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City of Aurora: A great home for businesses

Mar 09, 2020
Credit : GMI Post

One of the main urban centers in Colorado, Aurora is the third most populous city in the state and the 54th most populous in the country. Because of its business-friendly policies and many amenities, the city continues to attract investment, remaining the fastest-growing area in Metro Denver since the recession a decade ago.

The Anschutz Medical Campus and Fitzsimons Innovation Community in Aurora, Colorado, are advancing patient care, education and biomedical research and technology through collaboration and innovation.

“We make it a priority to create an environment conducive to business. A few years ago, Amazon built a 500,000-square.foot facility with 500 employees here. They were so impressed with how Aurora did business that less than a year later, they added a million-square-foot facility and brought an additional 1,000 new jobs based on their experience here, not just on our reputation,” recalled then-Mayor Bob Le Gare.

“Aurora offers a lot more than what other cities can with land, water and a predictable, efficient way of doing business being just some of our advantages. We also have ideal proximity to numerous major transportation corridors and the fifth-busiest international airport in the country. A lot of companies find it very attractive to do business here, where there are fewer developmental hurdles and plenty of opportunities,” Le Gare added.

In November, Le Gare  and city team, determined to attract more Japanese businesses to the region, formed a trade mission to Japan to strengthen the city’s global network and met with key officials from Osaka, Yamagata, Kyoto and Hyogo, as well as medical and bioscience universities and research centers there.

“With Aurora’s thriving, multibillion dollar medical and bioscience enterprises at the Anschutz Medical Campus and the Fitzsimons Innovation Community, we see amazing potential to develop partnerships with Japanese businesses. You can rest assured that we will continue our relationship with Japan” he said.

DEN: Soaring higher, reaching farther

Mar 09, 2020
Credit : GMI Post

Having handled 69 million passengers in 2019, Denver International Airport (DEN) has remained one of the five busiest airports in the United States. Among the 20 busiest airports in the world for several years, the sprawling hub is well positioned to become a major global hub.

The airport's iconic roof is meant to resemble both Colorado's snow-capped mountains and Native American teepees.

“We really benefit from the visionaries of the past, like Federico Peña, our previous mayor, who pursued the goal to build this airport. His vision for Denver back in the 1980s was ‘Imagine a Great City.’ Looking back, DEN has become part of building and growing that great city,” Vice President for Air Service Development Laura Jackson said.

In 2018, DEN inaugurated five new international routes and allocated $3.5 billion to update and improve Jeppesen Terminal, increase the number of gates in anticipation of growth in passenger traffic and, under its DEN Real Estate arm, to develop the surrounding 16,000 acres for commercial use. The project also involves the development of the 348-acre smart city Peña Station NEXT, in partnership with Panasonic Enterprise Solutions.

The nation’s largest airport by land area, DEN is the hub for three U.S. carriers: United, Frontier and Southwest. In June 2013, United launched nonstop flights between Denver and Tokyo, the demand for which has since risen more than 60 percent.

“Our efforts since 2013 have been to grow the demand between Denver and Tokyo. As of today, United’s nonstop Denver-Narita service remains our only nonstop connection to Asia, so it’s very important to us that it continues to be successful. That flight links us with Japan, one of Colorado’s most important trading partners. We will continue to proactively invest in the Japanese market to build upon the strong foundation we have established over the past decade,” Jackson said.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, DEN has become the largest contributor to Colorado’s economy, generating around $26 billion in economic benefits every year.

City of Westminster: Building smartly

Mar 09, 2020
Credit : GMI Post

As cities embrace the work-play-live lifestyle trend, the Denver Metro Area has stepped up efforts to incorporate smart transportation technologies across the city. It enlisted Osaka-based electronics company Panasonic to install its smart city technology, which should be operational by 2024, at the Denver International Airport.

Westminster Mayor Herb Atchison

Recognizing the benefits of the initiative, some Colorado cities have followed suit. Located between the Denver and Boulder metropolitan areas, the city of Westminster, with a population of just over 100,000, is at the forefront of applying smart city technology and big data.

“We’re developing our first downtown, which we started a few years ago. At the heart of this project is The Downtown Westminster Smart City Mobility Initiative. It is a transformational project in the heart of the U.S. 36 Tech Corridor in the Denver metropolitan region,” Westminster Director of Economic Development John Hall said.

“We have regular discussions with Panasonic, for instance, about developing smart city technologies. That’s just one touch point between what Japan has to offer and what we have to offer to realize common goals,” Hall said.

City officials hope that the initiative will spur economic development, encourage public-private collaboration, eliminate at-grade trail crossings, reduce crash accidents, increase transportation options and improve the quality of life.

“We look at international investment as a collaborative effort. And personal relationships matter more when it comes to attracting foreign investment, especially from Japan,” Mayor Herb Atchison said.

“The biggest opportunity, especially for international investors, is to identify commonalities and see how we can help foster that relationship. While we may not be able to bring a business in our city limits, we can still help them achieve a ‘soft landing’ in neighboring communities or across the metro area. We know that this regional approach works and we know we all benefit from regionalism,” Atchison added.

Colorado Air and Space Port: Ready for takeoff

Mar 09, 2020
Credit : GMI Post

The fifth-largest county of Colorado, Adams County has a variety of advantages for investors looking for an operations base in the heartland of the United States.

“Our transportation infrastructure makes us an ideal location for business and industry. We are bordering Denver International Airport. We are close to downtown Denver and just 45 minutes from the nearest ski resort,” Adams County Manager Raymond Gonzales said.

To attract more foreign investment, Adams County is focused on Japan.

“We took a trip to Japan in early 2019. One of the exciting parts about planning this trip was discovering how deeply connected Adams County was with Japan,” Gonzales said.

During the trip, Adams County officials met with officers of PD AeroSpace, a Japanese space tourism company. The meeting came at the right time as Colorado Air and Space Port (CASP) received a commercial spaceport license from the Federal Aviation Administration.

CASP and PD AeroSpace are two upcoming names in the aerospace industry now connected by a common mission to develop mutually-beneficial advancements in space tourism, micro-gravity research and eventually, point-to-point travel.

“We share the same values as PD AeroSpace, which is extremely important. When we met with Mr. Shuji Ogawa, the CEO, you could see, you feel and hear the passion that he has,” Gonzales said.

The state has huge hopes for this project of Adams County and CASP because it will encourage more international collaborations.

“Our priority is to create an environment where we can support the companies that we already have and to continue building that ecosystem going forward,” CASP Director Dave Ruppel said.

“We are open for business. This is a great place to be and it is our job help facilitate success of Japanese companies interested in investing,” he added.

CASP aims to become the country’s main hub for commercial space transportation, research and development.

Southwest USA 2020 was prepared for and originally printed in The Japan Times Newspaper.

PDF of the printed report

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