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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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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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  • Commissioners protest applications for drilling in Boulder County

    BOULDER – Boulder County Commissioners on Monday filed two protests with the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission on the drilling and spacing unit applications submitted by 8 North LLC, a subsidiary of Extraction Oil and Gas LLC. 8 North filed the applications Sept. 11. They are the first step in the state process for drilling in a 1,280-acre area between Arapahoe and Baseline roads at the far eastern edge of the county along East County Line Road and a 2,720-acre area between Oxford and Quail roads also along East County Line Road. The city of Lafayette joined with Boulder County on the protest for the southern drilling and spacing unit application as that area includes a portion of the city of Lafayette, asking the commission to deny the applications. The commissioners said in a prepared statement that the operations contemplated by 8 North would have a significant impact on Boulder County residents in unincorporated eastern Boulder County, as well on the municipalities of Lafayette, Longmont, and Erie. We will continue to participate in each and every step of the state review process and want to make sure that everyone who may be impacted by this development has the ability to participate in the state process as well. If the state approves the drilling and spacing orders, 8 North would still have to apply to the commission for a permit to drill that would include specific plans and proposed locations. In addition, the company will need to go through Boulder County’s local government regulatory process. Filing the protests prevents the COGCC from administratively approving the applications without a full hearing.

  • Whole Foods opening near Denver Union Station Nov. 15

    DENVER – Whole Foods Market Inc. says it will open its location near Denver Union Station at 9 a.m. on Nov. 15. The 50,000-square foot “flagship” store is part of a new apartment complex at 1701 Wewatta St. The Denver Business Journal reports that It will be Whole Foods’ first downtown Denver store and the 21st in the state, the chain said. The store will employ 210 team members and bring 135 new jobs to the city. With the opening of the Wewatta Street store, the existing Whole Foods on Capitol Hill — at 900 E. 11th Avenue between North Emerson and Ogden streets — will close.

  • Estes Park businesses still feel ‘13 flood’s pain

    ESTES PARK — Nick Kane has weathered disaster before, but this one’s different. Kane is celebrating his 50th year in business as owner of Nicky’s Steakhouse, perched along Fall River Road northwest of downtown Estes Park. In July 1982, the Lawn Lake dam failure sent a wall of water down the river that severely damaged his restaurant and adjoining motel before covering downtown in a sea of mud. But Kane and the town quickly rebuilt. Recovery from the September 2013 deluge hasn’t been as quick. In the days after the flood, washouts closed U.S. Highways 34 and 36, the tourism-dependent town’s two main access roads from the populous Front Range cities. A few weeks later, a government shutdown closed Rocky Mountain National Park, the area’s prime tourist draw. After four years, the economic hardship has lingered, as extensive repairs to U.S. 34 through Big Thompson Canyon — which provides direct access from Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley — enter a second winter of discontent. The Colorado Department of Transportation closed the highway to through traffic again on Monday, Oct. 2, to complete the construction; it won’t reopen until Memorial Day weekend in late May. Last winter’s road closure, from Oct. 17 to May 25, triggered a 7.3 percent drop in Estes Park’s  retail sales tax revenue when compared to the same period a year before, and visitation to the national park fell by as much as 17 percent. Town Administrator Frank Lancaster said he expected the numbers to be far worse, however, noting that from November to May, overall lodging tax revenue actually was 26.9 percent higher than in the same period in 2015-16, and that weather — including a heavy snow in May — may have had more to do with the sluggish retail numbers than the closure. He also credited a marketing campaign launched by Visit Estes Park, urging Northern Colorado tourists to use U.S. 36. Still, small businesses such as Nicky’s felt the pinch. “We slowed down 50 percent, and had to lay off 10 to 12 out of our 25 workers,” Kane said. “We try. Heck, you can give it away — but if you don’t have the people coming up, who’s going to eat it? “A lot of people last winter asked, ‘Why don’t they open the road on weekends?’ We couldn’t get an answer. I can see weekdays, where they have to blast and stuff,” he said. “So we have to do things to survive. The way government works, you gotta beat them to the punch or they’ll put you out of business.” Even more severely affected were motels, restaurants and shops along Big Thompson Avenue, the stretch of U.S. 34 leading east from downtown toward the top of the canyon. The closure limited through traffic along that stretch unless visitors detoured on Mall Road, east of Lake Estes, to connect with U.S. 36 coming up from Lyons and Longmont. “The day they closed the road, it was like hitting a brick wall,” said […]

  • Novartis closing site in Broomfield over next two years

    BROOMFIELD — Switzerland-based Novartis on Monday said it is closing its pharmaceutical manufacturing site in Broomfield due to price drops caused by increased competition in the U.S., affecting approximately 450 employees working at 2555 W. Midway. Novartis spokesman Eric Althoff said the site will be closed in phases over a two-year period. Production of generic solids for the pharmaceutical industry is expected to cease in Broomfield by fourth quarter 2019. The company will consolidate commercial production of its generic solids portfolio at its manufacturing site in Wilson, N.C.Althoff said associates may apply for other open positions at Novartis. He said those laid off will be offered a severance package aligned with the company policy.  In addition, Novartis will provide outplacement services, he said. Citing double-digit price erosion caused by customer consolidation and increased competition taking place within the U.S. generic drug market, Novartis said it is experiencing “above-average pricing pressure in its U.S. portfolio. “ While this was a strategic choice made to optimize our manufacturing infrastructure, it was a very difficult decision as the closure affects approximately 450 employees at the Broomfield site,” the company said in a prepared statement. Novartis still employs more than 23,000 people at 24 sites across the country.