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Big storms boost resort revenues, growing tech hub in Wyoming, Safelite growing New Mexico economy

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NCAR in CheyenneNational Center for Atmospheric Research facility in Cheyenne (Photo: NCAR)Unprecedented snow across the West this winter led to a bump in ski tourism in several western states. According to DestiMetrics, which tracks lodging in 19 Western mountain resorts “occupancy in 30,000 rooms across Colorado, Utah, California, Nevada, Oregon, Wyoming and Montana is flat compared to last year, but revenue through Feb. 28 is up 7.3%.” In other resort news:

  • Resorts in California -- including Mammoth Mountain, Squaw Valley and Heavenly -- extended their season after some areas received up to 60 feet of snow this winter.
  • The $1.3 billion tourism industry in Utah is grateful for continued flurries through March. Many resorts still boast more than 100 inches of snow at their base, even as they wrap up their seasons.The snowsports director at Solitude Mountain Resort reported, “We’re close to 20% ahead over last year with all of our programs.”
  • Jackson Hole businesses had to play catch-up after losing an estimated $5 million in revenues due to a major storm that wiped out power for five days in the Wyoming city, although businesses that did stay open saw a boost.

Western states are making economic progress on a variety of fronts. Our latest Western Economic Roundup offers some additional highlights:

Nebraska will soon be home to a new Facebook data center, with a massive 970,000 square foot campus to be built in Papillion. Facebook data centers typically support more than 1,000 local jobs during construction, as well as hundreds of long-term operational jobs. The center is expected to be operational as soon as 2020.

Cheyenne has transformed into a technology hub for super computers, attracting companies to Wyoming with its business-friendly environment. According to a recent article in Wired, organizations such as Microsoft and the National Center for Atmospheric Research have invested hundreds of millions of dollars in expansions, which bodes well for continued growth and economic development in the state.

Safelite AutoGlass has opened a facility in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, creating more than 800 full and part-time jobs, with plans for more than 200 additional positions in the coming year. Governor Susana Martinez cut the ribbon at the grand opening.

Salt Lake City, Denver, Portland and Seattle made the list of top five cities best poised to become the next tech meccas in the U.S., according to Forbes. Learn which western city saw its tech talent pool grow by almost 30% in just three years.

On-time flights, traffic congestion and hotel prices factored in to On Call International’s list of top cities for "hosting productive business travel experiences." See which 5 Western cities made the top 10.

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