Denver again tops Forbes’ list of ‘Best Places for Business and Careers’

October 10, 2016 / Posted in Denver

Oct 19, 2016

“A mecca for millennials.”

A “hot destination for … companies in search of talent.”

Those are just a couple of the ways Forbes magazine describes metro Denver, which it named the nation’s best place for careers and business among 200 large cities for its annual report.

This is the second year in a row Denver garnered the top spot.

And three other Colorado cities are in the top 30 on the list.

Denver’s “relatively central location makes it a natural location as a distribution for hub for the American West, while also supporting a number of growing industries in technology and telecommunications,” Forbes says in its report. “Its location just east of the mineral-rich Rocky Mountains range encouraged mining and energy companies to spring up in the areas, making the energy industry another staple of Denver’s economy.”

To compile its annual report, Forbes looks at data in the U.S.’s 200 largest metros and ranks them across 14 metrics related to job growth, costs (business and living), income growth, quality of life and the education of the labor force.

Denver, with a population of 2,820,200, ranks 133rd for cost of business, 16th for its job growth and 19th for its education.

Forbes also touted Colorado’s many cultural attractions, including its “nationally recognized” museums, the “second largest performing arts center in the nation” and its “bustling neighborhoods,” such as LoDo.

“Denver has gained a reputation as being a very active, outdoor-oriented city because of its proximity to the mountains and generally sunny weather.”

The honor comes even as Denver struggles with things like affordable housing, widely consider by city and business leaders as one of the biggest detriments to continued growth in the city.

“We have to move with a sense of urgency to build more affordable housing and to preserve affordable housing in Denver,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said at a forum last August. “It will hurt our future economic growth and impact who Denver is as a community.”

Other city leaders at that forum piped in with potential solutions to the problem, which ranged from things like creating a permanent affordable housing fund, to developing more transit-oriented condo and apartment complexes, to expediting permitting processes, to eliminating construction defects.

“This is our chance and we don’t want to miss that,” said Lakewood Mayor Adam Paul. “We have got to get the state legislature to act. We don’t want to be a case study 10 years from now.”

The top 10 places for business and careers, as listed by Forbes, are:

  1. Denver.
  2. Provo, Utah.
  3. Raleigh, N.C.
  4. Seattle, Washington.
  5. Portland, Oregon.
  6. Des Moines, Iowa.
  7. Salt Lake City, Utah.
  8. Ogden, Utah.
  9. Atlanta, Georgia.
  10. Dallas, Texas.

Colorado Springs comes in at No. 12 place on the list, Fort Collins is No. 18, Boulder is No. 26 and Greeley comes in at No. 51.