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business images


Brain Stormers Entrepreneurial spirit remains exciting here

America’s Fuel

State stokes the nation’s coal industry

What’s Online 

Learn some unique facts and figures about Wyoming in a quick video.

Unparalleled Beauty, Unrivaled Opportunity Sponsored by the Wyoming Business Council | 2011



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Workstyle Unparalleled Beauty, Unrivaled Opportunity


Wyoming makes it easy to work where you want to live.

Brain Stormers


Entrepreneurial spirit remains exciting here.


Novel Notion



Local manufacturers find uncommon product niches.

Refining Land in Casper


Former refinery becomes a signature development.

America’s Fuel


Wyoming stokes the nation’s coal industry. Table of Contents Continued

On the Cover Grand Teton National Park

Photo by Jeff Adkins

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Business Almanac


Business Climate






Economic Profile








All or part of this magazine is printed with soy ink on recycled paper containing 10% post-consumer waste.

Please recycle this magazine


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Wyoming has the most productive coal mines in the United States. With over 50 billion tons of coal reserves, Wyoming can continue to be the largest coal producing state in the nation. Mining coal in Wyoming is one of the safest industries in the state. Wyoming coal is shipped to 35 states from New York to Washington and from Minnesota to Texas.

wyoming business images


201 1 Edition , volum e 3


l i fe s t y le | w o r k s t y le | d i gg i n g d eeper | v i d eo | l i n k t o u s | a d v er t i s e | c o n ta c t u s | s i t e m a p

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Proofreading Manager Raven Petty Content Coordinator Jessica Walker Staff Writer Kevin Litwin Copy Editors Lisa Battles, Jill Wyatt Contributing writers Pamela Coyle, Bill Lewis, Kevin Litwin, Bill McMeekin, Jessica Walker, Betsy Williams Media Technology Director Christina Carden Senior Graphic Designers Laura Gallagher, Jessica Manner, Janine Maryland, Kris Sexton, Candice Sweet, Vikki Williams Media Technology Analysts Chandra Bradshaw, Lance conzett, Michele Niccore, Marcus Snyder Photography Director Jeffrey S. Otto Senior Photographers Jeff Adkins, Brian McCord Staff Photographers Todd Bennett, Antony Boshier Web Content Managers John Hood, Kim Madlom Web project manager noy fongnaly Web Design Director Franco Scaramuzza Web Designer Leigh Guarin Web Developer I Yamel Hall Ad Production Manager Katie Middendorf Ad Traffic Assistants Krystin Lemmon, Patricia Moisan I.T. Director Yancey Bond I.T. support technician bryan foriest Regional Sales Manager Chris Sweeney Sales Support/Community, Business, Custom Rachael Goldsberry Senior Accountant Lisa Owens Accounts Payable Coordinator Maria McFarland Accounts Receivable Coordinator Diana Guzman Office Manager/Accounts Receivable Coordinator Shelly Miller Integrated Media Manager David Moskovitz Sales Support Manager Cindy Hall color imaging technician alison hunter Chairman Greg Thurman President/Publisher Bob Schwartzman Executive Vice President Ray Langen Senior V.P./Sales Todd Potter, Carla Thurman Senior V.P./Operations Casey Hester Senior V.P./Client Development Jeff Heefner V.P./external communications Teree Caruthers V.P./Custom Publishing Kim Newsom V.P./Visual Content Mark Forester V.P./Content Operations Natasha Lorens V.P./Sales Charles Fitzgibbon, Herb Harper, Jarek Swekosky Controller Chris Dudley Content Director/Travel Publications Susan Chappell Content Director/Business Publications Bill McMeekin Marketing Creative Director Keith Harris Distribution Director Gary Smith Executive Secretary Kristy Duncan Human Resources Manager Peggy Blake Receptionist Linda Bishop


An online resource at

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BUSineSS imAgeS


Brain Stormers Entrepreneurial spirit remains exciting here

America’s Fuel

State stokes the nation’s coal industry

What’s Online

Learn some unique facts and figures about Wyoming in a quick video.

Lifestyle Find out what it’s like to live here and what makes the state such a special place to be.

Unparalleled Beauty, Unrivaled Opportunity SpOnSOred By the WyOming BUSineSS COUnCiL | 2011 WyOmingBUSineSS.Org

Read the magazine on your computer, zoom in on articles and link to advertiser websites. News and Notes >> Our editors give you the Inside Scoop on the latest development and trends across the state.

Workstyle A spotlight on innovative companies that call the state home

success breeds success >> Meet the people who set the pace for business innovation. Dig Deeper >> Plug into the state with links to local websites and resources to give you a big picture of the region. Data Central >>

Wyoming Business Images is published annually by Journal Communications Inc. and is distributed through the Wyoming Business Council. For advertising information or to direct questions or comments about the magazine, contact Journal Communications Inc. at (615) 771-0080 or by e-mail at

A wealth of demographic and statistical information puts the entire state at your

For more information, contact: Wyoming Business Council 214 W. 15th St. • Cheyenne, WY 82002 Phone: (307) 777-2800 • Fax: (307) 777-2838

Visit Wyoming Business Images online at ©Copyright 2011 Journal Communications Inc., 725 Cool Springs Blvd., Suite 400, Franklin, TN 37067, (615) 771-0080. All rights reserved. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without written consent. Member Member

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See the Video Our award-winning photographers give you a virtual tour of unique spaces, places and faces.

guide to services >> Links to a cross section of goods and services special to the state

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Unparalleled Beauty, Unrivaled Opportunity Wyoming makes it easy to work where you want to live


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Wyoming’s quality of life allows you to be part of a crowd only when you want to be, and its residents enjoy freedom from high crime, the pressures of big cities, traffic jams, and noise and air pollution. The New West of Wyoming offers you the space to grow and thrive. Wyoming is often called the first state in outdoor America. From the thrill-seeker to the nature lover, Wyoming has something to please everyone, including two fantastic national parks and a dozen state parks. From its broad high plains to its soaring mountains, from its storied frontier past to its role in the ancient histories of native peoples, the Western spirit thrives to this day in the Cowboy State.

to enjoy higher earnings, the lack of an individual income tax contributes to the state’s lower cost of labor. Wyoming has ranked No. 1 for business-friendly taxation on the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index every year from 2003 to 2008. The state ranked third on the 2010 Pollina Corporate Real Estate Top 10 Pro Business States list. The Tax Foundation ranked Wyoming third on its Top Business Tax Climate Index and third for lowest state and local tax burden among all states. 24/7 Wall St. named Wyoming the nation’s Best-Run State based on a comprehensive analysis of state financial management data, and its property taxes are among the lowest in the country.

Wyoming offers a bounty of advantages for business relocation and expansion, unparalleled natural beauty and a quality of life that gives you the freedom to work where you want to live. Though it is a state of wide-open spaces, Wyoming boasts a superior transportation system, cutting-edge health providers, communities with the latest technological and communications infrastructure, and renowned educational assets, including the University of Wyoming and a statewide network of community colleges. Among Wyoming’s key benefits is a highly advantageous tax structure. Wyoming does not have corporate, inventory or personal income taxes. Besides allowing business owners

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Wyoming Economic Development Contacts Wyoming Business Council Cheyenne, WY (307) 777-2800 Big Horn County Economic Development Inc. Basin, WY (307) 568-3055 Big Horn Mountain Country Coalition Kaycee, WY (307) 738-2269 Campbell County Economic Development Corp. Gillette, WY (307) 307-686-2603 Carbon County Economic Development Commission Rawlins, WY (307) 324-3836 Casper Area Economic Development Alliance Casper, WY (307) 577-7011 Cheyenne LEADS Cheyenne, WY (307) 638-6000 Cokeville Development Corp. Cokeville, WY (307) 279-3227 Converse Area New Development Organization Douglas, WY (307) 358-2000

Forward Sheridan Sheridan, WY, (307) 673-8004 Glenrock Economic Development Corp. Glenrock, WY (307) 436-9294 x314 Goshen County Economic Development Torrington, WY, (307) 532-5162 Green River Futures Green River, WY (307) 875-4509 IDEA Inc. Riverton, WY (307) 856-0952 Town of LaBarge LaBarge, WY (307) 386-2676 Town of LaGrange LaGrange, WY (307) 834-2466 City of Lander Lander, WY (307) 332-2870 Laramie Economic Development Corp. Laramie, WY (307) 742-2212 LEADER Corp. Lander, WY (307) 332-5181 Lovell Inc. Lovell, WY (307) 548-6707

Dubois Volunteers Inc. Dubois, WY (307) 455-2041

North East Wyoming Economic Development Coalition Gillette, WY (307) 686-3672

City of Evantson Evanston, WY (307) 783-6309

Northern Arapaho Economic Development Committee Arapahoe, WY (307) 857-3868

Forward Cody Cody, WY (307) 587-3136

Pine Haven Economic Development Board Pine Haven, WY (307) 756-3279

Town of Pinedale Pinedale, WY (307) 367-4136 Platte County Economic Development Wheatland, WY (307) 322-4232 Powell Valley Chamber Powell, WY (307) 754-3494 City of Rawlins Rawlins, WY (307) 321-0348 South Lincoln County Economic Development Corp. Diamondville, WY (307) 877-9781 Star Valley Chamber Afton, WY (307) 885-2759 Sweetwater Economic Development Association Rock Springs, WY (307) 352-6874 Thermopolis-Hot Springs County Economic Development Co. Thermopolis, WY (307) 864-2348 Uinta County Economic Development Commission Evanston, WY (307) 783-0378 Washakie Development Association Worland, WY (307) 347-8900 Wind River Development Fund Fort Washakie, WY (307) 335-7330 Town of Wright Wright, WY (307) 464-1666 i m a g e sw y o m i n g . co m


Visitor-Friendly, Eco-Friendly


A Marvelous Spot for the Moondance The fabled Moondance Diner in Manhattan was slated for the wrecking ball before efforts by noted preservationist Michael Perlman led to the American Diner Museum’s nationwide campaign to find a buyer. For $7,500 Vince and Cheryl Pierce bought the Moondance. Vince and Cheryl’s father, Kent Profit, loaded the diner on a flatbed and drove the Moondance more than 2,400 miles to LaBarge, Wyo., population 431.

The new Northeast Wyoming Welcome Center near Sundance was designed to be a zero-net energy facility, meaning it will generate as much energy as it uses, and likely more. The building’s primary source of power is a 50-kilowatt array of photovoltaic panels mounted to its roof. The primary source of winter heating and summer cooling is a series of 14 geothermal wells. The geothermal system functions year round to transfer heat between the building and the wells. Automated window ventilation systems, passive shading, and highly insulated walls and roof round out the integrated energy efficiency. Inside, the gallery space includes story lines that depict Wyoming’s heritage in wildlife, ranching, rodeo, mining and outdoor recreation, all illustrated with regional events. A centerpiece of the gallery is the ancient wildlife display, dominated by a life-size replica of Kelsey, the 65 million-year-old triceratops found near Newcastle.

The couple spent more than 18 months on renovations, using original Moondance blueprints, salvaging what they could of the old structure and incorporating it into a new building framework that can withstand Wyoming’s winters. The interior retains the art deco stainless-steel look of the original Moondance. The diner offers a menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and it was named one of the nation’s 51 greatest burger joints by USA Today in fall 2010. For more, go to

Small Town, Big Chili Chugwater Chili Corp. started in June 1986, when five farm and ranch families purchased the Wyoming State Championship Chili Recipe and turned it into a “forprofit” enterprise to help boost the business fortunes of Chugwater, a town of about 250 people 45 miles north of Cheyenne. From humble beginnings in a home basement for an office and a ranch bunkhouse for packaging, the company now sells its chili blends, jellies, rubs, dips and dressings, as well as teas, jerky products, quilts and kitchen wares online. And for those who venture to Chugwater, the company welcomes visitors to stop in for a free taste of its products. Go to for more.



Lumbering into a New Opportunity Centennial Woods in Laramie has been satisfying a growing market for recycled lumber and green building products by dismantling old snow fencing. Wyoming maintains about 200 miles of 16-foot-tall snow fencing, installed in windy areas to prevent snow from drifting onto highways. The company has secured maintenance contracts from the state to replace weathered boards on miles of snow fence with new lumber. Centennial reclaims about 20 to 25 miles of snow fence each year, trims the boards to remove rot and sells them to customers around the United States. Formerly discarded as waste, the old lumber is now sold to builders, mostly for use as board-and-batten siding.

Here’s to What Ales You Who has the best beer in Pinedale, Wyo.? Brewmasters Richie Strom and Eric Berg think they’ve crafted the right answer. Their Wind River Brewing Co. crafts 13 different ales, most of them English-style and several of them award winners at national and international competitions. The brewery uses a 20-barrel small-batch system, and it notes that large-scale brewers will “spill more beer in one day than we can brew in one day.” The water Wind Rivers uses in its brewing process is from a glacier-fed lake and tests 98.9 percent pure, and the brewery does not alter or adjust the chemistry of the water. The brewery includes a restaurant with a pub-style menu that includes salads, homemade soups, appetizers and steak. Visit www.windriver for more.

Natural Leadership The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), based in Lander, builds leaders from hands-on experience. NOLS programs take people of all ages on remote wilderness expeditions – from mountaineering, rock climbing and kayaking, to rafting, sailing, skiing and horsepacking – in spectacular outdoor locales across the world, including several in Wyoming. NOLS adventurers facilitate outdoor skills development, leadership training and an environmental ethics based on “leave no trace.” Founded by legendary mountaineer Paul Petzoldt in 1965 on the banks of the Pop Agie River in the foothills of the Wind River Mountains, the nonprofit educational institution now has 14 operational bases worldwide, with courses ranging from 10 days to a full academic year, with the standard model of a 30-day expedition. For more on NOLS, go to

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555 General Brees Rd. Laramie, WY 82070 (307) 742-4164

“Shovel ready” building sites available in our Airport Business Park

Washakie County …

Come to work. Stay to play.

Imagine doing business in the place your family wants to live. Make your home where you can live, work, grow and play. Discover Washakie County, Wyoming, the most diversified economy in the state of Wyoming on a per capita basis. • Existing buildings or build-to-suit opportunities • Local and state incentives • Taxes? What taxes? • No corporate or personal state income tax • No inventory tax • World-class outdoor recreation • Fun, safe community to raise a family

BuSINESS REaDY LoTS – .61-.63 acres to be completed summer 2011. Larger lots available in Phase 2. 510 S. 15th St., Ste. C Worland, WY 82401 (307) 347-8900



Located west of Worland on 15 Mile Rd.

They Know Heavy Metal Eagle Bronze Art Foundry in Landero, Wyo., ships its sculptures all over the world. The family-owned company, founded in 1986, is involved in large and complex sculpture projects, using monumental castings in both bronze and stainless-steel alloys. Most of the sculptures from Eagle Bronze are displayed outside large buildings or in public gathering spots, such as the bronze panther statues that grace Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. For more about Eagle Bronze Art Foundry, visit the website at

Spinning a Sustainable Yarn Mountain Meadow Wool Co. in Buffalo, Wyo., produces merino wool used in knitting and weaving yarns, handspinner roving, quilt batts, felt and other products. The company, founded in 2007 by co-owners Karen Hostetler and Valerie Spanomore, emphasizes sustainable processes including washing its wool in environmentally friendly citrus-based detergents, recycling its wash water and using natural dyes. The company produces several varieties of yarn, including natural, artisan-dyed and hand-painted artisan yarn, and its products are sold at retail locations in several states. For more about Mountain Meadow Wool Co., go to

Sweet on Meeteetse Tim Kellogg started selling truffles and brownies at an Art in the Park event in Meeteetse, Wyo., in 2004. From there, his Meeteetse Chocolatier has grown into a retail and online operation based in the small community near the Shoshone National Forest. Meeteetse Chocolatier specialties include Belgian chocolates, truffles and chocolate pretzels. The company is committed to sustainability, and recycles its glass, aluminum, plastic and cardboard. The business also works with a master gardener to raise many of its herbs and spices, and uses a variety of organic ingredients in its products. For more on the company, go to

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EchoStar recently expanded its facilities in Cheyenne.



Business Climate

Expansion Plans Cost structure, power, connectivity fuel growth Story by Kevin Litwin Photography by Antony Boshier


f you are looking for a place to do business, Wyoming offers the ideal combination of a highly favorable cost structure and an unparalleled quality of life. Wyoming is one of only four other states to collect no personal and no corporate income taxes. “For companies or entrepreneurs seeking to relocate or expand their operations in Wyoming, our governor and legislators are very accessible and work hard with our communities to prepare for business growth and expansion,” says Robert Jensen, CEO of the Wyoming Business Council. The state also boasts an excellent transportation infrastructure, strong fiberoptic network, abundant low-cost power and helpful business resources, including the Wyoming Business Council, University of Wyoming, other state agencies and economic development entities that work together to help entrepreneurs, businesses and communities succeed, Jensen says. Star Power The state’s labor force has grown to 300,000, up more than 10 percent since 2000. The state’s favorable cost structure, availability of low-cost power and far-reaching broadband connectivity are paying off with new investment and job creation. EchoStar in 2010 decided to begin expanding its presence in Cheyenne by establishing a 77,000-square-foot data center adjacent to its existing satellite uplink and broadcast facility. EchoStar designs products and delivers television services for satellite and cable markets worldwide, with DISH Network being one of its largest customers. “We chose Wyoming for the great fiber optic infrastructure that crosses the state, and the

low prices for power,” says Jeff McSchooler, senior vice president of Engineering for EchoStar. “Wyoming is clean and a great place to live. Our workers can have high-tech jobs while living in a relaxing environment.” In June 2010, construction began on the National Center for Atmospheric Research supercomputer in Cheyenne. The supercomputer will give researchers a powerful tool to study climate change, air quality and severe weather. The center’s construction is valued at around $60 million, with the total investment in the project over a 20-year period reaching $500 million. “Cheyenne’s good fiber optic connectivity and low-cost power are vital to run our supercomputer, since it will run on an immense amount of electricity,” says Krista Laursen, project director for the NCARWyoming Supercomputing Center. A diversified economy Cate Street Capital opened Red Desert Water Reclamation in Rawlins, a plant that treats and purifies water used in the oil and gas extraction process. Thought Equity Motion set up operations in Laramie to digitize, deliver and monetize high-quality video content over the Internet. And PitchEngine, a company that was founded in Wyoming, is a growing and innovative leader in social media public relations and marketing. “Wyoming is also seeing a tremendous amount of growth in the clean-energy sectors and in the transportation and distribution sectors as well,” Jensen says. “Rail and business parks in Evanston, Upton, Cheyenne and Casper demonstrate that Wyoming continues to diversify its economy, and position itself to compete not only on a national level but internationally as well.”

Wyoming Gross Domestic Product • 2009 $37.54 billion • 2008 $38.58 billion • 2007 $33.27 billion • 2006 $30.72 billion • 2005 $26.23 billion

Best State Business Tax Climates Fiscal Year 2011 1. South Dakota 2. Alaska 3. Wyoming 4. Nevada 5. Florida Source: Tax Foundation

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Success Stories Written Here Wyoming’s resources create environment for entrepreneurship Story by Kevin Litwin

A n t o n y B o s h i er



Left: A signature project for Lander-based Eggli Bros. Millwork is the legislative desks in the Wyoming State Capitol. Right: Startup Wyoming Whiskey is the state’s first legal distillery.

P h o t o C o u r t e s y o f j ay m c l a u r i n


ith its numerous cost advantages, cutting-edge connectivity and communication infrastructure, access to knowledgeable workers and hassle-free quality of life, Wyoming is a natural choice for entrepreneurs who want to locate or expand a business. Wyoming was ranked among the top five entrepreneurfriendly states in 2009 by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council. And the state offers a complete line of business and entrepreneurial services through a business resource network, including the Wyoming Small Business Development Center, that provides consultation on a range of business subjects to 4,000 to 5,000 entrepreneurs each year, says Ben Avery, business and industry director with the Wyoming Business Council. The center offers assistance in areas such as preparing business plans, analyzing markets and customer bases, and understanding finances. The Business Council also provides help in accessing important trade shows to help businesses and entrepreneurs market products and services.

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A n t o n y B o s h i er

English Is Commerce Eleutian Technology, which is headquartered in Cody but has operations throughout the state, is a good example. The company utilizes high-speed Internet connections to help students in South Korea and other Asian countries learn the English language, and Eleutian has recently branched into Japan and China. “English is the global language of commerce,” says Kent Holiday, Eleutian president. “Conversational English instruction is a service that will not be outsourced from America to places like India and China. The reason for this is that students from around the world who are looking to improve their English conversational ability want to learn from an American teacher.” Eleutian now employs more than 500 English teachers and more than 40 corporate employees statewide who earn annual salaries averaging more than $50,000 per year. In Lander, Eggli Bros. Millwork manufactures highquality architectural millwork found in hospitals, schools, banks and office buildings. One of the company’s signature projects was constructing new desks for the entire Wyoming State Capitol. Whiskey and Oats Other entrepreneurial ventures that are experiencing success these days include Wyoming Whiskey, which has launched bourbon production at its new distillery in the Big Horn Basin – the first legal distillery in the state. The master distiller relocated from Kentucky to Wyoming and the distillery has initial plans to produce 1,000 barrels of Wyoming Whiskey a year. Gluten Free Oats is a company in Powell that began as a Future Farmers of America project by then-high-schoolfreshman Forrest Smith, who suffered from celiac disease. Smith began rolling and marketing gluten-free rolled oats to a local celiac support group, and today his company’s products are sold around the world. Avery adds that other entrepreneurial achievements in Wyoming are occurring in such fields as agribusiness and travel and tourism. “There are many entrepreneurial success stories in Wyoming these days, and we are obviously pleased with every one of them,” he says. “And now, the Wyoming Business Council has contracted with a Denver/New York finders company that is helping us analyze businesses throughout America that would be ideally suited for Wyoming. Our state is well on its way to creating a very diverse economy.”

Clockwise from top left: Desks in the state capitol made by Eggli Bros. Millwork; Forrest Smith, founder of Gluten Free Oats; Teaching students in Korea via Skype at Eleutian Technology; Corn, wheat and malted barley used at Wyoming Whiskey in Kirby.



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P h o t o C o u r t e s y o f j ay m c l a u r i n

A n t o n y B o s h i er

Novel Notion

Local manufacturers find uncommon product niches

Story by Betsy Williams

A Real Shocker It can take a minimum of 8,000 hours of apprenticeship training and four years of classroom time to become a licensed journeyman electrician, and since 1965, hundreds of Wyoming workers have been certified as such through the Wyoming Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Program. The program is a cooperative training effort between the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and locals of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), whose jurisdictions cover all of Wyoming. Visit for more.




yoming has attracted remarkable manufacturing and business concerns with its favorable cost structure and access to transportation networks. For LBI Renewable (formerly Little Bits Inc.), it took the daughter of owners Joseph and Shelly St. Pierre bringing home a white cat to launch the Buffalo business. The retired couple – Joseph a veteran and Shelly from manufacturing and accounting – named the white ball of fur Little Bit and started a kitty litter company in his name three years ago. “When we began this, we wanted to make a product that would be healthy for our cat and the consumer that also kills odors and would be environmentally friendly,” Joe says.

From Earth to Earth A soft economy almost meant the end of LBI, but an oil spill, a little help and Shelly’s penchant for money management soon turned the cat litter manufacturer into LBI, a developer of toxic substance bioremediation products. “One day we had a spill of oil in the plant, and we cleaned it up with our litter,” Joe says. “We started looking at manufacturing an environmentally friendly spill absorbent. It exploded and moved us in a new direction, helping us to grow into a viable and muchneeded industry.” Marketed under the DualZorb, PondZorb, DrainZorb and AcidZorb names, the patentpending products are made completely of beetle-kill lodge pole pines. Company research shows that they absorb petroleum hydrocarbons, remediate contaminated soils on site, suppress hazardous fumes and are 100 percent biodegradable. “We take a product that would have rotted in the forest and now we’re cleaning the environment with the environment,’” Joe says. Duration, the cat litter, is still part of the product line, a green litter that works so well it

can be used as garden mulch after the cat has finished with it. In Casper, Defense Technology makes so-called less-than-lethal products, including gas canisters, chemical grenades and rubber bullets for self defense for the police and military markets. In Freedom, Freedom Arms manufacturers a variety of revolvers and accessories. Byan Systems in Lusk develops and makes hydraulic gate components used for commercial and residential applications. Its products are in place in the gates in front of the White House. And in a state known for its open spaces and outdoor splendor, it’s no surprise to find Riverton-based Brunton, which makes a range of outdoor products, from cooking gear, to compasses, binoculars and portable power devices. Bridging the gap In 2008, Mike Lilygren, Brendon Weaver and Cade Maestas combined their retail and manufacturing backgrounds with their love of the outdoors to form Lander-based Bridge Outdoors, a wholesaler and product developer of outerwear, outdoor equipment and accessories focusing on the smaller retailer and conservation organizations. “We saw the major brands focusing on the big-box stores,” explains Lilygren. “They were cutting prices and building products specifically for them and pushing the small retailers to the side. We realized with our expertise we could work with the small independents and help them get their names on their products.” Why Lander? “I’ve lived lots of places,” Lilygren says, “but Wyoming appeals to me because of its pace and people. From a business standpoint, the tax structure works well with no individual or corporate income tax, shipping costs are contained and the work ethic is very strong.”

A n t o n y B o s h i er

Most folks may not know what trona is, but they are very familiar with what it can become: baking soda. Church & Dwight, one of the nation’s oldest manufacturing companies, has been mining and manufacturing Sweetwater County’s seemingly endless Green River Basin trona deposits since 1967 under the iconic Arm & Hammer label, employing almost 200 people in a 500,000-squarefoot facility. The sodium bicarbonate produced from this raw material is used in a number of household products, such as laundry detergent, carpet deodorizer and more. With five area manufacturers, the trona industry has become a major economic base for Sweetwater County. Experts predict that the Green River basin is large enough to meet the entire world’s needs for soda ash and sodium bicarbonate for thousands of years.

A n t o n y B o s h i er

A n t o n y B o s h i er

P h o t o C o u r t e s y o f s a fa r i l a n d

P h o t o C o u r t e s y o f L ee k j o s

Soda, anyone?

Clockwise from top: Brunton is a company based in Riverton that makes a wide range of outdoor products; DualZorb is an organic absorbent created by LBI Renewable (formerly Little Bits Inc.), a Buffalo-based company; Defense Technology’s products are used by police and military for self-defense.

i m a g e sw y o m i n g . co m


The former Amoco administration building will house the Casper Business Innovation Center, set to open in 2012.



Refining Land in Casper Former refinery becomes a signature development Story by Betsy Williams Photography by Antony Boshier


4,000-acre former Amoco refinery complex in Casper is being transformed from a brownfield site into a showpiece business and recreational development that, thanks to a new marketing/development agreement and the vision of an innovation center, is only gaining more traction. The Amoco Reuse Agreement Joint Powers Board (JPB) has signed a 25-year agreement with Jona Inc. to improve and market the BP-owned Platte River Commons and Salt Creek Heights.

Platte River Commons Will Expand Jona will act as the developer of the property, says JPB Executive Director Alice Kraft. “This firm is more of a land management company,” she says. “If we need roads or buildings built, they will build them. The profits will be shared between the two parties. We’re also working with BP North America to get the fee simple title of Salt Creek Heights so that we can sell, rather than lease, this property.” The Commons is already home to a highend office building, the State Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, the championship Three Crowns Golf Course and a popular restaurant. More office and retail development is planned, particularly when the southwest part of the Platte River Commons is opened with better accessibility and aesthetic improvements. The Platte River offers rich recreational activities, from kayaking to fly-fishing to bird-watching.

Casper Innovation Center in 2012 JPB is also in partnership with the Casper Area Economic Development Alliance Inc. (CAEDA), a public-private economic development organization, for the development of the Casper Business Innovation Center in the historical 14,000-square-foot Amoco administration building. An additional 30,000 square feet will be added to the structure, which will be leased back to the innovation center for $1 a year. The project surpassed its $10.5 million fundraising goal; construction begins in 2011, with a targeted spring 2012 opening. “The economy of Wyoming is largely focused on energy and extractive minerals, and for many years there has been a desire to diversify the economy,” says CAEDA President and CEO Robert Barnes, CEcD. “This incubator will work toward that as a knowledge-based, general-purpose innovation center, with two wet labs, robotics labs, conference and resource rooms, and a multitude of offices.” DeAnna Adams, a member of the National Business Incubation Association, was hired in 2010 by CAEDA as the center’s director. “We are partnering with other entities in the community to establish a business accelerator that will jump-start new businesses,” Adams says. “We have so much to draw on here, from the medical community, alternative energies, robotics, and oil and gas. We will help our entrepreneurs establish good business practices, move them forward in a timely fashion and create jobs.”

About the Innovation Center • Opening spring 2012 in Platte River Commons • $11 million project; funding in place • Fertile ground of entrepreneurs in region • Fully staffed; solid cadre of services and assistance • Extensive array of supportive partners

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America’s Fuel Wyoming stokes the nation’s coal industry

Story by Bill Lewis


39,486 431,107

57,979 107,338 136,971

Coal Production by State (2009 Total in Thousands of Tons) Wyoming West Virginia Kentucky Pennsylvania Montana Indiana Texas Illinois North Dakota Colorado Source: National Mining Association

more at




ighty-five trains snake their way out of the Powder River Basin every day, each one hauling up to 15,000 tons of coal that will keep the lights on at homes and businesses across the United States and help keep Wyoming’s economy strong. Wyoming’s coal contribution to America’s energy goals can’t be overstated, says Marion Loomis, executive director of the Wyoming Mining Association. Neither can its importance to families and businesses across the state. “Wyoming’s coal industry has a major impact here and across the nation,” Loomis says. As the United States explores cleaner and greener energy sources, coal is expected to continue playing a major role thanks to new technologies being explored by the University of Wyoming and General Electric.

Abundant, Independent Energy The facts speak for themselves: • The United States has a 245-year supply of coal at current rates of use, according to the American Coal Foundation. That makes it a crucial resource in the country’s quest for independence from foreign energy sources. • Half of the country’s electricity comes from coal. More than a third of the coal used to produce electric power comes from the Powder River Basin (PRB). • PRB coal contains just a fraction of the sulfur that eastern coal contains, so it burns cleaner, helping America reach its clean air goals. “We ship Powder River Basin coal coast to coast, New York, Washington, Pennsylvania. We even ship some coal to West Virginia, a state with its own historical mining industry,” Loomis says. In Wyoming, coal doesn’t just fuel

Brian McCord

29,945 33,748 35,093 35,655

Powder River Basin coal plant in Gillette.

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S ta ff P h o t o J eff A d k i n s

S ta ff P h o t o

power stations. It powers the economy, Loomis says. • The mining industry paid the local, state and federal government taxes, royalties and fees of $1.8 billion in 2009. • 7,285 people are employed in Wyoming’s coal mining industry. • With an average wage of $20 to $25 per hour, the industry has a direct payroll of $730 million, including benefits. • Up to 21,855 additional workers have jobs thanks to the mining industry’s economic impact. Each mining job creates up to three additional jobs, Loomis says. L&H Industrial After-Market Parts Two hundred of those spinoff jobs are at the Gillette headquarters of L&H Industrial, a major after-market supplier of rebuilt and replacement mining industry parts. The company has an additional 200 employees at locations worldwide. “Coal built our company, and L&H helped build coal,” Vice President Jeff Wandler says. “I think coal is going to be here as long as people want energy. I don’t see any alternative to it.”


High Plains Coal Gasification To ensure that Wyoming coal remains a viable energy source in the future, GE Energy and the University of Wyoming have partnered to research advanced coal gasification technologies. Together they are developing the High Plains





2009 2008 2007


2006 2005 2004

Wyoming Coal Production by Year (In Thousands of Tons)

2003 2002 2001


capturing carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants and other industrial facilities and storing it deep underground. Managers of the multiyear, $17 million research project are conducting tests and preparing models to see if deep saline reservoirs in a geologic site known as the Rock Springs Uplift are suitable for deep CO2 storage (13,000 feet underground) says Ron Surdam, director. Storing CO2 securely underground will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, says Surdam, a goal that for Wyoming is “particularly important to the viability of the state’s energy industries.”

2000 1999 1998


Gasification-Advanced Technology Center in Laramie County. The $100 million to $120 million research and technology center will explore methods of using Wyoming coal to produce electricity, hydrogen, chemicals and other forms of energy while virtually eliminating air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Scientists and engineers at the Wyoming Carbon Management Institute are actively researching geologic storage of carbon dioxide, another promising method of making fossil fuels greener energy sources. Geologic storage involves

1997 1996 1995

Left and middle: Nearly 40 percent of the nation’s coal comes from Wyoming. Right: Wyoming coal.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy

Underground Economy Mining industry creates opportunities for supplier businesses


n a state that produces nearly 40 percent of the nation’s coal, Wyoming has created significant opportunities for companies that serve its active mining sector. About 7,000 Wyoming workers are employed in the state’s mining industry and an estimated 18,000 jobs are connected to servicing that industry, supplying everything from communications to explosives. For more than 40 years, Wyoming Machinery Company has been the premiere Caterpillar dealer in Wyoming, offering a complete line

of Caterpillar equipment as well as an extensive fleet of used machines for sale or rent. Its Equipment Management Solutions department (EMS) assists in the growing technical needs of customers, and the Parts Department carries a massive inventory of on-the-shelf Caterpillar parts. The company delivers daily throughout its 16-county Wyoming territory. The company, with locations in Cheyenne, Casper and Gillette is moving forward with plans to open a fourth full-service location in a high-

traffic, heavy industrial area of Rock Springs. It is the company’s first completely new location in 20 years. The company says the new location will be uniquely suited to provide products and service to oil and gas customers in southwest Wyoming, as well as additional on-highway truck opportunities and construction industry support. Wyoming Machinery is also a large employer in the state, with a workforce of around 650, including about 340 at its 170,000-squarefoot complex in Casper.

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Wyoming Machinery Co. sells, services and rents Caterpillar products for the mining industry.

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Sweet Science Wyoming project uses sugar cane waste to make ethanol

Story by Pamela Coyle Photography by Antony Boshier


n ndustrial demonstration plant in Upton is converting sugar cane waste into ethanol in a project that connects Wyoming to Brazil, home to the world’s most developed ethanol and sugar industries and a huge sugar and ethanol exporter. The partnership between Petrobras America Inc., a subsidiary of Brazil’s state-run oil company, and KL Energy Corp., an innovator in second-generation biomass conversion and biofuel technology, aims to test, demonstrate and refine technology to make ethanol from sugar cane bagasse, the waste created when sugar cane is processed into sugar. The plant began converting bagasse, which is shipped from Louisiana, in March 2011. As a feedstock for conversion, bagasse has some advantages over other cellulosic materials, says Peter Gross, CEO of KL Energy. “The main advantage is that it is readily available in very large quantities,” Gross says. “And it is different than other materials in that it is preprocessed. It is much easier to handle with no additional logistics costs.”

Waste Matter Plentiful Bagasse, left over from cane stalk after sucrose is pressed out, accounts for onequarter of raw sugar cane, in wet weight. Most modern sugar cane mills have a large excess of it, says Gross, and there are two possible applications: burning it to produce electricity

sold to the grid or converting it to ethanol.” For example, a large sugar cane mill in Brazil will have more than 100,000 dry tons of bagasse available each year, which can produce 10 million gallons of ethanol a year, says Gross. Petrobras has had its own pilot plant in Brazil since 2007, but the Wyoming project is part of an “industrial validation” to demonstrate commercial viability. Both companies have begun engineering work on South America’s first commercial bagasse-to-ethanol project that will be integrated with one of the 10 sugarcane mills operated by Petrobras in Brazil. The plant, designed for a 100,000 dry ton per year capacity, is slated to open in 2013. The Brazilian company estimates cellulosic ethanol could boost its ethanol output by up to 40 percent, without expanding land under sugarcane crop and further shrinking the carbon footprint from its sugarcane mills.

find out more Petrobras America Inc. A subsidiary of Brazil’s state-run oil company KL Energy Corporation An innovator in biofuel processing

Bagasse Now, Pulp Next KL Energy’s existing demonstration project in Upton is what got the attention of Petrobras, which is investing $11 million to upgrade the facility as well as to conduct joint R&D and industrial validation programs. The Upton plant has been in operation since 2008, making ethanol in small batches from woody biomass, mainly forest debris. After the bagasse phase, in June 2011, the same facility will process diverse wood byproducts from the i m a g e sw y o m i n g . co m




pulp and paper industry. Linda Harris, executive director of the Northeast Wyoming Economic Development Coalition, says the plant has produced jobs, revenue and attention for the region, where interest in biofuels and other energy projects, including coal gasification, is growing. “It gets the community noticed,” Harris says. The area’s abundance of Ponderosa Pine feedstock made Upton a good location for the first demonstration project, and the bagasse conversion is considered a secondgeneration process. The agreement between KL Energy and Petrobras also gives the Brazilian company the option to license KL Energy’s technology. Brazil has the world’s largest and most sophisticated ethanol market, but the research from Upton will have far broader reach. “Whatever we learn now can be applied in the U.S.,” Gross says.

CELLULOSIC bioFUEL what is it? The official definition of cellulosic biofuel is renewable fuel derived from any cellulose, hemicellulose, or lignin each of which must originate from renewable biomass. Cellulose is the most common organic compound on the planet and the main component of plant cell walls. Such material used in production of cellulosic ethanol includes corn stover, rice straw, wood chips, bagasse, and “energy crops” of fast-growing trees and grasses planted specifically for fuel conversion, such as switch grass. SOURCE: Renewable Fuels Association

Lighter Than Air Helium facility uses new technology, leaves smaller footprint High in the Wyoming mountains, about 15 miles west of Big Piney, a $350 million project is preparing to produce liquid helium for multiple high-tech applications. The Riley Ridge Field is one of the largest natural gas fields with abundant helium in the United States. Cimarex Energy Co., which is building the plant, will extract helium by processing natural gas and, using new technology, separating liquid hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide from the gas stream and re-injecting the waste material back underground. The design aims for minimal impact, will produce virtually zero carbon emissions and involve no ponds or storage reservoirs for water that is produced. “I grew up hunting and camping here, as did my father,” says Scott Stinson, project manager of the Riley Ridge Madison Gas Development Project. “We are very proud that we took landowners’ concerns into consideration.” Don Stinson, Scott’s father, is a former chemical engineering professor who started the University

of Wyoming’s petroleum engineering department in the 1960s. He came up with the new plant’s design and has testified about it at regulatory hearings. Production at the new plant, at an elevation of about 8,800 feet in Sublette County, is expected to start in October 2011. The plant has the potential to scale from 100 million cubic feet of gas each day to produce

200 million cubic feet of gas each day. The major commercial use for liquid helium is to cool magnets in MRI machines. The material also is used in the space program to test for leaks and to grow silicon crystals in an inert environment. “This is an extremely long-term asset that will produce constantly for 50 years,” Scott Stinson says. – Pamela Coyle

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Major Business Connections Road, rail, air, communications link Wyoming to the world



Story by Bill McMeekin Photography by Antony Boshier


sophisticated transportation infrastructure, a phalanx of major industrial parks and a highly developed high-speed communications network keep Wyoming connected. Interstate 25 is a north-south corridor that links Casper and Cheyenne to Denver and Albuquerque, and provides access to the Southwest. Midwest markets are within easy reach via I-80, which passes through population centers Cheyenne, Laramie, Rawlins, Rock Springs, Green River and Evanston, and is a gateway to Utah, Nevada and California. I-90 runs along the northern section of Wyoming through Gillette and Sheridan, connecting the state to the upper Midwest and northwest markets.

Wyoming’s Air – and rail – force The state has 36 airports, including 10 with commercial service to airline hubs such as Denver and Salt Lake City. In Cody, a $12.5 million, LEED-certified passenger terminal opened at Yellowstone Regional Airport. Burlington Northern/Santa Fe and Union Pacific provide Class I rail service with lines that crisscross the state. In Laramie, the Laramie Economic Development Corp. plans to create a 5.6-acre transit site with rail access for local businesses. Wyoming Moves the Goods Transportation and warehousing is among the fastest-growing employment sectors in the state. In fall 2010, it employed more than 16,000 people in Wyoming. Sierra Trading Post, a catalog and online closeout retailer in Cheyenne, ships 8 million

pieces of merchandise from Wyoming. Home improvement chain Lowe’s supplies stores within a 600-mile radius from a facility in Cheyenne. And Walmart, whose distribution facility in Cheyenne serves three states, added 100 jobs to its nearly 600-member workforce in 2010. Wyoming is home to a number of major industrial parks, and almost every county in the state has at least one such development. The Casper Logistics Hub includes the CTRAN rail yard and transloading facility. Cheyenne’s industrial parks include the Cheyenne Business Parkway and North Range Business Park. Smaller communities offer high-level developments, too. Gillette has at least eight business or industrial parks with 50 acres or more, such as Gillette Energy Park. Upton in eastern Wyoming has the Upton Regional Industrial Park. Broadband Keeps state Connected Wyoming invested $29 million in a statewide high-speed telecommunications network, the Wyoming Equality Network, to connect the state’s public schools to additional teaching and information resources. And communications technology has bred some homegrown success stories. Freedom-based Silver Star Communications offers mobile, Internet and wireless services in Star Valley, Jackson Hole, Swan Valley and Teton Valley. And Union Wireless in Mountain View provides a range of telecom services, from high-speed Internet to cable television to mobile service, for customers in Wyoming, northwestern Colorado and parts of Utah.

Wyoming Transportation 36

airports in the state, including 10 with commercial service


workers in Wyoming in the Transportation and Warehousing sector


major interstates – I-25, I-80 and I-90 – that pass through Wyoming


miles of interstate highway in Wyoming

An American Airlines jet at Cheyenne Regional Airport.

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H 36



A Healthy Economy Network of hospitals keep care accessible for Wyoming residents Story by Jessica Walker


ffering quality care, advanced technology and the latest medical treatments, Wyoming’s hospitals serve their communities and enhance the state’s workforce. The state is home to 29 hospitals, with 22 owned by a county or special district, and 15 are designated Critical Access Hospitals, which work to provide health care in rural areas. Each year, these hospitals serve nearly 37 million patients, with an additional 117 million individuals treated in the state’s emergency rooms.

centers of care, Services Two of the larger hospitals in Wyoming, Cheyenne Regional Medical Center and Wyoming Medical Center, work to provide patients with a wide range of services. “These two are fullscale regional medical centers,” says Neil A. Hilton, Wyoming Hospital Association vice president. Cheyenne Regional, which began in 1867 to treat injured railroad workers constructing the Union Pacific Railroad, offers services in a variety of areas, such as cardiovascular, cancer, neurosciences, trauma and weight loss.

In addition, this medical center is among the top eight percent of hospitals in the nation that provide cardiac patients with angioplasties within 90 minutes of arriving at the ER. Located in Casper, Wyoming Medical Center is a 207-bed, acute care hospital. This not-for-profit facility offers Wyoming Life Flight, the only air ambulance program in the state, and is home to two Centers of Excellence: the Heart Center of Wyoming and the Wyoming Neuroscience and Spine Institute. In locations across the state, additional facilities such as Ivinson Memorial Hospital in Laramie, Sheridan Memorial Hospital, Campbell County Memorial Hospital and St John’s Medical Center in Jackson, serve as full-service community hospitals. “Many hospitals in Wyoming have done an excellent job in securing a variety of specialized services” Hilton says, “Their strategic planning efforts and commitment to delivering highquality care is unquestionably at the core of their mission.” Wyoming hospitals have invested

heavily in transitioning to digital imaging within radiology departments, giving them the ability to digitally transmit MRI and CT scans, ultrasounds and other images. health care aids Economy The state’s community hospitals and regional medical centers also employ top-notch doctors, nurses, and professional support staff. “You can’t deliver the goods in a hospital without a rock-solid medical staff,” Hilton says. “The demands are tremendous – the personnel providing care really make an incredible commitment to their communities.” The state’s health-care system provides more than 23,000 full- and parttime jobs, with hospitals having an estimated economic impact of approximately $1.45 billion each year. Additionally, Wyoming’s health-care sector is responsible for 10.3 percent of the state’s employment, and the hospitals contribute approximately $445 million to the state’s economy annually. “Health-care services certainly go hand-in-hand with other forms of economic impact,” Hilton says.

Wyoming’s Hospitals • Carbon County Memorial Hospital, Rawlins • Cheyenne Regional Medical Center • Campbell County Memorial Hospital, Gillette • Community Hospital, Torrington • Crook County Hospital, Sundance • Elkhorn Valley Rehabilitation Hospital, Casper • Evanston Regional Hospital • Powell Valley Healthcare, Powell

• Hot Springs County Memorial Hospital, Thermopolis • Ivinson Memorial Hospital, Laramie • Johnson County Memorial Hospital, Buffalo • Memorial Hospital of Converse County, Douglas • Memorial Hospital Sheridan County, Sheridan • Memorial Hospital Sweetwater County, Rock Springs

• Lander Valley Medical Center • Niobrara Health and Life Center, Lusk • North Big Horn Hospital, Lovell • Platte County Memorial Hospital, Wheatland • St. John’s Medical Center, Jackson • South Big Horn County Hospital District, Basin • South Lincoln Medical Center, Kemmerer

• Star Valley Medical Center, Afton • Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cheyenne • Washakie Medical Center, Worland • West Park Hospital, Cody • Weston County Health Services, Newcastle • Wyoming Medical Center, Casper • Wyoming Behavioral Institute, Casper

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It Adds Up to Expansion University of Wyoming College of Business gets $54M upgrade

Story by Kevin Litwin Photography by Antony Boshier


ne of the state’s major business assets is the University of Wyoming, a powerhouse in research and a provider of knowledgeable workers for Wyoming businesses. One of the university’s major components, the College of Business, recently underwent a complete renovation of its existing 53,000 square-foot structure, plus added 112,000 square feet of new construction. The revitalized College of Business reopened its doors in August 2010 in time for the new academic year. “This new facility will help our students achieve their goals and has

been made possible by the extraordinary generosity of the Wyoming State Legislature,” says Tom Buchanan, University of Wyoming president. Under One Roof, And Beyond The renovation and expansion reunited the college’s academic departments, which were in two different locations prior to the project. The construction project is also benefitting the college and state in a number of other ways. “While the upgraded building is an integral part of the UW campus, its benefits are not limited by our

geographical borders,” says Brent Hathaway, College of Business dean. “The building’s technological advancements allow us to teach students here or throughout the state by using distance education capabilities such as online education and two-way video conferencing.” even a stock ticker The building on UW’s impressive Laramie campus features amenities such as a trading room, behavioral and multimedia laboratories, an executive boardroom, conference and seminar rooms, an auditorium and the latest wired and wireless technologies. Those

Wyoming’s Public Colleges and Universities Casper College Casper

Eastern Wyoming College Torrington

Northern Wyoming Comm. College Sheridan

University of Wyoming Laramie

Central Wyoming College Riverton

Laramie County Community College Cheyenne

Northwest College Powell

Western Wyoming Comm. College Rock Springs

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technologies include high-definition playback and projection systems in each classroom, a video production and editing facility, and video conferencing capabilities. The centerpiece of the revamped College of Business is the Jonah Bank Atrium, which serves as a gathering spot for students and faculty, a site for hosting events, and a prominent display area for recognizing the achievements of the college’s faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends. The atrium is also equipped with a wall-to-wall stock ticker. “The College of Business now has a facility that better reflects the excellence of our faculty, programs and students,” Hathaway says. “It meets the educational needs of our 1,300 business majors, plus the 1,250 non-business students enrolled in business classes.” Think green thoughts Sustainability was at the top of the agenda during the building process. For example, 95 percent of old material was recycled to divert it from landfills, and 10 percent of the new building is made of recycled content. “The university has made great strides during the last several years in construction processes to meet LEED standards,” Hathaway says.

Jonah Bank Atrium at the The University of Wyoming’s Collge of Business.

University of Wyoming College of Business facts and figures Founded: 1899 Business majors: 1,300 Non-business student enrollment: 1,250 Academic departments: Accounting, Economics and Finance, Management and Marketing Majors: Accounting, Business Administration, Economics, Finance, Management and Marketing. The College offers curricula in areas such as business administration, banking and financial services, entrepreneurship, international business and marketing communications. Advanced degrees: MBA, master’s degrees in Accounting, Economics, Finance and doctorates in Economics and in Marketing Facilities: The College of Business added 112,000 square feet of classroom and meeting space to its 53,000-square-foot main building in August 2010. Facilities include a trading room, behavioral and multi-media laboratories, an executive boardroom, conference and seminar rooms and an auditorium, the latest wired and wireless technologies including high-definition playback and projection systems in each classroom, a video production and editing facility, video conferencing capabilities, financial data feeds and a stock ticker in the atrium.



Fueled by Innovation Institute’s works lead to energy breakthroughs Coal, oil shale, tar sand, unconventional fuels, refinery efficiency, biomass gasification and thermo-chemical production are all energy systems that make up a big part of Wyoming’s industry and economy. Western Research Institute, located on the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie, is a not-for-profit organization that focuses on advancements in energy systems, environmental technologies and highway materials research. The institute prides itself on dealing with real-world, on-the-ground conditions.

They’re There to Research WRI was founded in 1983, and its team of researchers is often contacted by private-sector businesses, government entities and research organizations across the globe to provide advice on a variety of energy issues. WRI officials offer expertise in the fields of chemical, petroleum and environmental engineering, as well as organic, physical, analytical and inorganic chemistry, and geology and soil science. Two organizations that Western Research Institute is working closely with in 2011 are the U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Highway Administration. WRI researchers are collaborating with the FHA on research that will ultimately lead to safer, longer-lasting roads. WRI already has an internationally recognized asphalt research program that studies the chemical and physical properties of asphalts, and their performance in pavements over time. Though the WRI’s headquarters is on the University of Wyoming campus, it also operates a 22-acre Advanced Technology Center just north of Laramie that provides additional laboratories, plus pilot facilities and room for new development. – Kevin Litwin

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Checking Into History Wyoming offers a suite of landmark lodgings

Story by Kevin Litwin

everyday folks – they all stayed at our historic Wyoming hotels.” Some of the most interesting venues still exist today. Elk Mountain Hotel Elk Mountain debuted in 1905 and was completely restored in 2002. It is nestled between Laramie and Rawlins just off Interstate 80, at an elevation of 7,264 feet. The 12-bedroom hotel is renowned for its food, thanks to co-owner Susan Prescott-Havers, a Cordon Bleu chef trained in Paris. Historic Plains Hotel Historic Plains Hotel across the street from the Union Pacific Depot in

The morning sun illuminates the front of the historic Sheridan Inn on North Broadway.



downtown Cheyenne has been around since 1911 and was a favorite of presidents, movie stars and cattle ranchers. The building was renovated in 2003 and is adorned with Western artwork and cowboy high-style décor. Also on-site is The Capital Grille. Irma Hotel The Irma, built in Cody in 1902, was owned by town father William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, who named the hotel for his daughter, Irma. Guests today can even stay in Buffalo Bill’s private suite, and the cherry wood bar in the lobby – a gift from England’s Queen Victoria – is one of the most photographed spots in town. J eff A d k i n s


yoming has heritage links to westward expansion, the birth of the railroads, cattle, commodities and minerals. It is also home to a roster of historic hotels that played host to some of the most famous – and sometimes infamous – names of the 19th and 20th centuries. Those names include Butch Cassidy, Buffalo Bill, Calamity Jane, Teddy Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover and Ernest Hemingway. “The historic hotels each represent different pieces in the story of building the West,” says Jim Osterfoss, president of Cheyenne-based Historic Hotels of the Rockies. “Cattle barons, railroaders, gold rushers, outlaws and

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Nagle Warren Mansion Bed & Breakfast The Nagle Warren Mansion was built in 1888 by Erasmus Nagle, and eventually became the home of Senator Francis E. Warren, who entertained the likes of Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and William Taft. Today, the AAA 4 Diamond awardwinning bed and breakfast in downtown Cheyenne has been fully restored to its original glory.

Sheridan Inn The Sheridan opened in 1893 when Buffalo Bill Cody established it as the first property in his W.F. Cody Hotel Co. Today, the Sheridan Inn hosts the 1893 Grille and Spirits restaurant on its completely restored first floor. A fundraising effort is currently under way to renovate the

inn’s second and third floors, which will eventually feature 22 rooms. Hotel Wolf Hotel Wolf in downtown Saratoga is on the National Register of Historic Places, having opened on New Year’s Eve in 1893. Built by German immigrant Frederick G. Wolf for $6,000, the 2.5-story Victorian-style structure has been the anchor for downtown Saratoga for 118 years. The rooms are known for their comfort while the Hotel Wolf Restaurant is acclaimed for its fine dining at competitive prices.

p h o t o s b y A n t o n y B o s h i er

Occidental Hotel & Restaurant The Occidental in Buffalo, Wyo., dates to the late 1800s, and current

owners John and Dawn Wexo purchased the building in 1997 to begin a 10-year restoration process. The couple kept interesting items such as embossed tin ceilings, several antique chairs and 23 bullet holes in the saloon.

Top left: Historic Plains Hotel in Cheyenne. Top middle: Occidental Hotel in Buffalo. Top right: The lobby of the Occidental Hotel.



Devil’s Tower National Monument.

Brian McCord

Room to Roam Wyoming recreation appeals to busy bodies Wyoming is home to some of the nation’s most beloved outdoor natural treasures – Yellowstone, Devil’s Tower, Grand Teton and Shoshone National Forest. Outdoor adventurers and enthusiasts also have several other recreational endeavors to enjoy.

Whitewater Rafting One of the most exciting summer activities in all of Wyoming is going whitewater rafting on the Snake River in Jackson Hole. The river narrows just south of town, and the whitewater will undoubtedly create a day of thrills for all rafting participants. The state is home to thousands of miles of cross-country skiing trails. Downhill skiing, sleigh rides and dogsled tours are also abundant, especially in the northwest region,

such as Grand Teton National Park, where snowfalls may total more than 400 inches per season, and Jackson offers some of the nation’s best skiing at its numerous resorts.

venues is Cheyenne Country Club, which spans 6,619 yards over 18 holes. A challenging and scenic public course is Three Crowns Golf Club in Casper, which measures 7,065 yards.

Camping/Hiking/Nature Loving


Wyoming is a virtual paradise for anyone who loves to hike and camp. Top venues to visit include Big Horn Mountains, Bridger-Teton National Forest, Curt Gowdy Trail, Green River Lakes, New Fork Lakes, Glendo State Park and, of course, Yellowstone National Park.

Golf There are 70 golf courses to choose from in Wyoming, with a majority of them in the cities of Cheyenne, Casper, Jackson, Sheridan, Gillette and Laramie. One of the nicest private

More than 50 interesting festivals occur in Wyoming each year, and the largest is Cheyenne Frontier Days. The 10-day celebration features a world-class rodeo, a Chuckwagon Cookoff, carnival midway, a Buckin’ A Saloon and concerts. The 2011 dates are July 22-31, and the concert lineup will include Kid Rock, Toby Keith, Charlie Daniels, Darius Rucker and the Zac Brown Band. For more information on outdoor recreation options in Wyoming, go to – Kevin Litwin i m a g e sw y o m i n g . co m


visit our

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“Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you’re not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were.” ~ David Rockefeller

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economic profile Business snapshot

Population 2009: 544,270 2000: 493,782 Change: 10.2 percent

Largest Cities

With its absence of personal and corporate income taxes, low energy costs, low operating costs and educated workforce, Wyoming offers significant advantages for business investment and expansion. Easy commutes, open spaces, spectacular natural resources, low crime rates and a technologically advanced infrastructure give Wyoming a superior quality of life. Wyoming offers many incentives for businesses, including excellent taxes and resources for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Cheyenne: 57,478

Union Pacific Railroad: 686

Casper: 54,874

Walmart Distribution: 680

Laramie: 28,850

National Outdoor Leadership School: 650


TIC The Industrial Co.: 600

Gross Domestic Product (2009): $37.5 billion

Key Energy: 620 General Chemical: 531

Retail sales (2008): $9 billion

Sugarland Enterprises: 480

Exports (2009): $926 million

Ivinson Memorial Hospital: 473

Major Employers Government University of Wyoming: 5,225 F.E. Warren Air Force Base: 4,410 State of Wyoming: 3,840 Campbell County School District: 2,646 Federal government: 1,747 Natrona County School District No. 1: 1,427 Laramie County School District No. 1: 1,999 Albany County Schools: 896 Uinta County School District: 885

West Park Hospital: 450

Major Industry Sectors (2009) Mining: 33% Government: 13% Real Estate and Rental and Leasing: 8% Transportation and Warehousing (Excluding Postal Service): 5% Construction: 5% All Other: 35%

Sweetwater Co. School No. 1: 720

Labor Force


Civilian labor force: 292,606

Rio Tinto Energy America: 1,795

Average annual pay: $41,487

Powder River Coal Co.: 1,459 Thunder Basin Coal Co.: 1,100 Cheyenne Regional Medical Center: 1,324 Wyoming Medical Center: 946 FMC Wyoming Corp.: 844 Campbell County Memorial Hospital: 850 Halliburton: 755 Lowe’s Cos. Distribution: 705 Sierra Trading Post: 691

Median Household Income (2008)


Per Capita Personal Income 2000: $18,742 2005: $21,122 2009: $48,178

Transportation Highways Three interstate highways cross the state: I-25, I-80 and I-90, and there are five major interstate junctions

Airports Wyoming has 36 public airports, including 10 commercial service airports, all of which connect to Denver International Airport and/ or Salt Lake International Airport. Casper provides daily flights to Minneapolis. In addition, Casper offers a Foreign Trade Zone at the Natrona County International Airport.

Rail Two Class I rail carriers: Burlington Northern Santa Fe Union Pacific Sources:

What’s Online  For more in-depth demographic, statistical and community information on Wyoming, go to and click on Economic Profile.

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Through the Lens

Get the Story Behind the Photo Now that you’ve experienced Wyoming through our photos, see it through the eyes of our photographers. Visit to view our exclusive photographers’ blog documenting what all went in to capturing those perfect moments. From Our Photo Blog: Wyoming Dinosaurs thundered across the open space of Wyoming tens of millions of years before human beings. They’re long gone now, but you can see five lifesize replicas of these hulking creatures, including this cast of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, at the WWCC Natural History Museum at Western Wyoming Community College in Rock Springs.

Posted by Staff Photographer

More Online 

See more favorite photos and read the stories behind the shots at

Motocross racers practice in Sweetwater 48


Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area

Ad Index

C2 Casper Area Economic Development Alliance Inc.

4 Cheyenne Leads

2 Cheyenne Regional Airport

1 Rocky Mountain Power

C4 University of Wyoming

46 Central Wyoming College

12 Washakie Development Association

24 Wyoming Business Council

32 Wyoming Department of Workforce Services

C3 Great Lakes Airlines

12 Laramie Regional Airport

6 Wyoming Mining Association

Business Images Wyoming 2011  

Wyoming offers a bounty of advantages for business relocation and expansion, unparalleled natural assets and a quality of life that lets the...

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