Colorado - Mon. 02/06/23 A Free Business Publication from Alpine Bank View Online View in Browser
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JANUARY JOBS REPORT STRONGER THAN EXPECTED, UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DROPS MORE

 
 
 
U.S. employers added 517,000 jobs in January, a number far above what was projected. The U.S. Labor Dept. also revised its December job totals upward, pushing the average job gains for the last three months to 356,000, more than double the 2019 prepandemic average of 163,000. The strong January numbers reversed the trend of the past five consecutive months of slowing job growth and elevated concerns by investors that the Federal Reserve would respond even more aggressively in raising interest rates to slow economic growth. The increase in employment also drove the unemployment rate down to 3.4 percent last month, the lowest rate since May 1969. All three major U.S. stock indexes closed lower Friday.
 
- Wall Street Journal, 02.04.23
 

RUBY HILL RAIL YARD, DENVER’S WINTER TERRAIN PARK, IS NOW OPEN

 
 
 
Ruby Hill Rail Yard, a terrain park for skiers and snowboarders, was created in 2007. It was designed by Winter Park Resort and is operated by Denver Parks and Recreation. On Saturday, the rail yard, located at Ruby Hill Park just west of South Platte River Dr., at 1200 West Florida Ave. in Denver opened and will remain open into March. It is open every day from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. and is lit from dusk until 9 p.m. Starting Thursday, Denver Parks and Recreation will also provide free rental gear, including snowboards, boots and helmets, on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Complete information is available at denvergov.org/outdoorrec.
 
- Denver Gazette, 02.06.23
 

POWERFUL EARTHQUAKES KILL MORE THAN 1,600 IN SYRIA AND TURKEY

 
 
 
Millions of people in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Cyprus and Israel felt the tremors of a powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake early Monday morning around 4 a.m. local time. The quake was centered near the city of Gaziantep in south central Turkey. The U.S. Geological Survey said a second 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit the same area about nine hours later. The death toll from the quakes stands at more than 1,600 but is expected to increase. The quakes were some of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded in Turkey and shook buildings hundreds of miles away in Israel.
 
- New York Times, 02.04.23
 

MIKE AND DEBBIE WILDE NAMED CITIZENS OF THE YEAR BY GLENWOOD CHAMBER

 
 
 
The Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association held their annual awards ceremony at the Hotel Colorado Saturday. The Chamber presented the Citizens of the Year award to Mike and Debbie Wilde. Debbie is known for her work helping kids in trouble at YouthZone for 30 years, including 22 years as executive director and Mike brought the RiverWatch curriculum to Glenwood Springs High School and has trained teachers across the state in the curriculum. Other Chamber awards:
  • Top Brass Outstanding Business of the Year: Hotel Colorado; the Hotel Colorado also was recognized with a 130-year business milestone
  • Top Brass New Business of the Year: Adam Decker State Farm Agency
  • Chamber Ambassador of the Year: Charlene Revoir
 
- GS Post-Independent, 02.06.23
 

BELIEVE IT OR NOT: FEWER VEHICLES COMING INTO ASPEN

 
 
 
The city of Aspen began counts of vehicles coming into town at the Castle Creek Bridge in 1993. In 1993, there was an average of 23,675 vehicle trips into Aspen. Last year, 2022, the average number of vehicle trips was 18,703. That is the lowest number in at least five years. In 2021, the number was 20,922. That dropped a bit in 2020, during the height of the pandemic, but at 18,929, it was still higher than last year. In the pre-pandemic year of 2019, there were 21,105 average daily vehicle trips. Aspen officials believe there are several reasons for the reduction in vehicle trips, including more workers and others riding Roaring Fork Transportation Authority buses or carpooling, and the increased number of remote workers.
 
- Aspen Times, 02.04.23
 

CITY OF GRAND JUNCTION PLACES MORATORIUM ON SKILLED GAMING BUSINESSES

 
 
 
The Grand Junction City Council last week voted to place a moratorium on skilled gaming businesses in the city. The moratorium will allow skilled gaming businesses that are operating to continue, but not permit new businesses nor allow the existing businesses to move to another location in town. City and county law enforcement officials have said the skilled gaming businesses have been associated with increased criminal activity in the past few months. Skilled gaming operations are often referred to as “gray casinos,” as the games are very similar to slot machines. However, skilled gaming business owners say their games require skill to win, not luck.
 
- GJ Daily Sentinel, 02.04.23
 

BLACK SUMMIT CELEBRATES ITS 50TH YEAR IN VAIL

 
 
 
In 1973, Ben Finley and Art Clay joined together to found the Black Summit in Vail. Finley and Clay were members of two of the earliest all-Black ski clubs, located in Los Angeles and Chicago. Their idea was just to bring the clubs together for a group ski trip for fun. About 350 skiers from 13 clubs came to that first gathering in Aspen. The next year, 1974, the National Brotherhood of Skiers was registered as a nonprofit. Now, the National Brotherhood of Skiers has about 5,000 members in 57 clubs, and the National Brotherhood will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Black Summit in Vail, with about 1,200 predominately Black skiers and snowboarders in attendance. The NBS Black Summit will run from Feb. 4-11.
 
- www.vaildaily.com, 02.05.23
 

ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ZONE PROGRAM IN COLORADO ONE OF THE BEST

 
 
 
The program to create economic opportunity zones across the state of Colorado, which was launched more than four years ago, has proven to be one of the most successful in the U.S. The program grew out of the U.S. Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. The basis of funding for the program was tax relief for investors facing significant capital gains. After selling an asset which would generate significant capital gains, an investor could pass on those profits to a designated zone within 180 days and defer paying taxes on the gains until 2026. If the money was held in a qualified opportunity zone for 10 years, the tax bill is eliminated. Then governor John Hickenlooper designated the Office of Economic Development and International Trade to administer the program and 126 opportunity zones were designated, 60 percent of them in rural areas outside the Front Range.
The OEDIT took a creative and aggressive approach to the program, setting up a platform, CO-Invest, where investors landowners or businesses could list projects seeking investments, CO-Invest offered technical assistance support grants to local governments to assist in marketing their zones. Now, there are at least 59 known investments in economic zones in Colorado, although there are likely more as there are no reporting requirements on the tax relief. Those investments are now estimated to top $1 billion and have funded projects from Durango and Naturita to Craig, Steamboat Springs and southeastern communities like Granada. The biggest rural investor has been Four Points Funding of Steamboat Springs, which has raised four funds so far totaling $80 million in equity investment that’s led to $300 million in total investment. Four Points has funded housing projects in Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, and is beginning projects in Estes Park, Buena Vista and southeastern Colorado.
 
- Denver Business Journal, 02.03.23
 

CALIFORNIANS LEAVING: WHERE IS IT BEST TO GO?

 
 
 
The Orange County Register developed an index of costs from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analyses and the Council of Community and Economic Research, which pegged the costs in California at 100. On a straight cost comparison basis, it would be cheapest for Californians to move to Mississippi, where the same costs are $69. Alabama was $71, then Oklahoma, Iowa, and Kansas. However, when income is introduced as a consideration and compared to cost, the best place for Californians is … you got it Colorado. In Colorado, the ratio was $119 to California’s $100. The top choices:
  • 1. Colorado: $119
  • 2. Minnesota, New Hampshire: $117
  • 4. Illinois: $116
  • 5. Utah, Maryland: $115
  • 7. Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska: $113
 
- Denver Post, 02.03.23
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
MARKET UPDATE - 02/03/2023 Close
 
(Courtesy of Alpine Bank Wealth Management*)
 
 
Close
Change
Dow Jones Industrials
 
33926.01
 
-127.03
 
S&P 500
 
4136.48
 
-43.28
 
NASDAQ
 
12006.95
 
-193.86
 
10-year Treasury yield
 
3.53
 
+0.14
 
Gold (CME)
 
1862.90
 
-53.40
 
Silver (CME)
 
22.33
 
-1.20
 
Oil (NY Merc)
 
73.39
 
-2.49
 
Natural Gas ($/MMBtu)
 
2.41
 
-0.04
 
Cattle (CME)
 
160.27
 
+0.52
 
Prime Rate
 
7.75
 
NC
 
Euro (per U.S. dollar)
 
0.92
 
+0.01
 
Canadian dollar (per U.S. dollar)
 
1.33
 
NC
 
Mexican peso (per U.S. dollar)
 
18.96
 
+0.30
 
30-year fixed mortgage rate (Freddie Mac 02/02/2023)
 
6.09
 
-0.04
 
*Not FDIC insured. May lose value. Not guaranteed by the bank.
 
 
 
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Alpine Bank is an independent, employee-owned organization with headquarters in Glenwood Springs and banking offices across Colorado's Western Slope, mountains and Front Range. Alpine Bank serves customers with retail, business, wealth management*, mortgage and electronic banking services. Learn more at alpinebank.com.

*Alpine Bank Wealth Management services are not FDIC insured, may lose value and are not guaranteed by the bank.​
 
 
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