The Home Front: Colorado’s economic growth likely to slow in 2019

Your daily roundup of the biggest stories from newspapers across Colorado

“The Colorado economy will continue to grow next year, but the pace might slow a tad. That’s the message from the 2019 Colorado Business Economic Outlook Forecast released today,” reports The Boulder Daily Camera. “The report, in its 54th year, is compiled by the Business Research Division of Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado. Despite slower growth, Colorado will still be in the top 10 states next year for employment growth. Wages in the state also are expected to increase above the national average, said Richard L. Wobbekind, executive director of the Leeds Business Research Division.”

“The city of Denver is putting an unusual twist on development at a planned site in Globeville: A new project could combine affordable housing and space for manufacturers,” reports The Denver Post. “It’s the latest version of the hands-on approach that the city has taken to development. By buying up land and then negotiating with developers about how to use it, Denver hopes to shape the future of gentrifying areas.”

“(David) West, 71, will leave his position as a part-time magistrate judge at the end of the year – a decades-long judgeship that began with the 1982 inception of a federal court in Southwest Colorado,” reports The Durango Herald. “As a U.S. magistrate, West heard a plethora of cases assigned to him by district court judges, ranging from disputes over federal law to federal criminal cases. West also had jurisdiction to hear federal crimes that took place within the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Ute tribes. Before West started in 1982, there was no federal judicial presence in Southwest Colorado.”

“More than 10,000 Denver convictions for low-level marijuana possession from before the drug was legalized are likely to be erased, but Colorado Springs has no plans to do the same,” reports The Colorado Springs Gazette.

“More than $150 million in tax revenue would come into the city of Aspen over the next three decades if Lift One Lodge is approved at the base of Aspen Mountain’s west side, the developer of the project estimates,” reports The Aspen Times. “That potential economic boon to the resort community is not something that elected officials should overlook when considering cost sharing in a public-private partnership with the development team, developer Michael Brown said last week.”

“A draft of the $122,000 feasibility study on creating a city-owned electric utility will be in City Council’s hands Monday night, although the public probably won’t see it for several weeks,” reports The Pueblo Chieftain. “Council President Chris Nicoll and District 2 Councilman Larry Atencio — both members of the city’s Electric Utility Commission — have the draft report for review and intend to share it with council during an executive session Monday.”

“Sen. Randy Baumgardner, the northwest Colorado Republican who was embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal during this year’s session, won’t have a lot of things to do when he returns to the Colorado Legislature next month,” reports The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. “That’s because the Hot Sulphur Springs lawmaker, who faced a failed expulsion attempt because of those complaints and is expected to face it again next session, wasn’t named to any of the Legislature’s 10 main standing committees.”

“A majority of residents responding to a recent survey said they thought “life is good in Longmont,” according to the Boulder-based firm that conducted the survey for the city,” reports The Longmont Times-Call. “About nine of every 10 respondents said their overall quality of life in Longmont was “excellent or good,” the National Research Center said in its written report of results from the city’s 2018 Customer Satisfaction Survey. However, many residents voiced concerns about crime. When asked about problems in Longmont, 96 percent of the respondents cited crime “as at least a minor problem.” A similar proportion said they were concerned about drugs, methamphetamine labs and vandalism.”

“A crowd gathered to remember children who have passed away at the annual ‘Angel Event’ vigil at the McKee Angel Statue outside the hospital’s conference center on Sunday,” reports The Loveland Reporter-Herald. “The vigil was organized by 3 Hopeful Hearts.”

“Vail Resorts announced Friday a commitment of $175 to $180 million in capital investments to reimagine guest experiences at several of its resorts for the 2019-20 season,” reports The Summit Daily. “With its increased investment in snowmaking services, Vail intends Keystone to once again be in the running for earliest resort to open for the ski season in the U.S. starting next year. Vail said that, pending approval from the U.S. Forest Service, Keystone will start using an enhanced snowmaking system during optimal weather conditions to allow the resort to open by mid-October, with all three peaks open for skiing or snowboarding by Thanksgiving and snowmaking operations completed by Christmas.”

“Two local internet service providers are working to expand their service areas into North Routt County, an area plagued by slow or non-existent connections,” reports The Steamboat Pilot & Today. “In North Routt, the only currently available broadband options are a 1.5 megabit-per-second DSL connection from CenturyLink and satellite internet, which costs $50 a month or more for a 12 megabit-per-second connection. Even if the connection runs at that speed, it’s slower than recommended for gaming or streaming video.”

The Colorado Independent is a statewide online news source operating in a time when spin is plentiful, but factual, fair and unflinching news in the public interest is all too rare. Our award-winning team of veteran investigative and explanatory reporters and news columnists aims to amplify the voices of Coloradans whose stories are unheard, shine light on the relationships between people, power and policy, and hold public officials to account. We strive to report the news with context, social conscience, and soul, and to give Coloradans the insight they need to promote conversation, understanding and progress in this square, swing state we call home.

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