Glenwood Springs among best towns to start a business | PostIndependent.com

Glenwood Springs among best towns to start a business

Brett Milam
bmilam@postindependent.com

Glenwood Springs is among the top places in Colorado to start a business, according to a new list.

NerdWallet, a website that specializes in personal finance, released a list ranking the places in Colorado friendliest to businesses and placed Glenwood fifth.

The site looked at 85 places in Colorado with populations of at least 5,000. Metrics for the ranking included business climate and local economic health. Cities with businesses numbering less than 500 were excluded. Business climate accounted for 65 percent of the overall score and economic health 35 percent.

Ahead of Glenwood were Greenwood Village, Aspen, Steamboat Springs and Estes Park. Cañon City, Durango, Golden, Vail and Lone Tree rounded out the top 10.

Included in the business climate analysis are the average revenue of a business, the percentage of businesses with paid employees and businesses per 100 people. Factors included in the economic health analysis were median annual income, median annual housing costs and the unemployment rate.

Glenwood, population 9,683, has 2,408 businesses that bring in an average revenue of $610,170, the site said. The unemployment rate is 3.3 percent. Glenwood’s overall score comes in at 51.32.

“Each year, the city attracts over 1 million visitors, who come for rafting, fly fishing, skiing, the hot springs and more, and help make Glenwood Springs one of the best places in the state to start a business,” said Jonathan Todd, author of the list.

“This is great news,” said Marianne Virgili, CEO of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association. “Those of us who live here know that Glenwood Springs is a great place to live, work and play. The chamber’s vision for the past 20 years has been to create the ideal mountain community.

“It’s working, and coincidentally, that is exactly what entrepreneurs are seeking. These people don’t relocate for a specific job — they move to a community because of its ‘sense of place,’ and that’s where they start a business.”

Some of the key takeaways NerdWallet discovered in its analysis are that the outdoors and tourism are big drivers of economic activity, as well as the proximity to Denver.

City Councilwoman Kathryn Trauger said it was fantastic that Glenwood is recognized as not just a great place to live, but a great place to start a business.

“Tourism is what Glenwood is about. No matter where I travel, I run into someone who knows Glenwood Springs and comments, ‘I would love to live there!’” Trauger said in an email.

Tourism, establishing broadband as a “critical piece of infrastructure,” and Glenwood’s location on the interstate and the rail line, along with the nearby airports make it an ideal spot, she added.

The council will look at changes in the development code and processes to make it even easier to get startups off the ground, she said.

“Glenwood is truly unique, even among those towns that have made the list,” Trauger said.


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