Why buy a business in Colorado?
Colorado is quickly becoming one of the most sought after places to move to for many young professionals and recent graduates. Forbes named it the best state for business and careers in 2013, and the state continues to develop its economy.
Denver is filled with locally owned restaurants and areas of nightlife, not to mention sports teams such as the Colorado Rockies, Denver Nuggets, Denver Broncos and the Colorado Avalanche.
If being in the city isn’t for you, it’s easy to drive west a few hours and head to ski country to spend some time on the mountain. Whether you snowboard, ski or even snowshoe, during the winter, the mountains leave little room for boredom. Winter sports aren’t for everyone, and in the summertime Colorado turns into an outdoor haven with countless areas around the state for hiking, camping, rock-climbing and biking.
Throughout these small towns are locally-owned shops to eat, drink and shop. Palisade is known for its peaches and wine, and the Great Sand Dunes National Park is a fun family spot for adventure. Colorado is close to New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Kansas, and tourists from nearby states road trip in often.
Many of Colorado’s top industries are formed around travelism and the outdoors. In 2014 Business Insider named it the fastest growing economy and the most economically competitive state, and for good reason. As the state grows and tourism flourishes, so does the need for businesses.
Colorado’s Top Industries
FITNESS AND SPORTS
Much of the appeal of living and working in Colorado is the opportunity to spend time outdoors and to live a fit and healthy lifestyle. Colorado is filled with national parks, 42 state parks, trails, lakes and mountains. Almost every person spends at least some of their free time participating in a fitness activity and to do that, they need gear, sometimes a coach, and gyms. Businesses that concentrate on the fitness niche are common, however they’re always in demand and are a sustainable business, rather than a trend.
Whether you’re interested in owning a gym or fitness studio, or selling fitness gear, there are so many sports that Coloradans participate in that there’s no shortage of new ideas. Even activities that seem free, like running, require some gear. Running companies, ski shops, bike stores and fishing stores are just some of the many types of fitness-based companies that succeed throughout the state. It only takes a few hours to get to the mountains from most places in Colorado, making it possible to open a sports-based store even if the sport isn’t possible in that city.
Colorado’s beautiful scenery and endless options to explore the outdoors are part of Colorado’s culture. Visitors come to Colorado to experience time in the wilderness.
It is unmatched in it’s amount of natural resources and is known for it’s environmental conservation, which is appealing to many from other states that are lesser known for the outdoors. In fact, 22 percent of overnight visitors to the state are taking outdoor overnight trips, which makes Colorado an awesome place to open a sporting goods or outdoor recreation store. The 26 ski resorts and areas also make the mountains a desirable place to open a business geared toward visitors.
The legalization of marijuana has also caused an influx of money into the state, as visitors come to experience smoking legally. Peyton Manning’s investment in Papa John’s Pizza stores may have been a coincidence, but for some business owners, because weed became legal, they’ve began investing and building food and marijuana tours.
According to the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade, Colorado had almost 60 million travelers in 2011, and spend money on cultural activities, ecotourism and agritourism.
Colorado’s influx of tourist and travelers not only mean a need for tourism activities, but a need for transportation and auto repair services. There are major state and federal highways, small and local roadways, railroads, public transit systems, airports and many bicycle facilities.
Biking seems like it should be categorized as a recreational activity, but as Coloradans continue to grow in their environmental awareness, more people bike to work or use biking as their preferred choice of transportation. This makes the need for bike shops and facilities high.
The number of travelers driving through Colorado make automobile repair companies or tow companies a great investment. Especially in rural areas of Colorado where people could get stranded, a repair shop is a sound investment. People in distress from a broken down car will often be grateful for any help, and will likely spread the word on how your shop helped them to continue to have a great vacation or trip.
FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
Ranching and farming aren’t often associated with the Centennial State, but Colorado has a deep history in agriculture and producing natural, organic and craft food and beverages. This is driven by the Colorado culture of local first and health. Farmer’s market trips on the weekend are common practice for many people living in Colorado, and it helps to grow the success of family-owned farms.
Boulder is home to many successful natural food companies, including EVOL and Justin’s, a nut butter company. Other niche food’s like Bhakti Chai, also have a strong gathering among the health-conscious and many large companies concentrating on natural and organic foods get a start in Colorado.
Craft beer continues to grow as an industry throughout the state. Colorado Springs is home to more than 20 locally-owned craft beer breweries, while Denver boasts at least 50, if not more. Many of these breweries don’t sell food, and it’s common practice for food trucks to park in front of these businesses to offer customers eating options. Investing in a brewery or food truck is a fun, unique business to begin or buy.
Active lifestyles and access to the outdoors make Colorado home to some of the fittest population in the country. The state aims to be the healthiest state in the country, and nonprofit foundations like LiveWell Colorado are promoting that lifestyle. With such a concentration on health, any business related to health - whether it’s mental or physical health - is likely to do well.
There are more than 250,000 workers in the health and wellness industry in Colorado and with an annual payroll of more than $11 billion, health businesses make a humongous impact on the Colorado economy.
Businesses concentrating on health and wellness don’t have to be health food stores or gyms. Although both of these are quite successful, other businesses concentrating in healthcare are becoming more successful, too.
What other businesses for sale are available in Colorado?
One of the biggest appeals of Colorado is the state’s culture of “local first.” Coloradans are much more likely to purchase food from a farm-to-table restaurant or to buy their fitness equipment from a locally-owned shop rather than a big box fitness store. This is great for business owners looking to open a mom and pop store rather than a franchise. That said, the number of people moving to Colorado means they’re looking for businesses they used to have in their former hometown, so franchise businesses do find success - especially from new Coloradans.
The wellness culture and growing economy make Colorado one of the best states to buy a business in. It’s continuing to grow in tourism and new residents, there’s an influx of money as the economy grows, and its culture of buying locally make a new business more likely to succeed as the community works to support those in the community.