Any of the New Belgium Brewing folks relocating to Asheville, N.C., as part of the company’s expansion might find a few things about the city that reminds them of Fort Collins.

They might miss the Rockies, but they’ll be living in the Blue Ridge Mountains, one the most scenic anywhere with incredible white-water rafting opportunities.

They might miss CSU, but they’ll have the University of North Carolina at Asheville, which lends a decidedly college-town feeling to the city.

They might miss telling friends and family they live in the “Napa Valley of Craft Breweries,” but they’ll be hanging out in “Beer City USA!”

And they even might miss our “420-friendly” crowd, but as the Asheville thread on marijuana.com noted, the place is “a stoner town.”

In fact, on most days, anyone walking through downtown Asheville will notice at least three things: the sound of wind chimes that can be found hanging from the eaves of innumerable shops catering to tourists, the smell of incense burning from the same shops, and the occasional whiff of weed.

New Belgium was considering just one other city for its new $175 million brewery: Philadelphia.

The City of Brotherly Love is one of America’s greatest but, in terms of attitude (they pronounce it “addi-tood”) and in most other ways, it’s about as far from Fort Collins as the moon.



‘New Energy Economy’ faces legislative rewrite

Former Gov. Bill Ritter’s “New Energy Economy” may soon reflect Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desire to bring fossil fuels to the energy party under a new bill.

The measure, supported by Hickenlooper and sponsored by state Rep. Jon Becker, R-Fort Morgan, and state Sen. Pat Steadman, D-Denver, would alter the mission of the Governor’s Energy Office. It would require the agency to support all forms of energy rather than just renewable energy, the centerpiece of the Ritter administration.

Specifically, the bill would change the agency’s mission to encourage “Colorado-based clean and innovative energy solutions that include traditional and renewable energy sources.” The measure also would rename the office to the “Colorado Office of Energy Development” while striking Ritter’s catchphrase “New Energy Economy” from current law.

Furthermore, the bill would change the way renewable and fossil fuels projects receive funding. Traditional energy projects would receive funding from state severance tax dollars while renewable projects would depend on harder-to-obtain general fund dollars.

Established in 1977 as the Office of Energy Management and Conservation, Ritter renamed the agency the Governor’s Energy Office in 2007. He also shifted the agency’s mission from promoting energy conservation to renewable energy.

Opponents of the bill say it would hamper the state’s efforts to develop renewable energy. Supporters argue that oil and gas severance tax revenue should not prop up renewable energy.

The bill has gained steam in the Republican-dominated House, clearing two committees so far.

Rulon Stacey adds ‘author’ to accomplishments

For years, Rulon Stacey served as the president and CEO of Poudre Valley Health System.

But, as some may know, a recently formalized joint operating agreement between PVHS and University of Colorado Hospital is whisking away one of Northern Colorado’s foremost minds on health care and transplanting him in that fair city to the south, Denver.

Northern Coloradans need not fear, however, for Stacey has now immortalized his thoughts on the health care system in print.

Stacey’s book is titled “Over Our Heads: An Analogy on Healthcare, Good Intentions and Unforeseen Consequences,” to attempt to explain to the layman the state of health care today.

It does so in part by drawing analogies to an institution everyone comprehends – the grocery store, in a fictional town Stacey calls Capital Springs.

A sampling:

“With the entire population of Capital Springs thrust back onto the government’s public food distribution system, food providers frantically attempted to keep up with the heavy demand and the fast pace. Customers were equally frantic, rushing to claim a spot in line well before stores opened in the morning with the hope of making it inside while food would still be available and on the shelves.”

It’s not Shakespeare but it gets the job done.



Search is on for new
Upstate Colorado CEO

Are you an “energetic,” “experienced leader” who doesn’t mind driving long distances?

The ad seeking a new president and CEO for the Upstate Colorado Economic Development organization doesn’t specifically mention that as a requirement, but it does note that Weld County has an area greater than Rhode Island, Delaware and the District of Columbia combined.

Upstate Colorado’s search for a leader began in earnest after the entity reorganized its board in March.

It was a step interim CEO Eric Berglund said needed to occur before a permanent CEO could be selected.

Interested parties best hurry. Upstate will accept applications for the position until May 1.

Former CEO Larry Burkhardt left the organization suddenly last fall, and Berglund, who joined Upstate in 2009 as the vice president of finance, took the reins until a replacement could be found.

The job description calls for a candidate with a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, a proven record of accomplishment and, preferably, at least six years of economic development experience.

No mention is made of a need for reliable transportation.