Colorado offers to trade $22.5 million in incentives for 2,003 jobs and a tin cup of whiskey – The Denver Post

Gilpin County, with its heavy concentration of casino employment, has suffered from some of the highest unemployment rates in the state the past year. On Thursday, the Colorado Economic Development Commission approved more than $500,000 in incentives from two different programs in a bid to help the gaming haven improve its odds.

The awards, the first of their kind made within the county, include $374,163 in job growth incentive tax credits and $149,500 from the state’s Strategic Fund. They are linked to the creation of 23 full-time jobs at a proposed distillery and warehouse facility. The development also comes with another 40 lower-paying operations and tourism jobs the state was unable to incentivize.

To remain anonymous, the applicant used a code name, Project Curve. A year ago, Proximo Spirits, the New Jersey-based owner of Stranahan’s and Tincup Whiskey, sought approval from Black Hawk City Council for a 20-acre whiskey production facility called Lake Gulch Whiskey Resort, something first reported in The Denver Business Journal.

The bigger payoff for the state isn’t the 63 jobs created, but rather the $50 million capital investment that Proximo, also the owner of Jose Cuervo, plans to make in creating a new tourist attraction tied to Tincup, a Colorado brand that Jess Graber, the founder of Stranahan’s, launched, but which is primarily produced in Indiana.

“It could drive up local tax revenues in a meaningful way,” Michelle Hadwiger, the deputy director of the Office of Economic Development and International Trade told commissioners. The distillery also represented a rare opportunity to do something outside the metro area, while also boosting the state’s stature as a beverage industry hub, a reputation that took a hit when Molson Coors relocated its headquarters to Chicago in 2019.

Of four awards the commission approved Thursday, the largest, worth $16.38 million, went to Project Flood, a provider of a software-enabled peer-to-peer sharing service that has grown rapidly since launching locally five years ago. The company is looking at adding another 1,483 jobs locally over the next eight years, but is also considering Arizona, Georgia or Idaho as alternatives.

If the company stays in Colorado, it said it will seek out a new headquarters in metro Denver. If it moves out of Colorado, many of the existing jobs may follow, Hadwiger said.

Related Articles

  • Colorado makes a bid for quantum computing hardware plant that would bring more than 700 jobs

The state is offering an average of $11,047 in future tax credits per job created. Those jobs, however, will come at an average annual wage of $163,677.

The commission also approved $3.8 million in job growth incentive tax credits for Project Island, a privately-held company that provides a technology to capture harmful byproducts of oil and gas production. It is considering adding 286 jobs paying an average annual wage of $122,795 at a new operations facility in Denver.

A California tech company that provides a software platform that home service professionals use to manage their operations is looking at metro Denver for a new office that could create up to 211 jobs paying an average annual wage of $92,152. The company, which has roughly 40 remote workers in Denver, may eventually move its headquarters to the new office, Hadwiger said. It received approval for $1.75 million in job growth incentive tax credits.

Source: Read Full Article