Colorado - Tue. 04/16/24 A Free Business Publication from Alpine Bank View Online View in Browser
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DIA: 77.8M PASSENGERS IN 2023

 
 
 
Denver International Airport was ranked as the sixth-busiest airport in the world and the third busiest in the U.S. for passenger traffic in 2023 by Airports Council International. According to 2023 data released Monday, 77.8 million passengers flew to, from and through Denver, a 12.3 percent increase over 2022 totals and the first time the airport has served more than 70 million passengers in a year. The airport’s best pre-pandemic year for traffic was 2019, with DIA earning 16th-busiest airport in the world. After the COVID-19 pandemic minimized air travel in 2020, DIA was among the fastest-recovering airports, rising to third highest for passenger traffic worldwide in 2021 and 2022 as Asian and European air travel significantly decreased. International airport hubs like London’s Heathrow Airport rejoined the ranks for top ten busiest airports in 2022. In 2023, airports in Dubai, London, Tokyo and Dallas surpassed Denver, with Atlanta earning the top-ranked spot.
 
- Denver Post, 04.15.24
 

RETAIL SALES JUMPED 0.7 PERCENT IN MARCH

 
 
 
Retail sales increased 0.7 percent in March, considerably faster than the Dow Jones consensus forecast for a 0.3 percent rise though below the upwardly revised 0.9 percent in February, according to Census Bureau data that is adjusted for seasonality but not for inflation. The consumer price index increased 0.4 percent in March, the Labor Dept. reported last week in data that also was higher than the Wall Street outlook. That means consumers more than kept up with the pace of inflation, which ran at a 3.5 percent annual rate for the month, below the 4 percent retail sales increase. Excluding auto-related receipts, retail sales jumped 1.1 percent, also well ahead of the estimate for a 0.5 percent advance. The core control group, which strips out several volatile measures and is in the formula to determine gross domestic product, also increased 1.1 percent.
 
- CNBC.com, 04.15.24
 

LA NIÑA PHENOMENON UPGRADED TO 85% CHANCE OF FORMING

 
 
 
The presence of La Niña is strengthening as El Niño's grip on weather patterns continues to wane, according to an April update from climate researchers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Forecasters estimate there's an 85 percent chance El Niño will end later this spring and the tropical Pacific will transition to neutral conditions by the April–June period. There’s also a 60 percent chance La Niña will develop by June–August and even higher by fall. One potential impact is that La Niña tends to create a more-active Atlantic hurricane season. Closer to Colorado and in western North America, La Niña tends to bring more snow to the northern states and northern Colorado during wintertime as well as more likely odds to experience drought and intense heat during summer months. La Niña can also prolong warmer temperatures into fall and enhance wildfires and drought in the western states.
 
- Denver Gazette, 04.15.24
 

NEW YORK TOPS DESTINATIONS FOR RELOCATING TECH WORKERS

 
 
 
New York gained more tech workers on the move than any other U.S. city last year, according to a new report, indicating the local tech market continues to thrive despite the city’s high cost of living. The greater New York City area attracted 14.3 percent of all employees in the tech sector who relocated around the country in 2023, according to an analysis of LinkedIn data by venture firm SignalFire. Meanwhile, New York lost 10.7 percent of relocating tech workers nationwide, giving it a 3.6 percent net gain, the highest in the country. Austin, Texas, had the second biggest net gain at 1.4 percent, followed by the greater Los Angeles area at 0.6 percent. The San Francisco Bay Area, meanwhile, saw its tech worker population shrink, with a net loss of 3.7 percent in relocators, followed by the greater Seattle and greater Boston areas in terms of net declines. San Francisco was close behind New York in its inflow share, at 12.3 percent, but it saw a bigger outflow.
 
- Wall Street Journal, 04.15.24
 

FROM WILDFIRE TO WHISKEY

 
 
 
Many trees on C Lazy U Ranch in Granby are still charred and bare from the 2020 East Troublesome Fire, although the land is recovering. Owen Locke of Locke + Co. Distilling saw a unique purpose for the scorched bark and trunks. Along with C Lazy U staff, he chose trees that would be cut down and repurposed — for a new whiskey. Locke and Brady Johnson, director of sales and marketing at C Lazy U, came up with the idea of using charred aspen tree discs in the process of aging the distillery’s whiskey. Locke + Co. then released its creation — the limited-edition C Lazy U Ranch East Troublesome Fire Aspen Aged Rye Whiskey. Not only has the whiskey given new life to the charred aspens, there is an added benefit to the bottles — giving back to firefighters. For each bottle sold, $15 is given back to the Grand Fire Protection District No. 1.
 
- GS Post-Independent, 04.15.24
 

PITCO APPROVES REDSTONE CASTLE CONVERSION

 
 
 
A plan to convert the Redstone Castle property into a wellness retreat earned approval from the Pitkin County commissioners Wednesday by a 5-0 vote. RC Ownership LLC submitted an application to the county that reduces the number of public events at the castle. Company president Stephane De Baets wants to use the castle, a carriage house and barn on the property for a wellness center that offers treatments for “physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.” The castle won’t include lodging for tourists. Instead, four cottages of 1,200 square feet and two bedrooms each and four cabins of 1,800 square feet and three bedrooms each will be constructed for tourist accommodations. They will be clustered on the property.
 
- Aspen Daily News, 04.15.24
 

5 POINT ADVENTURE FILM FESTIVAL IN MONTROSE, CARBONDALE

 
 
 
The Carbondale-based 5 Point Adventure Film Festival takes place April 24-28 and features five days or nights of programming including film blocks, live music, art installations, a community race and more. The film festival focuses on human-centric, stoke-filled adventure films that range from touching documentaries on social issues to beautifully shot reels filled with death-defying athletic feats. And over these next two weekends, Western Slope audiences have plenty of chances to catch some of the action. If you can’t make it to Carbondale, the 5 Point Adventure Film Festival On the Road event is April 19 at Temple Events in Montrose and features a completely different set of films than next weekend’s festival. To purchase festival tickets, visit 5pointfilm.org/films.
 
- Montrose Daily Press, 04.15.24
 

TELLURIDE SKI RESORT ANNOUNCES UPHILL ACCESS POLICY

 
 
 
Telluride Ski Resort’s uphill access opened to the public on April 12. The ski resort permit area will be open to non-motorized traffic only. Snowmobiles are not allowed, and sledding is never allowed. Check the local avalanche forecast before skiing on the resort during this time. Ski Patrol will not respond to on-mountain incidents and all avalanche mitigation work will cease. Treat the terrain on the resort as backcountry terrain, be prepared for self-rescue, and call 911 in the case of any emergency. A shovel, beacon, probe and communication device are recommended for anyone accessing resort terrain. Mountain operations will continue through the off-season so please be alert to snow machines traveling around the mountain, plowing of the summer road network, and unmarked hazards. The annual elk-calving closure will begin May 20, closing the Prospect Basin until July 1.
 
- Telluride Daily Planet, 04.12.24
 

SOUTHWEST AG DONATES $25K TO BAYFIELD H.S. CTE PROGRAMS

 
 
 
Bayfield High School’s Career and Technical Education programs received a sizable monetary donation from an area employer to help ensure students can keep pursuing specialized job trades. The Southwest Ag tractor dealer in the town’s Gem Village neighborhood donated $25,000 to the Bayfield School District last month to bolster the high school’s CTE opportunities. CTE programs can help open doors for students to gain work experience through internships, job shadowing, on-the-job training and industry-certification opportunities. They provide an array of learning experiences that cover different career paths – from automotive technology and construction to electrical contracting, agriculture and robotics, among other professions.
 
- Durango Herald, 04.12.24
 

FREE PHYSICALS FOR HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES

 
 
 
In May, Vail Health and The Steadman Clinic will provide their annual free high school pre-participation physicals to Eagle County student-athletes. The two entities have been providing this service for almost 30 years, with around 250 high school athletes taking advantage of this free offering annually. Physicals will be offered in both English and Spanish on Friday, May 17 at Battle Mountain High School, and on Friday, May 24 at Eagle Valley High School. The purpose of these high school physicals is to identify any pre-existing health-related issues that can be dangerous to sports participation. They can also determine if a child is healthy enough to participate in sports. A thorough physical examination before sports participation can prevent injuries and save lives. The state of Colorado’s high school athletic associations requires an annual pre-participation physical for participation in school-based sports.
 
- www.vaildaily.com, 04.15.24
 

STEAMBOAT RESIDENTS: PREPARE FOR RISING WATER LEVELS

 
 
 
Steamboat Springs residents should be prepared for rising water levels as melting snowpack fuels spring runoff intensity. “While peak flows can vary, the Yampa River generally peaks in late May to early June, while other neighboring creeks can peak significantly earlier in the year,” said the city’s Stormwater Specialist & Engineering Inspector Scott Slamal. “While it might seem early, residents and construction sites should take precautions now because once the water is flowing, it’ll be too late,” he added in a statement. Project supervisors must monitor runoff from their site daily, particularly as temperatures warm and increase water flows, and check all erosion and sediment control measures. Residents are advised to follow weather forecasts and take precautions during heavy spring storms, particularly if they live in a frequently flooded area. To sign up for the Routt County alert system, go to the county’s website at co.Routt.co.us.
 
- Steamboat Today, 04.16.24
 

U.S. STATES MEDIAN ANNUAL WAGES

 
 
 
In 2023, the median annual wage for all U.S. workers was $48,060, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which means Americans in around half the states earned less than that benchmark, while workers in the other half earned more. The Northeast and Western regions tend to have higher-earning populations compared with the South and some states in the Midwest. Massachusetts tops the rankings with the highest median wage of $60,690 for individual workers, while Mississippi has the lowest median wage in the country at $37,500. Local wages typically correlate with local cost of living, which means many of the states where workers earn the most are also the states that are most expensive to live in. Colorado's median annual wage was $54,050.
 
- CNBC.com, 04.14.24
 

U.S. STATES WHERE YOU CAN AFFORD TO BUY A HOME IF YOU EARN LESS THAN $75,000

 
 
 
There are only 14 U.S. states where residents who earn less than $75,000 can afford a median-priced home, a new Bankrate analysis reveals. That number has dropped from 36 in just four years, illustrating how rising home prices have tilted the balance of homeownership toward the wealthiest Americans. Here’s a look at the 14 states where homes are most affordable, based on the annual income needed to cover homeownership costs without spending more than 28 percent on housing:
  1. Mississippi: $63,043
  2. Ohio: $64,071
  3. Arkansas: $64,714
  4. Indiana: $65,143
  5. Kentucky: $65,186
  6. Iowa: $65,314
  7. Oklahoma: $65,443
  8. Michigan: $66,343
  9. Missouri: $66,986
  10. Louisiana: $67,886
  11. Alabama: $69,514
  12. Kansas: $72,343
  13. North Dakota: $73,414
  14. West Virginia: $74,957
 
- CNBC.com, 04.13.24
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
MARKET UPDATE - 04/15/2024 Close
 
(Courtesy of Alpine Bank Wealth Management*)
 
 
Close
Change
Dow Jones Industrials
 
37735.11
 
-248.13
 
S&P 500
 
5061.82
 
-61.59
 
NASDAQ
 
15885.02
 
-290.08
 
10-year Treasury yield
 
4.62
 
+0.13
 
Gold (CME)
 
2365.80
 
+9.60
 
Silver (CME)
 
28.65
 
+0.39
 
Oil (NY Merc)
 
85.41
 
-0.25
 
Natural Gas ($/MMBtu)
 
1.69
 
-0.07
 
Cattle (CME)
 
180.30
 
+1.40
 
Prime Rate
 
8.50
 
NC
 
Euro (per U.S. dollar)
 
0.94
 
+0.01
 
Canadian dollar (per U.S. dollar)
 
1.37
 
NC
 
Mexican peso (per U.S. dollar)
 
16.71
 
+0.07
 
30-year fixed mortgage rate (Freddie Mac 04/11/2024)
 
6.88
 
+0.06
 
*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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