December 11, 2020

2020 Recap: Resiliency Throughout the Year

This year our community has shown strength, courage, and thought leadership as local businesses, residents, and government leaders came together to help one another during a time of crisis. Despite the troublesome year, economic development continues, and our region advances toward a bright and better future. Businesses in the Pikes Peak Region have stepped up to help not only our community, but to provide PPE across state lines counsel on safe management practices, and help by shopping local and supporting fellow neighbors.

Local Business Feats

As we work to flatten the curve, Colorado Springs businesses are harnessing new technology and innovative thinking to continue to help one another. Lack of supplies led Colorado Springs-based companies to help fill the gap and showcase their resiliency. Below are only a small handful of the local companies that have stepped up in every way possible to aid the community.

  • Qualtek Manufacturing, Inc., a Colorado Springs-based specialty metal manufacturer, ramped up production of a key part for ventilators in response to COVID-19. From making parts for ventilators and other devices that are needed to help patients breathe to adding shifts, hiring more people, and putting other projects on pause.
  • Titan Robotics utilized their 3-D printing capabilities to make face shields for medical workers. Innovation goes a long way—they were able to produce thousands of shields, making a significant impact on the healthcare community.
  • At Colorado College, students and professors across a wide range of disciplines came together to make face shields for first responders, healthcare workers, and nearby indigenous communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus.
  • Lee Spirits, Colorado Springs maker of gin, whiskey, and liqueurs, made hand sanitizer for El Paso County Public Health, UCHealth Memorial Hospital, and assisted living facilities. And to top it all off, Lee Spirits is the top RTD Distillery of the Year.

In addition, keeping restaurants open has been one of the bigger hurdles in 2020 as the city looks to keep everyone safe, while keeping beloved establishments open and thriving. This December, in an effort coordinated by Downtown Partnership, volunteers from GE Johnson and HBA Cares, the philanthropic arm of the Housing & Building Association of Colorado Springs, will be building “parklets” – structures in parking spaces – to help restaurants on South Tejon Street expand their outdoor dining space to cope with impacts of the pandemic. The new parklet structures will allow for outdoor dining seven days a week through much of 2021, without need to close the street to traffic. 

Continued Expansions

Colorado Springs’ growth is never-ending in industries such as manufacturing, aerospace & defense, outdoor recreation, cybersecurity and more. For instance, REI secured a new plot of land: an 18,000-square-foot building in El Paso County. REI will remodel and renovate the newly purchased building and use it for additional retail space. The expanded space will house REI’s “action sports departments,” which includes snow sports, cycling, and climbing. Another expansion that will create a plethora of jobs is Amazon’s new 800,000-square-foot fulfillment center to process customer orders. The center will be one of the largest buildings in all of Colorado!

Meanwhile in the aerospace industry, Aerospace Corporation recently invested in an $100 million expansion to their existing facility at the Colorado Springs Airport’s Peak Innovation Park. Plus, Southwest Airlines will start operating 13 daily departures from Colorado Springs to five destinations starting March 11, 2021. This is Colorado’s second busiest airport with about 1.7 million passengers in 2019. This massive business growth is what keeps our region raising the bar—in both talent and innovation.

The Air Force announced Colorado Springs is one of six finalists under consideration to permanently house the U.S. Space Command, temporarily located in Colorado Springs for the next six years. Colorado Springs is an obvious front-runner, as stated by multiple industry experts, due to the region’s extensive military presence and concentration of private-sector aerospace companies, the strong talent pipeline from the region’s universities, including the U.S. Air Force Academy, and existing military space infrastructure. The final decision will be made in early 2021.

The first In-N-Out in Colorado Springs opened in November with long lines and excited customers. In addition to the brand-new restaurant, In-N-Out’s nearly 100,000-square-foot distribution center and patty production plant is underway in nearby Victory Ridge, which will serve In-N-Out restaurants throughout Colorado.

Flywheel Capital announced plans to move in the Peak Technology Campus, situated within the 900-acre Peak Innovation Park at the Colorado Springs Airport. The new development at the Peak Technology Campus will deliver secure ready sites for the aerospace and defense industry and is the first significant speculative project to break ground in over ten years in Colorado Springs. Plans include four new buildings ranging from 40,000 to 60,000 square feet.

2020 Rankings

Contact us to learn more about the talent pipeline that exists in Colorado Springs and the strong businesses that support the community.