The Colorado Advantage

Colorado is the 22nd largest state in the United States is and best known for our famous Rocky Mountains and unsurpassed quality of life. We have more mountains reaching 14,000 feet (4,267 meters) than any other state, and we are a paradise for skiers, hikers, and bikers. The Rocky Mountains, combined with vivid scenery, recreational opportunities, a moderate climate with 300 sunny days a year, and a world-class health care and education system, have made Colorado the 3rd fastest growing state in the United States.

Colorado ranks very high nationally for best places to live and work, and for having the most attractive venues in the nation for business development. Colorado is also home to nine professional sports teams including: the Denver Broncos (National Football League), the Denver Nuggets (National Basketball Association), the Colorado Avalanche (National Hockey League), the Colorado Rockies (Major League Baseball), and the Colorado Rapids (Major League Soccer).

Click here to review a 2010 Colorado Demographic Fact Sheet compiled by the Office of Economic Development and International Trade.

Colorado’s dynamic economic base and continually expanding economy makes it especially attractive to EB-5 foreign investors.

  • Colorado has an estimated Gross Domestic Product ("GDP") in 2010 of $251 billion
  • Colorado is the fourth fastest growing state in terms of GDP growth
  • Colorado ranks second for the best economic outlook by the American Legislative Exchange Council

In addition, Colorado is ranked third by CNBC and fourth by Forbes as the best state for business based upon workforce, quality of life, economy, technology and innovation, education, business friendliness, transportation and infrastructure, cost of living, and access to capital.

Colorado is a major center for high tech industries including telecommunications, software development, and high tech manufacturing; leading to Colorado’s ranking as the third highest concentration of high tech workers in the United States. In addition, Colorado is a major center for manufacturing, tourism, agriculture and mining, finance, insurance, real estate, and transportation.

Tourism & Recreation
Colorado has it all – from museums, sports, parks, monuments, and mountains, Colorado is known as one of North America’s premier tourist destinations. The state enjoyed approximately 27.4 million overnight visitors in 2008 generating almost $11 billion, making tourism and recreation a major component of Colorado’s economic base. Tourists come from all over the world to experience:

  • 42 state parks
  • numerous boating lakes
  • 11,000 miles of hiking trails
  • countless locations for camping and hunting
  • over 250 public and private golf courses
  • more than 35 winter recreation areas
  • world-class fishing, skiing, rafting and mountain biking

The redevelopment of the new Fitzsimons Life Science District has accelerated Colorado’s biotechnology position. Spanning over 570 acres, it is the first area west of the Mississippi River to be dedicated to life science research, education and patient care. In addition, the University of Colorado Hospital has been ranked the best in the country in 6 of 16 medical specialties.

Colorado is an undeniable leader in technology due to a highly educated and technically savvy workforce. In fact, Boulder, Colorado (a suburb of Denver) was recently declared “America’s Smartest City” by Forbes Magazine. Colorado is playing an increasing role as a global leader in technology and has earned the following rankings:

  • third highest concentration of high-tech workers
  • second in overall science and technology assets
  • third in economic dynamism
  • seventh in innovation capacity

Because of Colorado’s growing role in technology, the state exported $3.3 billion in high-tech exports, representing 44% of Colorado’s total exports.

Renewable Energy
Renewable energy is quickly gaining momentum as one of Colorado’s emerging industries. Colorado has abundant solar energy and wind power, natural resources, research facilities, and innovation and entrepreneurial assets – all of which help to position the state as a global leader in renewable energy. Colorado is also home to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), which is the United States Department of Energy’s major lab for renewable energy research. NREL, in collaboration with three of Colorado’s research universities, will receive up to $2 million per year to fund renewable energy research projects. Colorado has approximately 1,500 local companies dedicated to renewable energy, employing approximately 16,000 people.

International Business
Colorado’s number of foreign corporations is continually growing. Foreign-owned companies in Colorado currently employ 71,400 people and pay 13% higher wages on average than U.S. private sector businesses. Additionally, Colorado recently hosted the 2010 Biennial of the Americas, an international event that celebrates the culture, ideas, and people of all 35 nations in North and South America. Colorado is also home to the World Trade Center of Denver, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to global trade and establishing Colorado as a model global community.

Higher Education
The Colorado higher education system boasts 470 institutions that are currently educating approximately 375,000 students. Forbes ranked Boulder, Colorado “America’s Smartest City” in 2008 and the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey ranked Colorado third in the nation in percentage of population with a college degree. In May of 2010, Denver, Colorado was ranked the third best city for college graduates.

Colorado is home to numerous high ranking universities:

  • The University of Colorado – Boulder (Ranked 11th by the Economist as the best public academic university in the world)
  • Colorado College (Ranks in the top tier of liberal arts colleges in the U.S. News & World Report rankings)
  • The University of Denver (Referred to as “The Harvard of the West” and ranked 84th among all public and private universities)
  • Colorado State University (Ranked as one of the top public universities in the United States in terms of educational quality and affordability)
  • Colorado School of Mines (A public research university devoted to engineering and applied science. It has the highest admissions standards of any public University in Colorado and among the highest of any public university in the U.S.)

Quality of Life
Colorado’s unsurpassed quality of life attracts businesses and individuals, residents and tourists. Colorado’s combination of scenery, recreational opportunities, moderate climate with over 300 sunny days a year, world-class health care, and a prominent public school system have made Colorado an ideal place to call home. Colorado ranks high in numerous quality of life indicators, including Fitness, Best Place to Retire, Best Place to Raise a Family, Best Place for Recreation, Best Place for Pets, Healthiest Cities, and more.

"Colorado is second to none in all the 50 states in creatively and aggressively pursuing opportunities for economic development. We are committed to working with all businesses, everything from large multi-national corporations to small start-up businesses. Regardless of the business size, product or service, we are committed to creating the jobs and opportunities that will provide growth and prosperity for all. It's clear that the EB-5 program is critical to that commitment and we are confident that the resulting investments will be mutually beneficial."
Don Marostica, Executive Director Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade
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