Breakfast talk to focus on local, state economies

Business talk features Denver economist


If you go

What: Vectra Bank “Business for Breakfast” event

When: 7:15 to 9 a.m. Thursday

Where: The Steamboat Grand

Cost: Free; preregistration is required

Call: Tracy Mannion at 970-870-4239 to RSVP.

— A free event Thursday morning will focus on how national and state economies relate to the resort community of Steamboat Springs, providing information that could be helpful to local businesses gearing up for the height of summer tourism.

Vectra Bank is hosting its fourth “Business for Breakfast” event from 7:15 to 9 a.m. Thursday, at The Steamboat Grand on Mount Werner Cir­cle. The speaker is Dr. Phyllis Resnick, managing director of R2 Analysis and the lead economist at the University of Denver’s Center for Colorado’s Economic Future, which provides research and public awareness about state fiscal health and economic issues. Bob Kuusinen, market president at Vectra Bank in Steamboat Springs, said Resnick’s presentations to Vectra branches on the Front Range drew strong reviews.

“It’ll be an opportunity for people to hear what’s happening on a statewide basis,” he said about Thursday’s free event. “(Resnick) does a lot of work at the state level, and for her to be interested in drilling down to other communities like this, I think, is a wonderful opportunity for people to learn on a micro and macro level what’s happening here.”

Resnick couldn’t be reached Tuesday. But she provided an example of economic trends with local relevance in February 2009 comments to The Denver Post.

“Another significant trend involves the looming retirement of large numbers of baby boomers. With the population over 65 years of age expected to be three times in 2030 what it was in 2000, seniors’ spending patterns are of prime concern,” the Post article stated. “Previous generations of retirees spent less of their income on goods that generate sales taxes, Resnick said, and there’s no reason to think retiring boomers will act any differently.

“Instead, she predicts that retirees who are healthy will spend their discretionary income on experiences, such as travel,” the article continued, before making a later point about spending habits. “As a result, Resnick anticipates that the per-household contribution to sales taxes (adjusted for inflation) will decline between 5 percent and 10 percent from 2005 to 2030.”

As the city of Steamboat Springs struggles with declining sales tax revenues and businesses struggle to attract customers, thinking about trends such as those could mean altering advertising or offering travel packages aimed at that market.

Kuusinen said there’s local optimism for summer tourism in Steamboat.

“I’ve heard there’s hope developing because people are staying closer to home,” Kuusinen said about summer travel projections. “That could translate well to Steamboat.”

Carmen Ashbaugh, mortgage loan officer at Vectra Bank, said she also is seeing signs of life in the local economy.

“Purchases have increased over a year ago, and rates are so low that there’s still refinances going on … that’s created a lot of business,” she said. “There seems to be a little more confidence out there.”

Thursday’s breakfast is free, but preregistration is required. Call Vectra Bank’s Tracy Man­nion at 970-870-4239.


Scott Wedel 6 years, 9 months ago

That statistic that the over 65 population in 2030 will be 3 times what is was in 2000 should be more carefully analyzed when used in the context of resort areas because it expects the biggest increase to be for those aged 80+. Well, that group may not be dead yet, but they probably do not represent some great opportunity for SB because high mountains are tough for the elderly. We are far more likely to see people aged 50-65 moving here for their earlier retirement years and move to lower and warmer places when in their 70s.

Not that older people cannot live here, but a person that already moved to a place for lifestyle reasons is then more likely to move again for lifestyle reasons.

Thus, for a resort area like SB, it is likely that after 2020 that we will have more retirees selling to move to a place lower and warmer than retirees moving here. Thus, I think they can be expected to help absorb some of unsold housing, but the retiring baby boomers are likely to relatively soon be too old to be help our economy that much.

The baby boomer retiring argument was a big part of the argument that SB was special in 2007 and was going to continue to boom despite the overall economy. Now that we have also busted then I think it is quite possible that we have built so much that it will take many years to absorb, and there will be only modest construction to satisfy retiree demand.

I think the next strong growth area is going to those that can work anywhere, but that opportunity is going to be a bit lower income (the better paid have been more able to live anywhere for a while now) and more likely to have families so they will directly competing with local workforce for housing.


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