Boulder the Beautiful Scenic beauty and business climate lure new residents to this progressive city
It’s easy to have a positive outlook in a place where the sun shines 300 days a year. But a sunny forecast isn’t all this city of 100,000 has to offer.
“The weather and scenery obviously add to the quality of life, but we also have a tremendous knowledge base as well,” says Alice Swanson, Executive Vice President of the Boulder Chamber of Commerce. “The entrepreneurial spirit is quite alive. In fact, Boulder is renowned for its entrepreneurial reputation.”
Energetic, educated, invigorating, innovative – these are also a few adjectives to add to Boulder’s description.
And don’t forget “progressive.” Many employers offer flexible work schedules to allow their employees to bike ride during the day, and citywide bike lanes and sidewalks make it easy for employees to peddle or walk to work.
Boulder’s attitude – as well as altitude – is why Wall Street on Demand, a company that focuses on the design and posting of financial Web sites for New York Stock Exchange companies, moved its operations from New York City.
“Boulder not only helps with our recruitment of employees, but the lifestyle here helps to retain them,” says Catherine Allegra, chief operating officer for the company. “Our clients love that we moved here, especially the clients in New York. They look for excuses to come visit us here in this environment.”
Allegra says it was actually a trashcan that convinced her and husband, company CEO James Tanner, to choose Boulder as their company’s new home.
“We wanted a positive lifestyle change, so we narrowed our choices to three cities,” she says. “While we were visiting Boulder, we were seated at a Pearl Street café when a taxicab suddenly pulled up to a traffic light, the driver rolled down his window and then pitched garbage toward a garbage can.”
She said the driver missed the can, and her husband said that if the driver got out of his cab to pick up the garbage, they would move to Boulder.
“Sure enough, the driver did just that,” Allegra says. “Something like this would never happen in New York City, so we knew then and there that Boulder was the place for us.”
It was art that led Gary Zeff, executive director of Open Studios, to Boulder. “There seems to be a natural artistic flair in Boulder, no matter what you do,” Zeff says. “This city is a beautiful place to live, and it’s no wonder why hundreds of professional artists reside here.”
Open Studios, a nonprofit arts organization, has rent-free office space in a Boulder building that is leased by Platts (a division of McGraw-Hill). Platts gives Open Studios a spacious office for free, in exchange for the organization keeping works of art on all the walls in the Platts building.
“That is a unique way for business and the art world to cooperate,” Zeff says. “Open Studios also spreads the word of the Boulder art scene by hosting an artists’ studio tour on the first two weekends of October. It features 135 visual
artists who open their private studios to the public at 100 locations throughout the community.”
Story by Kevin Litwin Photo by Antony Boshier
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