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DENVER-For the first time in 15 years, the Denver Metro Network hosted top site selectors from across the country to visit the city and share their views with real estate, business, and political leaders.Site selectors represent about 30% of the companies in the country who are looking to expand or relocate operations across the country.

Sherman Miller, head of the city’s Cushman & Wakefield office, asked them a wide-range of questions as about 250 top local leaders listened carefully. Angelos Angelou, of Angelou Econmics Inc. of Austin, told them that the technology companies he represents only care about the availability of people in the workforce between the ages of 25 and 45, and some companies only are interested in recruiting talented people between 25 and 32.

Following the meeting, prominent local lawyer Jim Mulligan told GlobeSt.com that he thinks that bodes well for teh city, as it has had no problem at attracting and retaining youthful, educated people.

Somewhat surprising, Angelou said he ignores real estate information. “A piece of real estate does not differentiate a community,” he said.

However, he praised the $4 billion Fitzsimons medical and research facility in Aurora. He noted that will distinguish the metro area from the other “14,000 economic developers” across the country that want a piece of the lucrative biotech pie that don’t have a clue what they need to do.

Jon LeBre, of CRESA Partners in Portland, OR, said whether a company is looking to open a regional office or relocating a headquarters, makes a difference on how it evaluates a market. “But in the end, it is about money,” he said.

Ted Telford, of KPMG LLP of Seattle, said that when conducting a financial analysis, incentives offered by governments that are upfront are the most important. Incentives that come after the fifth year are so heavily discounted in a net present value analysis that they carry very little weight, he said.

But Christopher Steele, of Ernst & Young in Boston, said for companies looking for a new home for the next 10, 20 years or beyond that is not the case. “They are not buying an incentive package, they are buying a location,” he said.

Scott MacComb, of Ernst & Young in Phoenix, said that an educated workforce is extremely important to companies, as the cost of turnover is extremely high.”The key is to keep people when the economy goes soft,” he said, “as they’ll still be around when the economy picks up.”

One thing that no site selector wants to see is “turf wars” between various economic development group, noted Jessica Van Orsdel, of Ernst & Young in Boston.

Thankfully, during their three days in town, which included a helicopter tour, a Colorado Rockies game and a dinner at the Governor’s Mansion, there were no signs of one-upmanship, Van Orsdel said.

Sometimes, no matter what the attributes of an area are, the company picks an area for subjective reasons. Michael Henderson of Cushman & Wakefield noted on a number of occasions he’s seen the CEO’s wife pick the winning city.

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