Remember when Denver was at the top of its game just months ago? The breakout city’s local economy was booming thanks to tech, tourism, and a growing number of young people flocking to its urban center. Now, the story has changed due to the pandemic, but experts believe that Denver will be a good case study to see if the same strengths that helped it grow pre-coronavirus can help it bounce back as the national economy rebounds—or hold the city back.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, few American cities were creating jobs faster than Denver. Nor had many places aligned themselves so closely with sectors that have since been battered by shutdowns aimed at curbing the spread of the virus, such as tourism and energy.
Now the Mile High City may also hold answers about the post-coronavirus economic outlook: whether cities that outperformed during the longest expansion in U.S. history are better cushioned to navigate a recovery. In Denver’s case, some of the same factors that propelled it—such as a younger, more educated and wealthier population—may outweigh disadvantages of high exposure to crisis-hit sectors, according to local business owners and economists.