DU Contributes Nearly $1 Billion to the Denver Metro Region’s Economy Every Year
May 10, 2016 – DENVER –A recently released Development Research Partners study finds that DU is a powerful economic engine for the six-county metropolitan area, generating an economic impact of nearly $1 billion a year (Video).
The report establishes DU as an “anchor institution” that brings significant economic benefits to a city celebrated for its entrepreneurial energy and dynamic marketplace.
“[It shows] how critical DU’s role as an economic engine is to the health of Denver overall,” said David Ethan Greenberg, DU’s vice chancellor for institutional partnerships. “A large part of our vision is the qualitative role DU plays in Denver, from engagement to quality of research, to our role as a thought leader. But the flip side is that DU has been a physical presence in Denver for 152 years, and we are, in a quantitative way, an essential component of the Denver economy.”
DU is Denver’s second largest private non-retail employer, right behind United Airlines. What’s more, DU purchases goods and services from Colorado companies, brings out-of-town students and visitors — and their dollars — to the metropolitan area, and conducts $22.2 million in research each year, with more than 83 percent coming from sources outside of Colorado.
“We know that Denver and the University of Denver are integrally connected, through our partnerships throughout the region, our collaboration to address pressing challenges, and the civically and ethically minded graduates who remain here after graduation,” said University of Denver Chancellor Rebecca Chopp. “This report shows how we fit into the structure of the local economy — how much our day-to-day activities benefit residents, businesses and the tax base.”
One of the big beneficiaries of the University’s direct impact is the construction industry. DU’s construction spending in 2015 totaled $40.7 million. In the last 20 years, DU has invested $640 million in facilities and infrastructure, an average of $32 million each year. Additionally, direct spending by students — on everything from food and clothing to housing and transportation — reached $115 million in 2015.
“Seventy percent of first-year DU undergraduates are from outside Colorado, and 70 percent of our graduates choose to live here,” Greenberg said. “What DU does is import investment into Colorado. We’re doing it in terms of dollars spent and in terms of attracting talent.”
On top importing talented students primed to contribute to Denver’s economic success following graduation, DU also attracts roughly 32,700 visitors to campus each year, through sporting, cultural and other events, who spend $8.5 million.
“To my knowledge, DU has never quantified its contributions to the metro area,” said Chopp. “We’re proud to be in Denver and proud to play such a big role in the region’s economic life, as
we commit to being an even greater partner in the region.”
Economic Impact Report Video
The study was commissioned by the University as part of its strategic-planning process, which resulted in a 10-year blueprint for innovation known as DU IMPACT 2025.