Posted by Harry Mueller

November 28, Troy McWhinney presented a summary of his economic life, especially in  Larimer County, and some of his projections of the economic future of the area. 

Growing up in Orange County, CA, he and his brother escaped household chores by starting a strawberry stand at a local shopping center, ultimately expanding to some 30 stands, all at other shopping centers.  Since agricultural enterprises were hard, dirty work whereas shopping center ownership/management was clean and probably even more profitable, they investigated getting into real estate.  At about this time, their grandmother (a descendant of John Hahn, an early Larimer county resident), who owned a relatively large farm near Loveland, CO, died.  After the City of Loveland sent a delegation to Orange County to discuss the future of that farm with them, the brothers bought the farm from the family and moved to Loveland to manage the land.  A mentor from Denver, predicting that the area would experience great growth, suggested that they buy as much farm land as possible at the prices prevalent in the early 1990s.  They were able to use available farm loans to make those purchases, expecting ultimately to develop the land, meanwhile letting their finances grow by appreciation in land value.  In the early 2000s the brothers, developing a private/public partnership with Loveland, created some $132 million in public infrastructure.  Their expectation is that there will be some $220 million in future public infrastructure associated with their developments.  Their developments currently provide some $700 million in sales taxes in the area. 

 Their prediction is that growth in the area (in both housing value/cost and salaries) will continue for the next 40 years at rates similar to the last 40 years so that their ability to contribute to and benefit from that growth will continue to grow over that period.