Denver is a city that has absolutely thrived when it comes to attracting new businesses as well as supporting the ones that are homegrown. In fact, Denver frequently comes in is one of the 10 or 15 best cities in America for businesses to start up in or operate in, often beating cities many times their size. So what’s the deal? Why is Denver succeeding against such fierce competition?
There are several things that the city has going for it. For one, it is the largest city within 500 miles in any direction, yet there are many smaller cities within that radius. This makes it natural for Denver to provide many of the services or workforce labor that businesses in these other cities would need. Addition of this, Denver central location makes it ideal for many shipping and storage based businesses that need to go through the Rockies from one part of the country to another.
However this alone is not enough to explain their remarkable success. One major factor has been Denver’s ability to create a city that a young, college-educated, and skilled workforce actually wants to live in. The natural beauty of the area certainly helps out but this also includes Denver’s concerted effort to build and encourage a wide array of top-notch bars, restaurants, and service and entertainment venues that can serve a young population.
In addition to this, Denver is home to a variety of renowned businesses from very different fields given the city of versatility so it never relies too heavily on one part of the economy. AIMCO, for example, operates more apartments and apartment complexes than anyone else in the United States and is based right in Denver. A major office first CenturyLink, a major telecommunications company, is also based out of Denver.
A startup friendly climate has also resulted in small but strong niches for film making, microbrew breweries, and up and coming restaurants, which only further strengthens the art community which is good not only for creative types, and brings in money from outside the Denver area into it, but also creates the type of vibe that many young professionals are looking for.
Add in the explosive growth of the recreational marijuana industry, and Denver is a city that has massive amounts of money coming in, and really manages to encourage outside tourism by building businesses that run steady and help the infrastructure of the city itself even during the offseasons. Add in the fact that the surrounding mountains bring in skiers so there really is no off-season to tourism and it becomes easy to see how Denver has managed to thrive by taking advantage of every natural benefit the area offers.