Loss of TIC jobs to be gradual, manageable for Steamboat


Last week’s announcement that TIC Holdings was leaving Steamboat Springs for good was surprising to few. Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association CEO Tom Kern acknowledged there was a general understanding in the community that the departure was inevitable after Kiewit's purchase of TIC in 2008. And Steamboat Springs City Manager Jon Roberts said he reached out to TIC to see whether there was anything the city could do to persuade the company to stay, but its decision stood.

Now that it’s final, the only thing left to observe is the company's transition to the Front Range and how that process impacts Steamboat.

“It has been a great ride,” Scott Ford, a data analyst with Yampa Valley Data Partners, said about TIC's 38-year history here.

Ford said that although it’s unfortunate to lose a good member of the business community, the effects of TIC moving likely will be gradual and manageable for the local economy.

The 124 jobs being transitioned out of Steamboat will be moved throughout the next year and should be complete by the end of 2013, TIC stated in a news release announcing the move.

“It’s realistic to say that for a variety of reasons, not all of the 124 will move to Denver,” TIC spokesman Gary Bennett said the day of the announcement. For example, some of the 124 may retire, find other jobs in Routt County or start their own businesses.

When Wave Sport Kayaks left Oak Creek in 1999, only about one-third of its 35 employees followed the company to North Carolina, said Chan Zwanzig, who owned the company.

“It was obvious that about two-thirds just felt that Routt County was more important to their lives than” the job, Zwanzig said.

Former Wave Sports employee EJ Jackson went on to start Jackson Kayak.

While no Wave Sports employees from its Oak Creek days still are with the company, according to Zwanzig, that isn’t always the case for Steamboat residents when companies are bought out.

When the engineering firm TerraMatrix was absorbed by Montgomery Watson, Alan Krause stayed with the firm and now splits his time between Steamboat and the Broomfield offices of what now is called MWH Global as its president and CEO.

Undoubtedly, TIC’s departure takes with it more positions than either of those companies maintained here, but in the overall scope of Steamboat’s economy, it still represents only a modest portion.

According to Bureau of Economic Analysis data, the total wages and salary paid to those who file tax returns in Routt County was $561,804,000 in 2010. Using Ford’s estimate of $6.88 million in total Routt County payroll for TIC (based on an industry salary estimate), that would make the company’s share of total wages and salary for the county about 1.2 percent. If some of the 124 TIC employees who work in Steamboat file taxes in Moffat County, that share could fall further.

As these factors add up to blunt the economic impact felt by Routt County, the hardest loss to replace will be the “generosity this company displayed in action and in words,” Ford wrote in an email.

To reach Michael Schrantz, call 970-871-4206 or email mschrantz@SteamboatToday.com


walt jones 4 years, 6 months ago

Did this article really compare a kayak business in Oak Creek with 35 employees to TIC and it's 124 employees to show the lack of impact it will have on this community??? That would be like comparing the Pilot/Today to the New York Times. The donations and sponorships and community involvement TIC has here will GREATLY be missed. Not to mention the employees who lived and patroned the stores locally. Further the amount of site managers who came from around the country and all the training people who came here for weeks. Oh and the Tax dollars the City will lose!!!! Trying to compare that to a Kayak shop is ludicrous!!!


Scott Wedel 4 years, 6 months ago

Well, comparison is even worse because Wave Sports was a major employer in Oak Creek and TIC is a tiny percent of SB employment.

It is also pretty silly that moving the last 124 jobs is being portrayed as a big deal while the moving of the previous hundreds of jobs was a nonissue. TIC has mostly left and hardly anyone noticed. Now when they finish moving then it supposed have a huge effect?

I think TIC closing and selling the site will become a net positive to the local economy in a few years with substantially more than 124 workers on those 29 acres.


Fred Duckels 4 years, 6 months ago

Dreamers, The wages of TIC were fresh dollars and will not likely be duplicated. Bicycles and kayaks are but a drop in the bucket by comparison.


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