The Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC) announced the 2020 EDIE award recipients, recognizing economic development excellence during its Annual Meeting and EDIE Awards Ceremony, held virtually this year. "EDCC is proud to recognize and showcase the organizations and people that contribute to economic vitality in communities all across Colorado," said Michelle Claymore, EDCC Board Chair and Economic Development Director, City of Commerce City.
“It is an honor for our community to be recognized for its efforts to strengthen partnerships that promote economic vitality and investment in Colorado Springs. From the transformation taking place at the Colorado Springs Airport and surrounding community, to investment in Southwest downtown, and significant strides in advancing the City for Champions initiatives, Colorado Springs continues to be an attractive place for a vibrant workforce,” said Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers. “Thanks to VisitCOS, Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, the Colorado Springs Airport, Colorado Springs Economic Development Division, El Paso County, and our many partner organizations, Colorado Springs is truly becoming a place where not only people want to visit, but to call home.”
Large Community of the Year – City of Colorado Springs, Colorado
The award for ‘Large Community of the Year’ was presented to the City of Colorado Springs for their long-term commitment to strengthening their economy through strategy, leadership, and collaboration with their local government, economic development partners, and their community at-large.
The strategy to target the industries that Colorado Springs is well known for became the catalyst to several iconic and unique projects that are coming online. Southwest Downtown is among the growing momentum of a strong and vibrant sports and tourism industry, due in part by the State's four- pronged Regional Tourism Act called the 'City of Champions.' Over $220M has been invested in these economic drivers catching national attention from Architectural Digest, Conde Nast Traveler, Smithsonian magazine, and The New Your Times.
According to the Brookings Institution, Colorado Springs is among the fastest-growing cities for millennials. Downtown Colorado Springs has seen strong economic growth, despite the pandemic, and several new downtown living options are either under construction or have been completed. By 2022, four hotel projects will be completed. This activity has spurred a multitude of new eateries, breweries, food halls and boutique shopping.
Peak Innovation Park, adjacent to and owned by the Colorado Springs Airport, is sparking strong economic development activity. Over $376M has been invested into the Park by Amazon with two distribution facilities and a $100M expansion R&D project that Aerospace Corporation has announced. An estimated 1500 jobs will be associated with these projects.
Economic Development Partnership - Colorado Springs Airport
The award for 'Economic Development Partnership' was presented to the Colorado Springs Airport for their collaboration with key economic development stakeholders to bring connectivity and economic vitality to southern Colorado. After being designated an Opportunity Zone, the Peak Innovation Park master planA plan for the development of a portion of the city that contains proposed land uses, a generalized transportation system, and the relationship of the area included in the plan to surrounding property. spun off, sparking strong economic development activity including Amazon's more than $376M capital investment in two distribution facilities, spanning over 71 acres in the park. In addition to Aerospace Corporation's $100M expansion project of a state-of-the-art R&D space warfighting facility. Significant infrastructure improvements and financial commitments were required from the Airport to meet the goals of these projects. By laying the necessary groundwork and collaborating with the local economic development and community partners, this will prove to be transformational as more projects in the area come online.
The airport itself has seen significant updates and improvements to the terminal and runways. The Colorado Springs Airport has been awarded a $10M grant for runway improvements due in part by lobbying efforts of Congressman Doug Lamborn. This capital improvement will ensure the return of Airstrip Attack tourism. The civil-military airport, on average, sees 35 commercial flights a day, not including military and cargo traffic, and serves approximately 1.7M commercial passengers per year. And finally, after years of courting Southwest Airlines, the airline just announced their commitment to begin service in March 2021. This decision was the result of strong collaboration, strategy and partnership with key community leaders including the City of Colorado Springs, El Paso County, VisitCOS, Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC and was led by the team at Colorado Springs Airport.
Company of the Year – Altia, Inc.
The award for ‘Company of the Year’ was presented to Altia, Inc. Altia Inc., founded in 1991 in Colorado Springs and an international leader in user interface design tools and GUI software, moved its global headquarters two years ago to a newly designed tech space in the heart of Downtown Colorado Springs, showing its commitment to making Colorado Springs a better place to live, work, and grow their company.
Altia’s GUI technologies are in products that you see and use every day. They range from electronic products with touch screens to highly sophisticated automotive dashboards. Their customers include: original automotive equipment manufacturers (OEM') and Tier 1 suppliers like Continental Automotive, Denso, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Honda, Renault, Magneti Marelli, Nippon Seiki, Valeo, Visteon and more – plus leading consumer device manufacturers like Electrolux, Whirlpool, NordicTrack and many others.
Mike Juran, CEO and co-founder, is a leading spokesperson for Colorado Springs, helping economic development partners promote the city to expanding or relocating businesses. His advocacy efforts have aided in building a business-friendly environment for businesses to thrive and grow. Business leaders, like Juran, play an integral role in creating the momentum communities need to attract, retain, and grow businesses and the local job base.