Will ConocoPhillips Create A Louisville Boom?

The recent purchase of the old Storage Tek / Sun Microsystems campus by ConocoPhillips may seem like old news to some of us. However, in and around town, the people I talk to continue to bring it up. There’s both skepticism and optimism.

Some of you have told me that you think that the impact is insignificant, but the majority sentiment seems to be that we’re on the side of optimism on this matter. The local papers have given us many statistics about the long history of Conoco in Colorado and the financial strength of ConocoPhillips overall. It’s great to know ConocoPhillips is a strong company, and what’s just as important is how all of their plans will affect our wallets.

The uncertainty I sense from some of you is that it was reported that the new facility will be a training center, and that this will possibly reduce the economic impact to the local area.

While it’s true that the number of permanent employees is not known, the training facility will attract thousands of ConocoPhillips employees annually. I’ve heard that the possible number of permanent jobs may exceed 10,000, which will create another 18,000 ancillary new jobs ; this will likely translate into as much as $1.7 billion a year to the local economy in the Louisville, Superior, and Broomfield areas according to recent media reports.

Consider that there will potentially be almost five million square feet of new building construction on the ConocoPhillips campus. This alone, will bring a tremendous influx of money in the short term to local businesses.

In the longer term, as the company continues it’s plans to establish Colorado as one of the leading states in the U.S. for renewable energy, it will continue to put us on the map and keep us there as a center for new and forward thinking solutions to our energy needs in the post-oil world our children are inheriting from us.

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