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100 Leading Locations: Mountain States Metro Areas

These Mountain State metro areas performed the best on Area Development's 100 Leading Locations list. As business populations shift and site selection continuously evolves, smaller regional and metro areas emerge from amongst the field of usual big-city suspects as desirable locations for companies of all sizes. Our list brings these locations to light by showing how they stack up to the rest of the field when considering 14 highly regarded surveys.

Spring 2011

Denver, Colorado (1/11)

Denver received eight mentions on the 14 lists in our review. In 2010, Denver attracted a slew of major business investments, particularly in its robust energy cluster. (Direct employment growth in the cleantech sector from 2009 to 2010 was 7.1 percent, versus 0.8 percent for the overall United States.)
Vestas, the global wind energy and turbine company, selected the Mile High City for its first North American manufacturing complex. What began as an initial project for one plant morphed into four facilities across a new campus, representing an approximately $1 billion investment. Three of the four plants went online over the past year.
And the German SMA Solar Technology, which captures 40 percent of the solar inverter market, located its North American manufacturing in Denver. Plus, "the supply chains follow them," says Laura Brandt, manager of economic development for the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp.

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Next: Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah (2/11)

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Next: Boulder, Colorado

Boulder, Colorado (3/11)

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Next: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado (4/11)

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Next: Fort Collins, Colorado

Fort Collins, Colorado (5/11)

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Next: Logan, Utah

Logan, Utah (6/11)

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Next: Ogden, Utah

Ogden, Utah (7/11)

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Next: Provo, Utah

Provo, Utah (8/11)

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Next: Cheyenne, Wyoming

Cheyenne, Wyoming (9/11)

Significant investment & job creation projects:
• NCAR Wyoming Supercomputer Center (NWSC), Federally-funded supercomputer research center, $92M, 35 jobs

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Next: Pueblo, Colorado

Pueblo, Colorado (10/11)

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