Amazon Not the Only Topic at Annual Colorado Economic Developers Conference

Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC) Hosts
Gubernatorial Forum for 2018 Candidates

Vail, Colorado – October 2-4 – More than 200 economic development professionals and partners gathered at the Vail Marriott Mountain Resort for EDCC’s annual Drive | Lead | Succeed Conference. While Amazon HQ2 was top of mind for some, the conference agenda showed the breadth and depth of issues that economic development professionals address each day in their communities.

Inspired by the theme “Up Your Game,” this three-day conference, presented by Xcel Energy, focused on a wide scope of subjects that economic developers are addressing in their cities, towns and counties. In addition to a public forum featuring several of the candidates vying for the governor position in 2018, attendees dug deep into:

  • Foreign direct investment
  • Affordable housing
  • Financing tools and funding mechanisms
  • Trends in talent development
  • Public private partnerships.

The conference kicked off Monday, October 2nd, with a Gubernatorial Forum with 12 of the 15 announced 2018 Colorado Gubernatorial candidates. This event was hosted by EDCC’s Public Policy Committee, a committee which advocates for creating a positive economic development environment through legislative action within the State.

During the two-hour forum candidates discussed their perspectives on topics important to economic development, including transportation, broadband, water, workforce, and economic development policy.

This forum was one of the first times the candidates were in the same room discussing their vision and proposed policies for the state. The panel of candidates were arranged by name, rather than party affiliation, creating an opportunity for the candidates to share their platform and projects they are passionate about. The candidates featured at the forum were:

  • Steve Barlock
  • George Brauchler
  • Commissioner Lew Gaiter
  • Noel Ginsberg
  • Bill Hammons
  • Mike Johnston
  • Cary Kennedy
  • Greg Lopez
  • Victor Mitchell
  • Doug Robinson
  • Erik Underwood

U.S. Representative Jared Polis (2nd District of Colorado) was unable to attend in person, but sent a video addressing his bid for the governorship. Candidates Lieutenant Governor Donna Lynne and Walker Stapleton were invited, but unable to attend.

“We were thrilled with the turnout of the conference, and the Gubernatorial Forum in particular,” said John Hall, Chair of the EDCC. “But we weren’t surprised. These candidates are eager to reveal their plans and platform as the next leaders of our state, and what better audience than economic development professionals who are truly focused on the future of Colorado’s growth and success.”

See conference agenda, speaker bios and presentations, and photos from the event

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