If you look around the Denver metro area, it’s easy to see that the region has transformed over the last couple of years. But, staying true to our roots plays a role in success like Denver being named the number one place to live. Webb Group International, a Chamber member, is preserving our history while helping to transform our the region’s future.
We sat down with Former Denver Mayor Wellington E. Webb, president of Webb Group International to learn about their commitment to Denver’s growth.
Taking Care of Business: Tell me briefly about Webb Group International. How did Webb Group International get started?
Wellington E. Webb: Webb Group International offers consulting services for individuals, businesses and governments on hotel and convention planning, historic preservation, zoning issues, business opportunities and legislative processes with a special emphasis on airports and airport concessions.
I founded the business in 2003 after serving 12 years as Denver mayor during a great growth period for the city. Under my administration, Denver International Airport was completed and opened; I added more park and open space than any mayor; successfully passed several bond elections to improve the city’s zoo, art museum, parks and infrastructure; and helped revitalize downtown Denver by emphasizing the need for more residential growth.
TCB: With our growing economy, why is it important to focus on economic projects like hotels and convention centers?
WW: Having adequate space for the conventions allows visitors to have a great experience and brings millions of dollars to the city – not only from the conventions, but from individuals who return as tourists or permanent residents. The influx of tax dollars helps to address the overall needs of the city, such as roads and safety of not only downtown, but citywide.
TCB: Webb Group International has a strong focus on infrastructure. What do you think Denver’s infrastructure will look like in the near future?
WW: As the city continues to grow there is a greater need to maintain its roads, improve and expand public transportation, expand bike lanes and address such needs as adequate parking in residential neighborhoods and downtown Denver.
TCB: What has been your favorite project to work on?
WW: The redevelopment of the South Platte River corridor from a city dump – often littered with alcohol bottles and old tires – to a beautiful city park system surrounded by modern housing and office development.
TCB: Why do you love doing business in Colorado?
WW: When I first ran for mayor in 1991, a newspaper reporter asked me if I would like Denver to one day be known as a great city like Chicago or New York City. I said, no. I wanted Denver to have its own identity and be better than those cities. Because of its vital downtown and being known for its wonderful arts and culture, professional sports teams and the state’s natural beauty, Denver and Colorado have attained a national reputation for being a great place to live. That makes Colorado a great place to do business.
TCB: What do you think is the biggest challenge our region faces in the future?
WW: Growth is a big challenge for Denver and Colorado, and how we manage that growth will determine our future. That’s one reason [Webb Group International] has been dedicated to historic preservation of our buildings and adding open space and parks for all of our residents to enjoy. We can have growth without losing our history or green spaces.
Laura James is the marketing and communications coordinator for the Denver Metro Chamber.