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Old 09-13-2007, 08:31 PM
 
11,715 posts, read 35,010,269 times
Reputation: 7465

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Get this right: Colorado is no industrial center, and has not ever been. In fact, much of its hardcore industrial companies and operations have been shrinking for years. Companies like Gate Rubber, CF&I, Holly Sugar, Great Western Sugar, Schwader Bros. (Samsonite) and others that were the stalwarts of Colorado's industrial economy have all either shrunk their industrial operations in Colorado or virtually disappeared as an industrial presence in the state. Even some of the high-tech companies have reduced their Colorado presence.

Agriculture, despite the best attempts of cities to grab its irrigation water, as well as farming and ranching having to endure both natural and financial crises--one right after the other for two decades or more--still remains one of the major economic sectors in Colorado. Natural resource production, mining and energy, are still major contributors--though non-energy mining is but a shadow of its former self.

Tourism is still a major contributor, though much of its employment is in minimum wage service jobs, many now held by aliens--legal or otherwise. Yes, the "mailbox" economy of retirees and pensioners is huge, particularly in some areas of rural Colorado.

The other big sector is real estate development and construction. Unfortunately, for both the environment and the long-term economic health of the state, this industry has become an increasingly self-feeding chain letter of sorts. The result, of course, is the "real estate bubble" that everyone can read about. When the bubble REALLY bursts, which I happen to think is close at hand, Colorado will be devastated because so much of its economy is now tied to what will come to be seen as non-productive, highly consumptive and wasteful activities for which there no longer will be a market.

One other point: A lot of Front Range residents live in some denial about the fact that Denver and its immediate environs still serve as the trade center (banking, medical, wholesaling, etc.) for a huge multi-state region. It was, and remains one of the major reasons for Denver's existence. Unfortunately, a lot of Front Range residents don't wish to acknowledge that the economic health of the "hinterlands" matters to them economically. Ag having it tough? So what? Mining in the dumps? Who cares? Well, the Front Range folks had better start caring about rural Colorado (and New Mexico, Wyoming, western Nebraska, etc., etc.)--because those folks help keep the Denver economy going. The hinterlands of the Rocky Mountain West built Denver, not the other way around.

Colorado's first "boom" during the silver mining era, beginning in the late 1870's, lasted less than 30 years. It's latest boom has managed to last about 50 or so, albeit with some serious hiccups along the way. In between, the state endured nearly half-a-century in depression or stagnation. Such has been its history--of course, no one wants to talk about that long "bust" period--one that followed a period where speculation, overdevelopment, and unchecked greed led to massive economic distortions leading to a grievous crash. The parallels to today are pretty darned ominous. History matters.
Doom...Doom......DOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM!

 
Old 09-13-2007, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Grapevine, TX
88 posts, read 163,025 times
Reputation: 113
There probably isn't a cheaper big-city housing market in the U.S. than Houston. It's always been pretty reasonable - but in the last decade, Houston, along with almost all the rest of Texas housing, has lost significant value relative to the most of the rest of the country.

We moved from No. Virginia to Ft Worth area in 1997, and bought a house for about the same price as what we left (granted somewhat larger and newer). Our old house in Virginia is now worth over twice what we sold it for - our house in Texas is worth about 140% of it purchase price 10 years ago. Pretty big gap. Same thing has happened with a lot of housing markets around the country. For some reason Texas and parts of the South have languished. Makes moving or retiring anywhere out of Texas much more difficult. (Though I guess it has kept our property taxes lower!).

In my limited research of Colorado, the Pueblo area is one of the few affordable areas (to poor Texans - lol) left.

Last edited by davbetcoo; 09-13-2007 at 08:46 PM.. Reason: add
 
Old 09-13-2007, 09:06 PM
 
5,091 posts, read 13,165,370 times
Reputation: 6912
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Get this right: Colorado is no industrial center, and has not ever been. In fact, much of its hardcore industrial companies and operations have been shrinking for years. Companies like Gate Rubber, CF&I, Holly Sugar, Great Western Sugar, Schwader Bros. (Samsonite) and others that were the stalwarts of Colorado's industrial economy have all either shrunk their industrial operations in Colorado or virtually disappeared as an industrial presence in the state. Even some of the high-tech companies have reduced their Colorado presence.

Agriculture, despite the best attempts of cities to grab its irrigation water, as well as farming and ranching having to endure both natural and financial crises--one right after the other for two decades or more--still remains one of the major economic sectors in Colorado. Natural resource production, mining and energy, are still major contributors--though non-energy mining is but a shadow of its former self.

Tourism is still a major contributor, though much of its employment is in minimum wage service jobs, many now held by aliens--legal or otherwise. Yes, the "mailbox" economy of retirees and pensioners is huge, particularly in some areas of rural Colorado.

The other big sector is real estate development and construction. Unfortunately, for both the environment and the long-term economic health of the state, this industry has become an increasingly self-feeding chain letter of sorts. The result, of course, is the "real estate bubble" that everyone can read about. When the bubble REALLY bursts, which I happen to think is close at hand, Colorado will be devastated because so much of its economy is now tied to what will come to be seen as non-productive, highly consumptive and wasteful activities for which there no longer will be a market.

One other point: A lot of Front Range residents live in some denial about the fact that Denver and its immediate environs still serve as the trade center (banking, medical, wholesaling, etc.) for a huge multi-state region. It was, and remains one of the major reasons for Denver's existence. Unfortunately, a lot of Front Range residents don't wish to acknowledge that the economic health of the "hinterlands" matters to them economically. Ag having it tough? So what? Mining in the dumps? Who cares? Well, the Front Range folks had better start caring about rural Colorado (and New Mexico, Wyoming, western Nebraska, etc., etc.)--because those folks help keep the Denver economy going. The hinterlands of the Rocky Mountain West built Denver, not the other way around.

Colorado's first "boom" during the silver mining era, beginning in the late 1870's, lasted less than 30 years. It's latest boom has managed to last about 50 or so, albeit with some serious hiccups along the way. In between, the state endured nearly half-a-century in depression or stagnation. Such has been its history--of course, no one wants to talk about that long "bust" period--one that followed a period where speculation, overdevelopment, and unchecked greed led to massive economic distortions leading to a grievous crash. The parallels to today are pretty darned ominous. History matters.
Yes, JazzLover, you have given us a good concise picture of the economics of the Front Range. However, you never get people to understand how Denver depends on the success of the Rural areas and states that surround it. People come to Colorado, thinking about the Mountains, talking about the Mountains
and forgetting that they live on the Plains and it is the States on the Plains and surrounding the plains, which is the Front Range "meat and potatoes".
 
Old 09-14-2007, 10:17 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,095,377 times
Reputation: 9065
Quote:
Originally Posted by EscapeCalifornia View Post
Doom...Doom......DOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM!
Well, I have worked in both business and government in the Rocky Mountain West's economy for about 40 years; my family for some 30 years before that. As you can guess from my postings, I'm also a historian. I base my predictions on that knowledge. The "now" mentality pervasive in this country is causing people to ignore the lessons of history--at their peril. In the case of Colorado's very interesting history, I would venture that the majority of today's Coloradans don't have a clue about the state's heritage. They can't be bothered. So, they are doomed to making the same mistakes that were made in times past, and to suffer similar consequences. And then they will ask, "Gee, why didn't somebody tell us that this would happen?" Well, probably someone DID--they just didn't want to hear it . . .
 
Old 09-14-2007, 06:04 PM
 
16 posts, read 45,871 times
Reputation: 41
I donít want to sound flip because I know this is hard, but the entire American economy is dependent on YOU! Every areaís economy will flourish or stagnate based on the work of the people.

If Bill Gates had started Microsoft in Denver instead of Seattle what would the local economy look like now? Cities and regions build around big ideas and success. If you live in Denver and you build the better mouse trap, they will come.

I know, on the coasts they have the ocean (I live here now) and that will always be a draw. Southern California and Florida have warm weather and sunshine Ė and that will always be a draw. But Colorado has great weather and mountains. My Guess is that will always be a draw. But folks donít emigrate for those things; those things help them decide between the places they do want to go to.

Folks donít decide to move to LA for the weather. They go because that is where the jobs are in their field. The weather helped to draw everyone in those industries there; the jobs were the main thing. Choosing between Tulsa and LA most would opt for LA.

My point is, Colorado has the mountains and great weather. If it becomes the center of an industry, folks will fight each other to live there. If it diversifies, like all great cities, it will become a permanent economic epicenter. I see the great draw of a central US location (I can get to either coast) great weather (no winter fat layer for me!) the largest city for nearly a 1000 miles around and I see no reason why the next great idea canít happen in Colorado.

If you have a great idea and you can make it happen, go to Denver, itís ripe for the picking. If you are just sitting around waiting for the economy to fall, wellÖ you can do that anywhere.
 
Old 09-14-2007, 06:20 PM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,502,858 times
Reputation: 4494
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Unfortunately, a lot of Front Range residents don't wish to acknowledge that the economic health of the "hinterlands" matters to them economically. Ag having it tough? So what? Mining in the dumps? Who cares? Well, the Front Range folks had better start caring about rural Colorado (and New Mexico, Wyoming, western Nebraska, etc., etc.)--because those folks help keep the Denver economy going.
Can you expand on this paragraph? What indicates that Front Range communities don't care about the economic health of rural areas?
 
Old 09-14-2007, 06:28 PM
 
11,715 posts, read 35,010,269 times
Reputation: 7465
Quote:
Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
Can you expand on this paragraph? What indicates that Front Range communities don't care about the economic health of rural areas?
Didn't you get the memo from Jazzlover? Everyone on the Front Range is only there to plant as much Kentucky bluegrass as possible and drive the biggest SUV they can find 50 miles each way to work. Every last single resident is greedy and selfish.
 
Old 09-14-2007, 07:33 PM
 
5,091 posts, read 13,165,370 times
Reputation: 6912
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sea Level View Post
I donít want to sound flip because I know this is hard, but the entire American economy is dependent on YOU! Every areaís economy will flourish or stagnate based on the work of the people.

If Bill Gates had started Microsoft in Denver instead of Seattle what would the local economy look like now? Cities and regions build around big ideas and success. If you live in Denver and you build the better mouse trap, they will come.

I know, on the coasts they have the ocean (I live here now) and that will always be a draw. Southern California and Florida have warm weather and sunshine Ė and that will always be a draw. But Colorado has great weather and mountains. My Guess is that will always be a draw. But folks donít emigrate for those things; those things help them decide between the places they do want to go to.

Folks donít decide to move to LA for the weather. They go because that is where the jobs are in their field. The weather helped to draw everyone in those industries there; the jobs were the main thing. Choosing between Tulsa and LA most would opt for LA.

My point is, Colorado has the mountains and great weather. If it becomes the center of an industry, folks will fight each other to live there. If it diversifies, like all great cities, it will become a permanent economic epicenter. I see the great draw of a central US location (I can get to either coast) great weather (no winter fat layer for me!) the largest city for nearly a 1000 miles around and I see no reason why the next great idea canít happen in Colorado.

If you have a great idea and you can make it happen, go to Denver, itís ripe for the picking. If you are just sitting around waiting for the economy to fall, wellÖ you can do that anywhere.
Yes, you have some good points. Everything could change, if the job situation changes. I remember about 30 years ago when Seattle was depressed and people were leaving because of Boeing was having a hard time.

Denver has been just listed as having the 4th largest airport in the country. After Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas. That is because these cities are centrally located as hubs. However, what would happen, if high speed trains are built for primary transportation within the US as many future planners propose. And what if it will be necessary to go around the central rockies because of cost, safety and the necessity to maintain the speed---well, the airport and area will suffer a large collapse.

I grew up near Buffalo, NY. It at one time was the place to go, the frontier, the place to find your fortune because of the location near the the terminus of eastern end the great lakes which captured the shipped lake products from the west and transferred it to the eastern markets by way of the Erie Canal in the early part of the 1800s. Then the railroads bypassed and ended the erie canal after the civil war.

Next boom, the movement for industry to be near the great hydroelectric power of Niagara Falls---again the City of Fortune, "The City of Light", The Pan American Exposition in 1901. Factories, Steel Mills, Chemical Plants, Auto Plants all prospered. "Shuffle off to Buffalo" was a song that echoed an era.

New Source of Power, New Heavy Industry Competition.... Opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in the 1950s was the death of Buffalo by allowing the Lake ships to bypass the Buffalo Ports to the Atlantic--so Buffalo collapsed. Look at it now...... decaying industries, declining population, severe city and county fiscal problems.

This may be Denver, This can be Denver, Change is relentless.
 
Old 09-14-2007, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 80,751,010 times
Reputation: 17410
Quote:
Originally Posted by livecontent View Post

I grew up near Buffalo, NY.

This may be Denver, This can be Denver, Change is relentless.
Loved your post - especially the historical text.

My parents are from Cheektowaga and Dunkirk.They moved to LA in 1958. I grew up and lived in LA from 1961 to 2005. We (their son and his wife) moved to near Monument last year. They hated Buffalo. We hated LA (actually not hated, but we found it unlivable for raising kids and having a nice life...)

I think Denver and Colorado Springs and the Front Range in general have a very positive future.

Go Bills.

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Last edited by Charles; 09-14-2007 at 08:00 PM..
 
Old 09-14-2007, 08:06 PM
 
5,091 posts, read 13,165,370 times
Reputation: 6912
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles View Post
Loved your post. My parents are from Cheektowaga and Dunkirk.They moved to LA in 1958. I grew up and lived in LA from 1961 to 2005. We (their son and his wife) moved to near Monument last year. They hated Buffalo. We hated LA (actually not hated, but we found it unlivable for raising kids and have a nice life...)

Similarities and parallels.

I think Denver and Colorado Springs and the Front Range in general have a very positive future.


Go Bills.

I grew up in Cheektowaga, My father is from NYC, where I was born and lived for a short time. Latter returned, as a adult, to NYC to work. Left Cheetowaga in the 1970s, after Army, and College and ended up in Denver by way of Texas. I still have fading fond memories of Western New York. Dunkirk, I remember, as a decayed small town--like many in that part of New York but so beautiful.

Your parents were very wise to move to LA in the 1950s. My brother, sisters
and parents, all, moved to Colorado from the 1970s and 1980s and have been here for years. I have lived here more than New York. Sometimes it feels that I grew up here and never left because all my family is here---it is a strange feeling.

It is a small world.......

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