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For the past 14 years, the Sacramento Metro Chamber has organized an annual Study Mission to different cities across the country. Throughout our travels we have witnessed new, innovative and alternative approaches to growing the economy, and improving a regions quality of life. Spanning multiple days of conversations and experiences, we have revealed brilliant ideas for ongoing success. More importantly, we have forged lasting partnerships and learned important lessons to apply in our own community.
The purpose of the Study Mission program is to frame the civic discourse for the coming years. With their successful regional development and high level cooperation, Denver remains an ideal place for us to have this discussion. “By going back to Denver eleven years later, we have a rare opportunity to witness firsthand the ‘before and after’ of how vision and proper planning can transform a region into an economic engine and world class destination,” said President and CEO of the Metro Chamber, Roger Niello. “This Study Mission is bound to offer insight and opportunities that meet and exceed our expectations.”
The Denver region was selected again for a Study Mission program due to their successful regional cooperation, transportation, entertainment and sports complexes, and attraction of both corporate business headquarters and educated young professionals. While in Denver, we will address how our region is approaching and addressing these very topics and apply what we learn to our future development.
With the recent success of securing the $15 million federal grant to further support the intermodal development project, Sacramento has an unique opportunity to become a modern transit hub. As the progress of the Sacramento Intermodal Transportation Facility continues, Denver is the perfect location to foresee the possibilities such a location can bring to our region. With the impending completion of their own intermodal station, Denver has begun capitalizing on their investment, with companies already investing in the neighborhood because of the connectivity.
Through the years Denver has seen significant growth, with national companies like Chipotle, Smash Burger, and REI now calling it home. Each has chosen to invest in the location as their capital headquarters. We hope to discern what it is Denver is doing to attract such business while still fostering a culture of entrepreneurialism. Denver also continues to successfully market itself to young professionals. The next generation of educated young talent, predominantly chooses where to live before seeking employment. Denver is gaining an ever increasing market share of this crucial demographic. In our Next Economy growth plan, the Sacramento region has identified the need, to do the same. According to the Brookings Institute, Denver was the number one destination in the country for people aged 25-34 between 2008 and 2010. Are these models we can replicate in the Sacramento region?
This year’s program Chair, Patrick Mulvaney, said it best, “In our kitchen we know the most memorable dining experiences result from a commitment to quality ingredients, organization and warm hospitality. I think the same is true of cities. With a regional focus and a proactive spirit, Denver has emerged as one of our nation's most desirable places to live and work. Their legendary can-do attitude has created a competitive environment attracting talent, companies and jobs; the chicken, the egg, the whole enchilada.”
Much of Denver’s success can be attributed to their regional focus and cooperation. The Denver region has a long history of working together for the greater good. In Sacramento, we too have similar success stories to be proud of—but it is important that we seize the opportunity to further build upon those achievements. In Denver, we will focus on what we can learn from their accomplishments and how we can apply it to achieve greater impact across our own region.
For more information on this year’s Study Mission program, visit http://metrochamber.org/events