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Dave Hardman, Ogden/Weber Chamber of Commerce; Kent Jorgenson, Utah Transit Authority; Rob Stevenson, Layton City; Jim Talbot, Farmington City; Craig Trottier, CenterCal Properties; Brandon Wood, The Northwood Group; Chris Dallin, McKay-Dee Hospital; Marlin Eldred, Davis County Community & Economic Development; Darren Rogers, Department of Workforce Services; Barry Edwards, North Salt Lake City; Adam Lenhard, Clearfield City; Dave Millheim, Farmington City; Douglas Larsen, Weber Economic Development Partnership; Jeff Edwards, EDCUtah; Scott Lunt, Davis Conference Center; Brad Mortensen, Weber State University; Kevin Ireland, Ogden/Weber Chamber of Commerce; Chris Williams, Davis School District; Brandon Berrett, Davis Area Conventions and Visitors Bureau; John Petroff, Davis County; Timothy Pehrson, McKay-Dee Hospital; Jim Smith, Davis Chamber of Commerce; Robert Murdock, ATK Aerospace Structures; Chris Falk, Newmark Grubb ACRES; Tage Flint, Weber Basin Water District; Wick Udy, Jones Lang LaSalle; Betty Parker, Freeport Center; Cory Gardiner, Zions Bank; Scott Parkinson, Bank of Utah; Blake Wahlen, Business Depot Ogden; Sara Toliver, Ogden/Weber Convention & Visitors Bureau; Tom Christopulos, Ogden City; Mark Johnson, Ogden City; Jim Taggart, Ogden-Weber Applied Technology College; Annette Hanson, Davis County Community & Economic Development; Neka Roundy, Davis County Community & Economic Development
We’d like to thank David Hardman, CEO of the Ogden/Weber Chamber of Commerce, for moderating the discussion.
4.5 percent unemployment rate
$53,612 median family income
Ogden largest city
Department of Treasury-IRS largest employer
3.9 percent unemployment rate
$64,840 median family income
Layton largest city
Hill Air Force Base largest employer
*Source Department of Workforce Services
Davis and Weber counties are experiencing accelerated growth in business, retail and real estate. Area leaders discuss key economic development issues, such as Hill Air Force Base, tourism opportunities and education.
Let’s start our discussion today with economic development.
CHRISTOPULOS: The economic conditions in Ogden continue to improve, and over the last half-dozen years we rank in the top of job creation per capita in the United States. We’re under-filling now with a number of higher-paying jobs as we recruit more to the aviation areas. Job creation in the technology section is new and emerging. And as usual, we continue to have good success in the outdoor recreation market. With cycling, in particular, we have been very active in Asia and especially in Taiwan in recruiting bicycle manufacturers and various component pieces.
WAHLEN: I manage Business Depot Ogden in partnership with Ogden City. We have a 1,300-acre development in BDO. We manage about seven and a half million square feet, so we’ve grown by about three and a half million square feet over the last 10 years. By the end of this year we will have 5,000 employees at BDO. Many of those are the outdoor recreation companies: Amer Sports, Scott USA, Universal Cycle and TRP, they make brakes for bikes. A company that’s really been growing over the last couple of years is ENVE. They make fiber composite rims that are sold all over the world.
We appreciate EDCUtah. They’ve been a great partner of ours, bringing companies to Business Depot Ogden. Esurance is one of those. They’re building a 70,000-square-foot service center. It will be done in June of this year, and they’ll be ramping up and hiring about 500 employees.
And then the second building we have under construction is a 108,000-square-foot expansion on Cornerstone Research & Development. They’re in a 200,000-square-foot building and they’re expanding that by 108,000 square feet. They’ll have about 700 employees by the time that expansion is done. We have several nutritional supplement companies out at Business Depot Ogden.
PETROFF: A lot of our projects are just starting to break loose. We’ve been doing some individual CDAs and smaller projects. Of course, we have the Freeport Center.
But these smaller projects—by small I mean 100-acre, 150-acre projects—they’re starting to take off. We’ve been working on two or three developments with FrontRunner, and those are going to be great projects.
Do you want to add anything related to Falcon Hill?
PETROFF: We’re all set up and ready to do all of these different things around Hill Air Force Base, but the administration just keeps cutting defense. And they’re talking about it again. Even though Representative Bishop mentioned that Hill Air Force Base is in the best position it’s ever been in the history of the base, with the administration continuing to cut military jobs, we’re just in limbo. We have lots of people who want to be here and be involved, and more will be coming, but they’re still having to wait a little bit to see how deep these cuts are going to go.