[copperpress-advertserve-ad-reload zone="3"]
ARCHIVED  January 1, 1997

Windsor’s economy more than just Kodak

WINDSOR — Eastman Kodak Co.’s Colorado Division is the best-known and largest industry in Windsor, but by no means is it the only place to earn a living in this growing community. In fact, it is estimated that a mere 15 percent of Kodak’s 2,550 workers live in Windsor.

So where do people work in Windsor? After Kodak, Windsor RE-4 School District comes in at 263 employees, followed by Metal Container Corp. at 114 employees, Universal Forest Products at 86 and Tenneco (formerly Deline Box) at 80.

“Windsor has a lot of industry that we don’t talk about,´ said Wayne Miller, elected in November to his third non-consecutive term as mayor. He cites the health care industry, including physicians’ offices and Living Center’s Windsor Health Care Center, as some businesses that employ numerous people without a lot of brouhaha.

Roger Lipker, publisher of the Windsor Beacon and president of the Windsor Chamber of Commerce, adds to the list of little known but mighty businesses: Employment Solutions, an employment agency that started in Windsor that now has offices in Greeley and Fort Collins; ASP Technologies, a computer software company that creates software for the nation’s air traffic control towers; and Shamrock Taxi, which serves much of northern Colorado.

In addition, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Windsor. The area’s growth in recent years has spawned a variety of new businesses, many in the service sector. Lipker, who once worked for the McDonald’s corporation, noted that businesses thriving in Windsor are those that do well in a three-mile radius in almost all communities: video stores, fast-food restaurants and the like.

A drive down Main Street — also known as Highway 392 — tells the story in a few short miles. Starting west, you see a new shopping center0, home to a video store, carpet store, real estate office, frozen custard shop and veterinarians’ office. On down the street is Steele’s Market and two of three banks in town, along with the town’s largest and most popular restaurant, The Firehouse. Also spotted is Taco Bell, which opened in December, and a McDonald’s, which enjoys a brisk lunch trade.

Continue your drive and you see more real estate offices (with 202 building permits issued in 1996, real estate developers are enjoying a brisk business as well).

And then you reach the heart of downtown. Though the storefronts are mostly occupied, it hasn’t always been that way. “Four years ago Ann Garrison, an economist at UNC, told a Chamber group that Windsor was about to boom,´ said Connie Rutz, executive secretary at the Chamber. “I wish I had listened and bought some of the buildings.”

The downtown center, which downtown business owners are working to have listed on the national historic register, is home to numerous antique and specialty stores as well as a home-owned hardware store where you can buy one screw or a houseful of appliances, professional offices and a couple restaurants.

Rutz said 160 local businesses belong to the Windsor Chamber. “There are a lot of home businesses here that people don’t know about.”

What you don’t see are businesses that sell clothes, shoes and other basics. Just last year you would have been hard-pressed to find a place to fix a flat tire or have your oil changed,” Mayor Miller said. Now there are two.

Miller says the business climate is aided by the character of the town. “This is a town that doesn’t give up easily. When downtown was practically empty, they hung in there, kept on fighting. And they still do. The revitalization of downtown is a sign of that. Windsor is a community that has its ups and downs, and they continue to fight for what they want and believe in. They haven’t turned down a school bond issue; and the first revitalization occurred before Kodak came, because they w anted Windsor to have something to come and see.”

Not everything is rosy, however. Jeannette Triomphe, owner of The Angel’s Touch, a boutique specializing in angel merchandise, dolls and gift items, pointed out that Windsor businesses such as hers are destination stores. Walk-by traffic is, for the most part, nonexistent. This past Christmas — in spite of great weather and positive economic indicators — was her slowest in her store’s two-year history. And it was, in fact, probably her last Christmas in Windsor. She is investigating sites for relocation but may ultimately choose to simply close the store for good.

“One of the things about being a business owner in Windsor is that there are a lots of folks from out of town — from nearby Fort Collins and Greeley — who don’t know where Windsor is. I was at a professional women’s conference in Fort Collins, and I had a number of women stop by my booth and ask ‘Now where is Windsor?’

“The town could do a whole marketing technique like ‘Where’s Waldo?” only ‘Where’s Windsor?’ People see the turn off on I-25 but they think it’s far way.”

WINDSOR — Eastman Kodak Co.’s Colorado Division is the best-known and largest industry in Windsor, but by no means is it the only place to earn a living in this growing community. In fact, it is estimated that a mere 15 percent of Kodak’s 2,550 workers live in Windsor.

So where do people work in Windsor? After Kodak, Windsor RE-4 School District comes in at 263 employees, followed by Metal Container Corp. at 114 employees, Universal Forest Products at 86 and Tenneco (formerly Deline Box) at 80.

“Windsor has a lot of industry that we don’t talk about,´ said…

[copperpress-advertserve-ad-reload zone="3"]

Related Content

[copperpress-advertserve-ad-interstitial zone="30"]