Is Colorado Attractive to Big Corporations Again?

December 21 2011, 2:29 PM

It’s getting hard to keep up with which businesses are coming and going in Colorado. For awhile there, it seemed as if another heavy-hitting corporation jumped ship each month. The MillerCoors merger in 2008 took the Coors headquarters out of Golden and to Chicago. In 2009, both Frontier Airlines and First Data left Denver. Shortly after, in April 2010, communications giant Qwest moved its headquarters to Louisiana after merging with CenturyLink.

But now, thanks to state incentives like infrastructure assistance and the Enterprise Zone program and a proactive governor, big-name businesses are looking to call Colorado home again. Last year DaVita, a Fortune 500 Company that specializes in kidney care, relocated to LoDo. And a string of high-profile enterprises have followed.

Here’s a look at some of the major players who invested in Colorado this year.

General Electric: In October, GE announced its plan to build the nation’s largest solar panel manufacturing facility in Aurora. This $600 million project will create 355 jobs in the next five years.

Arrow Electronics: This technology megacorp announced in November that its Englewood operations will now be the company’s global headquarters. Arrow, a Fortune 140 company, is the highest-ranked Fortune 500 company ever to base its operations in Colorado.

Coleman: Once this outdoor products company called Colorado home, but it left 14 years ago. Well, they’re back—in the same 36,500-square-foot building that was originally built for them in the '90s. The company will relocate employees from its Wichita offices, in addition to hiring locals.

Pentax Imaging Company: A photographic industry leader, Pentax announced in August that Denver will be home to the company’s worldwide headquarters.

Leprino Foods: The company’s headquarters are already located in Denver, but in August, Leprino announced plans to build a $270 million, half-a-million-square-foot plant in Greeley. The project will create 500 new jobs.

Magellan Petroleum: In September, Magellan said it will relocate its headquarters to Denver from Portland, Maine, citing Colorado’s reputation as a leading U.S. oil and gas center.

Google: The search engine and advertising giant, which already employs more than 100 people in Boulder, leased 16,000 square-foot of new space and announced its plans for aggressive growth at the site.

—Image Courtesy of Denver Metro Economic Development Corporation