CHEYENNE — Panelists looking at southeast Wyoming’s economy for the coming year see challenges ahead, but plenty of opportunities too.
Speakers at the Wyoming Business Report’s Southeast Wyoming Economic Forecast agreed that Wyoming was late to enter the national Great Recession and generally was not as hard hit by it, and the continuing demand for energy will help Wyoming’s economic recovery.
“Energy will continue to drive our economy,” said University of Wyoming economist Rob Godby, one of five panelists at the annual forecast.
He was jointed by Buck McVeigh, administrator of the state’s Economic Analysis Division; Michael J. Matthews, regional president of Wells Fargo Bank; Bill Schilling, president of the Wyoming Business Alliance and Wyoming Heritage Foundation; and Randy Bruns, president of Cheyenne LEADS, the economic development arm for Cheyenne and Laramie County.
A sixth speaker, Rich Fairservis, a principal in Granite Peak Development, could not attend. But Bruns predicted exciting things for Granite Peak’s private business park south of Cheyenne.
At least four major tenants are looking closely at the Swan Ranch property and are attracted by its rail access to both the Union Pacific Railroad and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, Bruns said. The Cheyenne area economy also should benefit from the National Center for Atmospheric Research super-computer.
McVeigh and Schilling agreed with Godby that increased energy activity and production would be favorable for the state’s economy, while Matthews said that Wyoming banks are increasing their deposits and have money to lend during a period of reduced demand.
“Wyoming banks are in good shape,” he said.
PowerPoint presentations from the economic forecasts will be posted on the Business Report’s website, www.wyomingbusinessreport.com
, later this week, and a full report will appear in the February 2011 Business Report.
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