The Denver-Aurora metropolitan area has a very strong economy with substantial opportunities for business and professional growth. Colorado is home to seventeen Fortune 1000 company headquarters, sixteen of which are located in the Denver-Aurora metropolitan area. The largest company with their corporate headquarters in the Denver area is Qwest Communications. Probably the most famous companies with their headquarters in the area are Molson Coors Brewing and the Sports Authority.
The Denver area has a very well educated work force. According to U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, Denver ranks in the top 20 among American cities with a well educated work force. Almost 36% of the population has a college degree or higher. In 2005, Central Connecticut State University ranked Denver sixth among the most literate cities in the U.S. The Denver area was Number 12 in the Educational attainment category on Forbes magazine's 2005 list of "Best Places For Business and Careers".
Major business honors and awards received by the Denver metropolitan area include:
- Number 14 on Entrepreneur magazine's 2005 list of "Hot Cities for Entrepreneurs", and number 8 for rapid growth in the same survey
- Number 36 on Inc. magazine's 2006 list of "Best Cities for Doing Business" in the large cities category
- Number 29 on Forbes magazine's 2005 list of "Best Places For Business and Careers" (out of the 150 largest metropolitan areas)
- Number 13 on Expansion Management's 2005 list of "America's 50 Hottest Cities"
- "5-Star Business Opportunity Metro" ranking from Expansion Management's 2005 Mayor's Challenge ranking of the "Top Business Opportunity Metros"
Major industries in the Denver metropolitan area include:
- Financial Services
- Info Tech/Software
Denver's central location makes it an ideal location for storage and distribution of goods to and from the Mountain States. The Denver-Aurora area also has a very large concentration of federal government institutions. The Denver metropolitan area has more federal workers than any other metropolitan area, with the exception of Washington D.C.
For business travelers, the Denver area is well served by the Denver International Airport (DIA). The Denver International Airport was voted the third best airport in the Americas and the third best airport in the world among airports with more than 25 million passengers annually in a 2006 AETRA passenger survey. According to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation, the Denver International Airport is the fourth busiest airport in the nation (as of March 2006). DIA also ranked sixth among North American airports in the 499,999 or less tons class in Air Cargo World's most recent "Air Cargo Excellence Survey".
Business commuters will also appreciate the fact that Denver has the nation's fourth shortest commute time for workers at slightly over 35 minutes.
Companies with headquarters or major operations in the Denver metropolitan area include:
- Ball Corporation
- Centura Health
- CH2M Hill
- Denver Health & Hospital Authority
- Echostar Communications
- First Data Corp.
- Frontier Airlines
- IBM Corporation
- Kaiser Permanente
- Level 3 Communications
- Liberty Global
- Lockheed Martin Corporation
- MDC Holdings
- Molson Coors Brewing
- Newmont Mining
- Qwest Communications
- Sports Authority
- Sun Microsystems
- United Airlines
- Wells Fargo Bank West N.A.
- Western Gas Resources
Major business organizations and associations in the Denver metropolitan area include:
- The Aurora Chamber of Commerce
- The Colorado Association for Bioengineering
- The Colorado BioScience Assoc.
- The Colorado Oil & Gas Association (COGA)
- The Colorado Petroleum Association
- The Colorado Renewable Energy Society
- The Colorado Software & Internet Association
- The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce
- The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation
- The South Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce
The Denver Business Journal, the "Business Section" of the Denver Post, and "Business Section" of the Rocky Mountain News are all good sources of information on business and the economy in the Denver-Aurora metropolitan area.