Recapping this month’s EDG meeting: “What the heck is the TPP? Why the hell should I care?”
As part of the SMDC’s ongoing Global Commerce Initiative, this month’s EDG meeting focused on the Trans Pacific Partnership. The Trans Pacific Partnership, more commonly referred to as the “TPP,” is a trade agreement between 12 countries in the Pacific Rim. There are a number of high-level similarities that can be drawn between this agreement and NAFTA, many of which are highly debated.
The goal of our meeting was to provide members with a more detailed understanding of the TPP overall and its potential impacts on the business community. We invited three distinguished panelists to join us for a balanced discussion. Dr. Ved P. Nanda, Professor at Evans University and Denver University’s Sturm College of Law, gave a thorough background on the topic. Louis “Kip” Cheroutes, President of LXC Strategies, Inc. and Japan-U.S. Network, Inc., represented the pro-perspective. Kjersten Forseth, Political Director of the Colorado AFL-CIO, provided insight into the TPP’s opposition.
So… what the heck is the TPP, exactly?
The TPP sets national commitments in exchange for the elimination of 18,000 tariffs between the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Chile, and Peru. The agreement’s 30 chapters set standards to regulate commerce, governance, and the treatment of people across all participating nations. The TPP also seeks consistency with existing global WTO and GATT standards, as well as, existing trade agreements within the region.
Implementation of the TPP is planned through one commission, comprised of a variety of committees and forums. The implementation process will take place slowly with reviews every five years, although some timelines and thresholds have been preset.
As is commonly the case with these types of agreements, ‘the devil is in the details.’ Those opposed to passage of the TPP fear too much has been left to the commission’s interpretation during implementation.
“This is worse than the NAFTA agreement,” says Forseth. Drawing on the implementation of NAFTA over the last twenty years, Forseth raises concerns over workers’ rights and labor standards. She highlighted that the TPP agreement does not guarantee the creation of jobs and lessens the power of unions while simultaneously giving more control to big business and global banks.
Although there is little argument that issues will arise throughout implementation, Cheroutes believes, “TPP keeps America in the global commercial driver’s seat.” The elimination of the 18,000 tariffs within the agreement play a critical role in strengthening commerce and trade partnerships with Pacific Rim countries.
How does this affect the South Metro Denver region?
Drilling down to Colorado’s export market, passage of the TPP opens up greater opportunities for a wide variety of industries. Not only does TPP impact the meat industry of Northern Colorado and fruit growers of the Western Slope, the agreement includes key provisions to protect intellectual property rights for industries like aerospace - which is an undeniable force in the South Denver Metro economy.
Beyond intellectual property protections, the TPP includes the U.S.-defined concepts like contract appeal rights, due process, transparency, prompt payment, regulatory impact assessment, corporate social responsibility, consumer protection, public participation and public comment. In many ways, the inclusion of these concepts has kept China from participating in TPP negotiations.
“You cannot separate the economic and security impacts,” says Nanda. Strengthening relations between the United States and key allies, like Vietnam, lessens China’s stronghold on the region. Nanda argues it’s critical for the United States to remain a presence within the Pacific Rim to continue to compete with China globally. This is an important development on both the United States’ economic and national security fronts.
The Trans Pacific Partnership is a complicated, nuanced topic - one that impacts the United States as a whole, as well as businesses right in our own backyard. We would like to thank our panel of experts and all of the attendees for participating in this engaging and informative event. The Chamber will continue to explore and discuss topics like this as part of the Global Commerce Initiative. Watch for more information and additional resources on the website.
Record 16.4 Million Visitors in Denver in 2015
The Denver Zoo, the Denver Art Museum and Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre were Denver’s top three paid attractions in 2015.
• Total overnight visitors: 16.4 million, up 6 percent
• Overnight leisure trips: 13.8 million, up 6 percent
• Overnight business trips: 2.6 million, up 9 percent
• Day trips: 12 million, up 18 percent
• Total visitors in 2005, when Denver’s 1A lodging tax increases passed: 7.9 million
• Total travel spending in 2015: $5 billion, up 9 percent
• Total leisure travel spending in 2015: $3.9 billion, up 8 percent
• Total business travel spending in 2015: $1.1 billion, up 13 percent
• Top feeder states: California, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Arizona
• Top feeder cities: Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Phoenix, Houston
• Top paid attractions: Denver Zoo, Denver Art Museum, Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre, Denver Botanic Gardens, Buffalo Bill Museum & Grave
Travel spending by sector: Accommodation = $1.51 billion Transportation = $1.46 billion Eating and Drinking = $1 billion Shopping = $627 million Recreation = $437 million
Average daily expenditure by visitor: Business = $149 Marketable = $136 Visiting friends and family = $71
Denver hosted 16.4 million overnight visitors, who spent $5 billion, in 2015. That’s 1 million more visitors than the previous year, and it set a tourism record for the 10th year in a row.
Since Denver voters approved a lodging tax increase in 2005 to fund increased tourism marketing, the city’s leisure visitor numbers have grown 52 percent, more than double the national average for that 10-year period.
That boost enabled Visit Denver, the city’s tourism and convention bureau, to run visitor-enticing ad campaigns in cities such as Chicago, Phoenix, Houston, Albuquerque and Dallas during the economic downturn, when other cities curtailed tourism promotion.
Denver now is reaping the return on that investment, which “really put us on the map,” Visit Denver chief Richard Scharf said.
“We have moved from a gateway destination to a destination,” Scharf said. “We appreciate being the gateway to the Rockies. But the fact that people want to spend time in Denver, that’s big for us.”
Leisure travelers drove the 9 percent boost in visitor traffic in 2015, according to the city’s annual visitor survey by Longwoods International, the firm that has measured Denver’s tourism economy since 1994.
Denver hosted 13.8 million leisure travelers last year, with 7.7 million of them visiting friends and family. The other 6.1 million were “marketable” visitors who could have vacationed anywhere but chose Denver. The Longwoods report showed Denver lured more out-of-state visitors than ever before in 2015, when 82 percent of its visitor traffic came from another state, up from 74 percent in 2014. Nationally, overnight trips increased 2 percent. In Denver, overnight trips increased 6 percent in 2015.
“You guys are becoming a real national draw,” Longwoods president Amir Eylon said, citing increasing numbers of visitors drawn to Denver from cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.
Scharf said increased investment, such as voter-approved expansions to the Colorado Convention Center and National Western Complex, will continue to grow tourism.
Scharf, who lobbied against the legalization of recreational marijuana, warning it could injure the city’s image, said he has no data showing how the booming marijuana tourism economy in Colorado impacted the city’s recent growth in tourism.
Since Jan. 1, 2014, the recreational sale and consumption of pot has been legal in Colorado. Cannabis remains illegal on the federal level, and advertising marijuana beyond state borders is not permitted. So Scharf isn’t touching legal weed in his promotions or in visitor surveys.
“There are people who may be coming here, but there’s just no data right now to support what that piece is in our profile,” said Scharf, noting his team eventually could begin counting marijuana tourists among Denver’s visitors as more states embrace recreational sales. “We have a lot of vertical segments we think people come to see. Art and culture, culinary, agritourism. The majority of people come to see and do a lot of things.”
This article was originally published by The Denver Post.
Jason Blevins: 303-954-1374, [email protected] or @jasonblevins
IT Managed Services Company expands nationally with service offerings; adds EVP
Marketing Communications Specialist
June 16, 2016– NexusTek, a leading Denver-based managed IT services and business software consulting services firm, announced today they have acquired iPremise. In addition, the tech company has added Rob Bosch, President and Co-Founder of iPremise, to the management team as Executive Vice President.
Bosch is a three-time CIO and recognized industry leader with more than 25 years of experience in managed services, software and IT. Bosch’s published articles on Customer Relationship Management, Business Intelligence and Strategic Planning for Facilities Management have been referenced in multiple industry publications. Bosch holds a master’s degree in industrial engineering from the University of Illinois.
“We are thrilled to bring iPremise’s strong client portfolio and diverse service offerings to NexusTek’s already robust business platform,” said Mike Jenner, CEO, NexusTek. “With the combined talent and resources of our two companies, we will continue our legacy of delivering excellence in IT services as the largest, Denver-based Managed Services Provider for small and mid-sized businesses.”
Voice over IP
Adding to their B2B IT services and business solutions platform, NexusTek will now offer VoIP services that include conference calling, find-me/follow-me, and call queues with real-time reporting. For more than 10 years, iPremise has successfully implemented comprehensive VoIP services into their Managed IT Services platform for small and midsize businesses and enterprise.
IT Managed Services for Healthcare Practice
Beginning Q2 2016, NexusTek will launch a packaged IT services solution to the growing healthcare vertical of physician’s practice and clinic networks. The comprehensive platform expands NexusTek’s capabilities to markets anywhere in the US.
“After years of developing and delivering IT solutions to many verticals, we were able to successfully build a platform around standardized IT services specific to the needs of the evolving business model for physicians networks,” said Rob Bosch, Co-Founder of iPremise. “We are excited to join the NexusTek team in their mission to provide the best IT managed services and business solutions our industry has to offer.”
The transaction expanded NexusTek to more than 65 Denver-based employees providing service to nearly 600 clients, establishing the Company as one of the largest locally-headquartered IT firms serving small and medium-sized businesses.
NexusTek, an award-winning Microsoft Gold Partner, provides small and medium-sized businesses a trusted resource to optimize and manage their IT environments, ensuring business continuity and driving productivity. From managed IT services to cloud solutions and customized business software implementations, NexusTek employs top talent, offers personalized attention, and brings 20 years implementing technology best practices for companies across Colorado and the region. For more information: http://www.nexustek.com/
After a few year hiatus, the annual Chamber Golf Tournament is back in full swing! On Monday, June 6th, members and staff gathered for a gorgeous day at Meridian Golf Club.
A portion of proceeds went to the Tennyson Center for Children!
Thank you to our generous sponsors and see you next year.
The Rocky Mountain Oil & Gas Coalition launches its 2016 presentation at Del Frisco's on Friday, June 3rd
Thought leaders, elected officials, and industry professionals of the oil and gas industry gathered at Del Frisco's on Friday, June 3rd to listen and discuss the RMOGC's 2016 presentation launch. This important event touched on four very challenging ballot initiatives for the 2016 election. Below is their presentation. For more information on the Chamber's Rocky Mountain Oil & Gas Coalition, visit here or call us at 303.795.0142.
The Chamber is excited to announce its annual Consular Corps Celebration at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House on August 27, 2016.
What: The Economic Development Group of the Chamber, in collaboration with Denver Sister Cities International, is hosting an invitation-only gathering of the diplomatic community in Colorado to mark the end of summer. The Colorado Consular Corps and other diplomats from around the world will meet with leaders of commerce, industry, education and government in Denver. This renewed gathering of international leaders marks the continuation of the Chamber’s global commerce initiative, designed to facilitate international trade and economic development, partnering this year with Denver Sister Cities International. It will provide an exceptional opportunity for these leaders to communicate and network as never before. Attendance will capped at 180.
When: Saturday, August 27, 2016 from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM MDT.
Where: Onstage at the beautiful Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Denver.
Who: Members of the Colorado Consular Corps, ambassadors, global mayors and elected officials, foreign trade representatives, attendees at the Denver Sister Cities International Sister Cities Summit (being held that weekend), Gov. John Hickenlooper, Denver Deputy Mayor Don Mares, the Metro Mayors Caucus, Metro Area County Commissioners, leadership of DRCOG, chief executives from major companies, heads of institutions of higher education, representatives of regional and state economic development agencies.
Partners: Our initial strategic partners and sponsors include Denver Sister Cities International, with anticipated participation by the Canadian Consulate, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade; Denver South EDP; U.S. Export Assistance Center; WorldDenver; World Trade Center-Denver; MDC/Richmond American Homes Foundation and CSU-Global.
Program: This year’s celebration will be presented as an invitation-only VIP Reception preceding the Denver Sister Cities International Gala, and will go from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM, with a very brief program, with short comments from representatives of the strategic partners. All the Consuls General and Honorary Consuls will be introduced and welcomed on stage. The Chamber will conclude the formal program by acknowledging the sponsors. The majority of the time will be spent in networking.
Sponsorships: Commercial sponsorship opportunities ($5K, $2.5K, $1K) are available to defray the costs of food, drink, entertainment and equipment. In addition to being acknowledged, sponsors will be afforded the opportunity to have display tables with collateral materials and staged photo opportunities with diplomatic dignitaries, inter alia. For further details, contact Douglas M. Tisdale, Esq., Executive Vice President for Economic Development, [email protected] 303.589.0758.
Don't miss these fantastic happenings in Centennial this summer! For a full calendar, please visit the City of Centennial's website here.
AP Completes New Fire Station in Greenwood Village, Colorado
Denver, Colo. (May 27, 2016) – Adolfson & Peterson Construction (AP) proudly completed the new South Metro Fire Rescue Station 31 and helped celebrate with the South Metro Fire Rescue Authority as the first ambulance and fire trucks were brought into the building. Fire fighters and staff members were excited to move into their new station and begin operations.
This new 12,740-sf fire station was built after demolishing their outdated structure. Features of the new facility include seven bedrooms; a state-of-the-art workout facility, kitchen and day-room to accommodate a six-person shift; five bathrooms; two offices and a patio with direct access to the kitchen and day-room. The bedrooms are a great improvement to the quality of living for the staff, as the former facility only had curtain separations between sleeping areas. Honoring the history of fire houses, the facility has a firefighter’s pole from the second story area to the apparatus bay.
The OZ Architecture design is harmonized with the surrounding residential neighborhoods. The truck bay was designed around the inclusion of a water rescue dive boat – an untraditional item for Colorado. The station uses the vessel for emergency responses at the nearby Cherry Creek Reservoir.
“Making our communities safer is at the heart of this project. It is inspiring seeing how excited everyone is to move in”, said Senior Vice President Tom Horsting. The project started in June 2015, completing in 11 months.
A grand-opening celebration is open to the public to tour the facility on June 15th at 3:00 PM, located at 5901 South Havana Street, Greenwood Village, CO 80111.
AP has completed a number of projects in the South Metro Denver area, including the 275,376 sf, $86.4 million Lone Tree Medical Office Campus; the $77M, 296,000 sf, 11-story CoBank Center Office Building in Greenwood Village; and the 21,000 sf, $6.6M Cherry Hills Village/South Metro Fire Rescue Joint Public Safety Facility. The AP team is currently working on the Elevations at Dry Creek/ Inova Office Building in Centennial. The $28M, 211,657 sf, 5-story office building will be the tallest tilt-up project in the Denver area. One of the fastest-growing building technologies in the United States, tilt-up construction economics include reasonable cost with low maintenance, durability, speed of construction and minimal capital investment. The project is set to be completed in Fall of 2016.
Adolfson & Peterson Construction is a U.S.-based, privately held firm that is consistently ranked among the top 50 construction managers and general contractors in the nation. Founded in 1946, the company has built longstanding commitments to the regions in which it operates and is known nationally for its innovative and collaborative approaches within the building industry.
Adolfson & Peterson Construction serves the education, multifamily, healthcare, commercial, municipal and senior living market segments from its offices in Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Portland and Tacoma. For more information, visit www.a-p.com and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.