Colorado - Thu. 09/21/23 A Free Business Publication from Alpine Bank View Online View in Browser
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STATE ECONOMISTS: HIGHER REVENUE, TABOR RETURNS FORECAST

 
 
 
On Wednesday, economists with the Governor’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting released their latest outlook for the 2022-23 budget year which showed state revenues forecast to increase by $223 million, for a total of $18 billion and the TABOR surplus for Fiscal Year 2023 to reach $3.5 billion, with the anticipated refund from TABOR for FY 2024 to increase to $1.4 billion, which is about $900 million higher than the June forecast. The growth in the labor market and strong consumer demand also resulted in a lowering of the risk of recession in the next 12 months to 33 percent, down from 45 percent in June.
 
- Denver Business Journal, 09.20.23
 

RTD LIGHT RAIL RIDERS IN DOWNTOWN DENVER FACE INTERRUPTIONS STARTING SEPT. 26

 
 
 
Officials of the Regional Transportation District announced that there will be interruptions to service on RTD rail lines on the downtown loop and Welton Street corridor starting Sept. 26 to allow crews to repair a section of rail. The D, H and L lines will be affected by the maintenance, which will be at the intersection of 14th and California streets. The downtown loop and Welton corridor will be closed through Oct. 4. L Line operations will be suspended for the duration of the closure. Riders can use Bus Route 43 as an alternative. The D and H lines will detour to Union Station, running through Auraria West, Empower Field at Mile High and Ball Arena – Elitch Gardens stations. There will be no D or H line service at the Colfax at Auraria and the Theatre District – Convention Center stations or the downtown loop stations on California and Stout streets. All three lines will resume normal operations Oct. 5.
 
- Denver Post, 09.20.23
 

NEED SOME FIREWOOD? LOAD UP AT MUELLER STATE PARK

 
 
 
For the fifth year, the “Friends of Mueller State Park” will offer firewood at a discounted rate at Mueller State Park, which is located off Colorado Hwy. 67 near Divide. The firewood distribution program will be held Oct. 6 and 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., while supplies last. The firewood, which is donated, is made up of both dry and green un-split logs. It is available for a cash-only donation of $60 or $80 depending on the amount of wood picked up. Pick-up trucks are allowed, but no trailers. The wood collection area at the park is located at Gate 36, about one mile from the park entrance.
 
- Denver Gazette, 09.21.23
 

FEDERAL RESERVE: NO RATE HIKE

 
 
 
At the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting Wednesday, the Federal Reserve announced the members voted to hold rates steady at the current range of 5.25 to 5.5 percent. That is a 22-year high. The Fed officials also indicated that they were prepared to raise rates once more this year to combat inflation. The Fed meets again Oct. 31-Nov. 1 and in December. With the projections released Wednesday, most officials believe the continuing strong economic activity and outlook mean the higher rates are likely to remain in place through 2024. The projections are for stronger economic growth for the rest of this year and next than originally forecast, with lower unemployment rates than forecast.
 
- Wall Street Journal, 09.20.23
 

JOINT MEETING: COMMISSIONERS AGREE ON SWEETWATER, COTTONWOOD PASS

 
 
 
Tuesday afternoon, Eagle County commissioners Matt Scherr, Kathy Chandler-Henry and Jeanne McQueeney from Eagle County met with their Garfield County counterparts John Martin, Tom Jankowski and Mike Samson. At the joint meeting, the commissioners agreed on two major issues related to both counties: Sweetwater Lake and Cottonwood Pass. The commissioners agreed that were Sweetwater Lake to become a state park, as is proposed, it would change very little. Both boards of commissioners also agreed on the future of the Cottonwood Pass Road, saying the road must stay a county road in both counties and “cannot be a bypass for I-70.” The Colorado Dept. of Transportation is completing a plan to make improvements on the road, which both boards reviewed this week and CDOT’s plan maintains Cottonwood Pass as a county road.
 
- GS Post-Independent, 09.21.23
 

CITY OF FRUITA LISTS ENOCH LAKE PROPERTY

 
 
 
The Fruita City Council Tuesday voted in favor of putting the Enoch Lake property up for sale for its appraised value of $425,000. The Enoch Lake property is about 51 acres, and the listing would include complete information about the property, including the dam at the lake, and that the new owner would owe a neighboring property owner $140,000 in the form of water. Ute Water also has the first right of refusal on purchasing the reservoir. The city will use its realtor, Lori Chesnick, for the listing, and will accept offers until Nov. 8. City Attorney Mary Elizabeth Geiger said if multiple offers were submitted, the council could come up with whatever criteria it felt was best to decide which offer to accept. That could be the highest dollar amount offered, but could be other criteria, like whether the buyer would preserve public access to the property.
 
- GJ Daily Sentinel, 09.21.23
 

DURANGO CITY COUNCIL COMPLETES ANNEXATION OF 1,928-ACRE DURANGO MESA

 
 
 
The Durango City Council Tuesday issued the final approval to annex 1,928 acres of open space on Durango Mesa to the city. The annexation completes the process envisioned by Marc Katz, who donated Durango Mesa to the Durango Mesa Park Foundation in 2019 with the intent of turning it into a community park. The park will feature amenities such as cycling, athletic and music complexes, a dog park, a disc golf park, a campground and potentially other amenities in the future. The public is invited to attend a ceremony celebrating the trail project’s completion at 4 p.m. Sept. 28. The ceremony will include a guided tour of the new trails and will be followed by an after party.
 
- Durango Herald, 09.21.23
 

STEAMBOAT CITY COUNCIL MOVES CLOSER TO BROWN RANCH ANNEXATION DECISION

 
 
 
The Steamboat Springs City Council Tuesday, voted 5-2 in favor of an annexation agreement for the Brown Ranch affordable housing development. With that agreement in place, the council will have the first reading of an annexation ordinance for Brown Ranch on Oct. 10, with a second reading on Oct. 17. During those discussions, council members could vote to approve or reject the ordinance, or send it to a voter referendum. A citizens’ petition could also force voters to decide. If the ordinance vote fails, by council vote or at a referendum, the annexation agreement would be null, according to City Attorney Dan Foote. The key issue at hand in all discussion of the annexation for the council was how to find a solution to close a projected $52 million funding gap over the 20-year life of the final project, which could ultimately add 2,264 affordable and attainable housing units west of downtown Steamboat.
 
- Steamboat Today, 09.21.23
 

DO YOU HAVE DIFFICULTY LEARNING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE?

 
 
 
The U.S. Dept. of State places languages it teaches diplomats into four categories, based on the estimates of how long they take to learn. Here are some samples of those groupings:
  • 24-30 weeks: Danish, Dutch, French, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, Swedish.
  • 36 weeks: German, Indonesian, Malay, Swahili
  • 44 weeks: Albanian, Armenian, Azerbaijani, Bulgarian, Burmese, Czech, Farsi, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic, Khmer, Kurdish, Lao, Macedonian, Mongolian, Nepali, Polish, Russian, Slovak, Tagalog, Thai, Ukrainian, Urdu
  • 88 weeks: Arabic, Cantonese, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin
The most obvious factor in difficulty of learning a foreign language is the written form. None of the State Department’s hardest languages is written with the Latin alphabet used by most European languages. Chinese, for instance, it is said requires a learner to memorize some 2,000 characters to be able to read a newspaper. Even then, it is believed the reader will have to look up unfamiliar characters in every few lines. The other most obvious impediment to learning is that a language may have sounds and distinctions that do not exist in the learner’s language. Examples include the tones, as in Mandarin and Cantonese which each have at least four tones denoting different meanings. There are the clicks in many African languages or the different sounds, such as the “d” and “t” sounds in Hindi.
 
- The Economist, 09.18.23
 

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL TO, AND FROM, THE U.S. ALMOST BACK TO PRE-PANDEMIC LEVEL

 
 
 
Data released by the National Travel and Tourism Office for August 2023 show:
  • The number of enplanements for U.S. travelers to international destinations hit 23.418 million
  • That is 17 percent higher than August 2022
  • It is 95.7 percent of volume of international enplanements in pre-pandemic August 2019
  • The number of non-U.S. citizens arriving in the U.S. from foreign countries reached 5.431 million
  • That is up 21.3 percent over August 2022
  • It is 86.5 percent of the pre-pandemic August 2022 volume
  • Those foreign visitors arriving from overseas reached 3.341 million in August 2-23
  • That is the sixth consecutive month of more than 2 million overseas arrivals
  • It is 82.2 percent of the August 2019 level, up from 78.4 percent in July 2023
 
- Huts for Vets
 

POWER UP FOR PARKINSON'S IN EL JEBEL: SEPT. 23

 
 
 
This is your opportunity to power up your fundraising efforts and motivate your friends, family, co-workers and team to support Parkinson Association of the Rockies. The first annual Roaring Fork Valley 5K Walk and Fun Run takes place Saturday, Sept. 23 at Crown Mountain Park in El Jebel! You can register as an individual, join an existing team, or create your own team! Questions? Please contact Jess at JNagell@ParkinsonRockies.org or call 303-830-1839. For more information or to register, visit the link below.
 
- Parkinson Association of the Rockies
 

ALPINE BANK REIMBURSES TEACHERS

 
 
 
Alpine Bank is proud to offer an education reimbursement program for teachers in our participating counties. Teachers can be reimbursed for up to $200 of school supplies for their classrooms before Oct. 1, 2023. To be eligible, teachers must save their receipts between July 1 and Oct. 1, 2023. Teachers must have an existing account or open a new account with Alpine Bank and be currently employed as a teacher in one of the participating counties listed at the link below. Reimbursement will be made within two weeks of presentation of valid receipts. This program is made possible by Alpine Bank customers who use the EDUCATION Loyalty Debit Card. Routt County and Eagle County School District teachers with questions may contact Betsy Wood at betsywood@alpinebank.com or 970-870-7424. Learn more about the program at the link below.
 
- Alpine Bank
 
 
 
MARKET UPDATE - 09/20/2023 Close
 
(Courtesy of Alpine Bank Wealth Management*)
 
 
Close
Change
Dow Jones Industrials
 
34440.88
 
-76.85
 
S&P 500
 
4402.20
 
-41.75
 
NASDAQ
 
13469.13
 
-209.06
 
10-year Treasury yield
 
4.34
 
-0.03
 
Gold (CME)
 
1945.60
 
+13.60
 
Silver (CME)
 
23.57
 
+0.38
 
Oil (NY Merc)
 
90.28
 
-0.92
 
Natural Gas ($/MMBtu)
 
2.73
 
-0.12
 
Cattle (CME)
 
186.77
 
+1.10
 
Prime Rate
 
8.50
 
NC
 
Euro (per U.S. dollar)
 
0.93
 
NC
 
Canadian dollar (per U.S. dollar)
 
1.34
 
NC
 
Mexican peso (per U.S. dollar)
 
17.09
 
+0.01
 
30-year fixed mortgage rate (Freddie Mac 09/14/2023)
 
7.18
 
+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.‚Äč
 
 
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