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COVID’s affect on Colorado’s economy
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By Joseph Rios

Colorado is projected to fall out of the top 10 states for employment growth in 2021, according to a recent report by the University of Colorado Boulder’s Leeds Business Research Division.

Despite that the Colorado Business Economic Outbreak report projects that the state will regain around 40,500 jobs that were lost due to the pandemic. That number is less than one-third of jobs Colorado lost in 2020 with the leisure and hospitality and trade, transportation and utilities industries being impacted the most. The leisure and hospitality industry is expected to add 19,200 jobs and the trade, transportation and utilities industry is predicted to gain 14,700 jobs.

In total, nine of the state’s 11 industries are expected to add jobs this year. Government is projected to lose 6,900 jobs this year and the information sector is expected to lose 1,100 jobs.

Colorado’s entertainment and sports outlook

It’s difficult to pinpoint when live events like concerts and sports will have attendees at venues and stadiums because of the virus.

Ginger White, Denver Arts & Venues executive director, recently told The Denver Post that the hope is to open Red Rocks Amphitheatre to 4,000 people for outdoor shows when the temperature gets warmer. Denver Arts & Venues is responsible for operating venues like Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the Denver Performing Arts Complex, Colorado Convention Center and the Denver Coliseum.

The Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche are in the middle of their seasons and have yet to have fans in attendance for any of their games.

The Nuggets and Avalanche announced at the beginning of the season that they won’t host fans but are working closely with state and local authorities to navigate a safe way to having residents at games. Other professional teams like the Dallas Mavericks an NBA team have allowed fans in for games. Last month, the team thanked essential workers in a unique way by allowing 1,500 workers to be the first fans this season to see a game in person.

Tourism industry

Colorado made $2.99 billion from March 8 to July 25 of last year from tourism revenue, according to Oxford Economics. However, in 2019 that number was at around $8.69 billion.

Meanwhile, hotel occupancy in the state was at approximately 70 percent at the summer peak in 2019. In 2020, hotel occupancy in Colorado was between 30 and 40 percent at the summer peak, according to the Colorado Tourism Office.

Local economies within the state have suffered as well. In Telluride, an area that relies heavily on tourists, sales tax receipts in June were down by 36 percent.

While the tourism industry in the state has experienced negatives from the pandemic, people are getting outside more when its warm. State parks and National Park Service units in the state both reported a spike in residents at parks since the pandemic started. 





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