compared to the much larger Denver market, which has only 261, according to data compiled by Colorado Health Institute. So why are there so many licensed acupuncturists in Boulder County? For starters, there are three acupuncture schools in the area, says Joanne Neville, clinic director at Southwest Acupuncture College in Boulder. “People come to Boulder to go to acupuncture school and who would want to leave?” she asks. “Chief Niwot’s curse gets you.” She tells students at her college that they should consider taking jobs in other parts of the country that aren’t so saturated with licensed acupuncturists, but “it is beautiful here and people want to live here. That’s the short story,” Neville says. “I think that Boulder County especially and Colorado in general, it attracts people who are very health conscious,” she says. It isn’t just acupuncturists. The area is also teeming with massage therapists and social workers. People who want to help people. “People who take care of their own bodies are more likely to want to take care of other people as well. That is the mindset that Boulder attracts and holds onto,” Neville says. Joe Hanel, manager of public policy outreach at Colorado Health Institute, which crunches the health care employment numbers, says his agency has not done an analysis of the data on acupuncturists. “I could speculate that culture and economics plays a role in Boulder’s popularity with acupuncturists. Boulder is a fairly wealthy county where more people could pay for this service that’s often not covered by insurance,” he says. “And, Boulder seems to be a place that’s friendly to alternative medicine, although I don’t have data to back up that statement.” Suzanne Williamson, Office of the Registrar at the Institute of Taoist Education & Acupuncture Inc. in Louisville, says that the Boulder County community has “always embraced alternative forms of medicine and are open to treatments like acupuncture. Having lived in Marin County, California, as well as the Santa Cruz, California, area, Boulder feels very similar in their outlook on health care.” She agrees with Neville in that having two acupuncture schools in Boulder County does impact the number of licensed practitioners in the area. “Many students settle near their alma maters, creating a glut of practitioners nearby. I noticed the same situation around my chiropractic college in California,” Williamson says. People who live in Boulder County are very active. They do yoga, pilates, get massages and go hiking and skiing. “All of those things will lead to injuries. Acupuncture is one of those things that treats injuries really well, among other things. They go hand-in-hand, an active lifestyle and the people who can put you back together,” Neville says. When Neville first started school, the Boulder area had 100 licensed practitioners, so the area was already fairly saturated, she says. “As Boulder grows, people carve out their own […]