ACED honored for business attraction efforts

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Adams County Economic Development is gaining statewide recognition after the Economic Development Council of Colorado recognized the county-backed nonprofit as the “Large Community of the Year” for 2012.

“This award recognizes and honors Adams County for its regional collaboration projects, major business attraction efforts within innovative industries and targeted job attraction and retention plans,” U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter said in a April 9 letter addressed to ACED President and Chief Executive Officer Barry Gore.

“Your dedication and hard work to Adams County is extraordinary.”

ACED officials say the award, which is only given to a single organization in the state among all others with a population exceeding 20,000 residents, culminates years of work dedicated to several large development projects, including Spaceport Colorado and the former ASARCO site along Interstate 70 and Vasquez Boulevard.

“It’s a huge honor,” ACED Senior Vice President Tricia Allen said. “We’ve been trying to win that award for probably five or six years now, so we were really excited when we found out that we were getting that award.”

Allen said the ASARCO remediation and redevelopment project alone dates back to 2003, when the Tucson, Ariz.-based mining, smelting and refining company was engaged in several environmental pollution lawsuits and in the process of filing for bankruptcy.

The site, which sits on 77-acres of prime real estate along the cusp of the Adams and Denver County boundary, is halfway through the remediation process and will be completely clean and ready for development in about a year and a half.

The economic development organization was also recognized for its extensive involvement in Spaceport Colorado at Front Range Airport in Watkins, which has drawn federal and local support for the multi-year project to bring commercial space transportation, research and development to the Front Range.

The airport, which would operate as a horizontal flight spaceport, is currently in the spaceport licensing process and undergoing two environmental and operational feasibility studies.

The Economic Development Council of Colorado also lauded ACED’s efforts to organize last year’s inaugural Adams County Connects event, which was hosted by several Adams County cities and business retention programs to provide value to the existing business community.

“Based on that award, it seems like we’re moving in the right direction and our peers acknowledge that we’re doing some major, major projects and being successful here in Adams County,” Allen said.

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