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Vail Symposium, Vail Valley Partnership present program on economic outlook and road to recovery

Dr. Richard L. Wobbekind’s Vail Symposium presentation will address the current position of the national and state economies in the context of the COVID-19 economic shutdown last spring.
Casey A. Cass/University of Colorado

Ten consecutive years of positive economic growth, the longest economic expansion in 70 years, came to an abrupt halt in Colorado and the rest of the country due to the pandemic. At the time, Colorado enjoyed one of the strongest economies in the country.

With the distribution of three efficacious vaccines, the end of the pandemic is finally within sight. Economically, the damage has been done. Will economic recovery follow?

On Thursday, March 25, at 9 a.m., Vail Symposium and Vail Valley Partnership welcome Dr. Richard L. Wobbekind, an associate dean for Business and Government Relations, associate professor of Business Economics and Finance and faculty director of the Business Research Division at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder, for a discussion on our present and future economic outlook.



“Speculation about when we get back to normal is a common question for a myriad of aspects of life impacted by COVID-19,” said Claire Noble, director of programming for the Vail Symposium. “Economic recovery underpins many of the pandemic’s disruptions. We are already seeing glimmers of hope; now we get to hear from an expert on the Colorado economy of what we can expect in the coming months and years.”

For the past five decades, the annual Colorado Business Economic Outlook published by the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado has recorded numerous booms and busts, emerging industries, and near-constant population increases. Colorado’s economy, dominated by the oil and gas industry in the 1970s, has diversified into aerospace, biosciences, telecommunications and software. Similarly, Colorado’s workforce has also changed. The percent of the population with a college degree has increased from about 15 percent 40 years ago, to more than 40 percent today.



In 2020, two of the hardest-hit Colorado industries, leisure and hospitality, and trade, transportation and utilities, are projected to add the most jobs and grow at the fastest pace according to the annual forecast. What other business and economic trends are likely going forward?

Dr. Richard L. Wobbekind’s presentation will address the current position of the national and state economies in the context of the COVID-19 economic shutdown last spring. Furthermore, he will consider how far we are away from a full recovery, what the post-COVID-19 economy looks like and how Colorado will fare in the “new normal.”

Wobbekind joined the faculty at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado at Boulder in the fall of 1985. He assumed his initial position as associate dean in July of 2000.

As faculty director of the Business Research Division, his responsibilities include developing an annual consensus forecast of the Colorado economy which he has done since 1988. The Business Research Division also produces a quarterly Business Leaders Confidence Index for Colorado and a quarterly new business formation and economic indicators report in conjunction with the Colorado Secretary of State.

The Business Research Division also conducts revenue forecasts for the Regional Transportation District and several other governmental entities. As part of the BRD research team, Wobbekind conducts various strategic analyses and economic impact assessments of the Colorado economy.

Wobbekind has lived in Colorado for 45 years and has spent much of his time studying the development of the Colorado and regional economies. Wobbekind received a BA in Economics from Bucknell University and an MA and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

IF YOU GO

What: “Economic Outlook for 2021 and Beyond: How Long is the Road to Recovery?”

When: Thursday, March 25, 2021. Program from 9-10 a.m. MST

Where: Zoom webinar

More information: This program is free. Please register at vailsymposium.org for more information.


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