ENR Mountain States has chosen its annual Owners of the Year, two entities whose leadership and projects have transformed their communities. In Colorado, Wyoming and the Dakotas, ENR editors have selected the City of Colorado Springs as Owner of the Year, and on the Intermountain side, our choice is Utah State University.

City of Colorado Springs

The City of Colorado Springs has experienced tremendous growth over the past couple of years to become the nation’s 39th largest city. In 2015, the Colorado Springs economy ranked 98th in the country, according to the annual Milken Report. In 2022 it ranked among the top 10 municipal economies, driven by both job growth and wage growth. Its City for Champions projects, a collection of five distinct venues that will host sporting events, draw cultural offerings and provide sports medicine and performance programming, are forecasted to boost the region’s $1.35 billion annual tourism industry and attract about 1.2 million visitors each year. The program’s latest project to break ground is the $340-million TrueNorth Commons U.S. Air Force Academy Visitor Center featuring retail space and a hotel and conference center. 

Colorado Springs is also a global leader in aerospace education, research and innovation. The Aerospace Corp. just opened a $100-million R&D facility on the grounds of the Colorado Springs Airport. Meanwhile, Microchip Technology plans to invest $880 million to expand its silicon carbide and silicon production capacity at its Colorado Springs manufacturing facility over the next several years. The expansion is estimated to grow the local economy by approximately $1.4 billion over the next 10 years and create nearly 400 new high-paying jobs for those living in the Pikes Peak Region, according to Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers. Entegris, a leading supplier of advanced materials and process solutions for the semiconductor and other high-technology industries, has committed to spending as much as $600 million to build a new manufacturing center in Colorado Springs. 

Focused on downtown development, the city has seen plans for more than $2 billion in investment, with multiacre projects in Park Union and the East End in conceptual phases, as well as other individual projects that will easily double the tracked investment anticipated into the heart of the city in the years ahead. 

Utah State University

Utah State University, with its main campus in the northern town of Logan, also has eight satellite campuses and recently completed construction of an $11-million, net-zero campus building in the eastern town of Moab.  At its campus in Blanding, which hosts a student body that is 68 percent Native American, a newly completed ceremonial Hogan dwelling was recognized as the Worship Project of the Year by the Utah chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America. Additionally, USU’s Facilities Planning, Design and Construction department recently announced it had selected an engineering firm to begin programing for a major expansion of the Blanding campus.

At the Logan campus, design work is underway for an expansion of the Jon M. Huntsman School of Business and this spring Ogden-based R&O Construction will begin work on the new 37,000-sq-ft Mehdi Heravi Global Teaching and Learning Center.  These projects, in addition to numerous recently completed and planned expansions of student housing, means USU is driving a significant amount of construction activity not only at its Logan campus but around the state.