Friday 05 October, 2012
Denver has always been a crossroads city. Located at the point where the Great Plains give way to the Rocky Mountains, today it’s a crossroads of another kind. Instead of stagecoaches stopping in the Queen City to resupply, airplanes stop to refuel at the Denver International Airport, a hub for most major airlines. Denver has grown to become one of America’s premiere business cities.
Quality of Life
One reason so many businesses have decided to base themselves in Denver is because of the high quality of life. One of the highest household incomes in the country can be found in its suburb of Arvada and it’s the same story for many of the city’s other areas. In terms of living expenses, the entire Denver metro area has remained right around the national average with household income slightly higher. During the early 2000s, it was consistently in the top ten American cities for personal income.
For a large metropolitan area, Denver’s living expenses are cheap. It’s nowhere near as expensive as practically anywhere on either coast or any other city of its size. It also helps that taxes are low. Colorado has an income tax of 4.63% and its sales tax is one of the lowest at 2.9%.
A Tech Industry Hub
For several decades, Denver has been a tech industry hub. In the 1970s, its location made it ideal for the telecom industry and it grew while the rest of the country was floundering in recession. During the dotcom boom of the 90s, Denver was on the cutting edge. Still today most of its top growth companies are in the tech industry. A few notable companies that call Denver home are Interlocken and Oracle.
The federal government’s aerospace industry has also contributed to its place as a premiere tech region. The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Air Force Academy are located in nearby Colorado Springs. Boulder has the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Denver has grown to its current size largely because of its fortunate location in the western heart of the country. It’s the only major urban area in the entire western United States between Seattle, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The closest comparable city is Phoenix. It’s also fortunate that it has a great deal of land for expansion to the north, east, and south. The Denver Tech Center and other areas have grown out of the surrounding plains.
And one final point – it’s simply gorgeous. You’ve got the wide open plains to the east and the Rocky Mountains always on the western horizon. For businesspeople, this is wonderful because it offers a quick escape from the rat race to one of the most beautiful parts of the United States.