Monday Report - Fastest Growing Areas May 28th, 2007

Economic Notes:

This Weeks Leads:

Next Week: Anatomy of a healthy corporation continued



St. George is Ranked as the Fastest Growing Metro Area in the US

Fastest Growing Metro Areas

From 2000-2006, the St. George metro area was the fastest-growing in the nation with a growth rate of 39.8%. Greeley, Colorado ranked second with a growth rate of 31.0% followed by Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida (29.6%); Bend, Oregon (29.3%); and Las Vegas, Nevada (29.2%).

The Provo-Orem area ranked sixth with a growth rate of 25.9%.

Both the Ogden-Clearfield area and the Salt Lake City are ranked in the top 100. Ogden-Clearfield ranked 56th with a growth rate of 12.4% and Salt Lake City ranked 81st with a rate of 10.2%.

The top ten fastest- growing metro areas are all in the West (six) or the South (four). Of the top 50 fastest-growing metro areas, 23 are in the West and 25 are in the South.

Numerical Increase

The metro area with the largest numerical increase from April 1, 2000, to July 1, 2006 was the Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Georgia metro area with 890,211 new residents. Dallas-Fort Worth- Arlington, Texas ranked second with an increase of 842,449 followed by Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas (824,547); Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona (787,306); and Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, California (771,314).

The top five metro areas were all in the South or West.

In Utah, Salt Lake City ranked 37th with an increase of 98,839 from 2000-2006; Provo-Orem ranked 39th with an increase of 97,402; Ogden- Clearfield ranked 66th with an increase of 54,984; and St. George ranked 91st with an increase of 35,958.

Source: Governor's Office of Planning and Budget, 2007

RankMetro Area2000 Pop Est.July 1, 2006 Pop Est.# Change% Change
1St George, UT90,354126,3123 5,95839.8%
2Greeley, CO180,861236,857 55,99631.0%
3Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL440,888571,344 130,45629.6%
4Bend, OR115,367149,140 33,77329.3%
5Las Vegas-Paradise, NV1,375,7381,777,53929.2%
6Provo-Orem, UT376,778474,180 97,40225.9%
56Ogden-Clearfield, UT442,656497,640 54,98412.0%
81Salt Lake City, UT968,8831,067,72298,83910.2%

Fastest Growing Counties

The U.S. Census Bureau released July 1, 2006 county population estiŽmates on March 22,2007. Of the counties with a population of 10,000 or more,

Flagler County, Florida was the fastest-growing county with a population increase of 66.7% from the 2000 Census to July 1, 2006. Nine of the top-ten fastest-growing counties were located in the South or the West. Kendall County, Illinois ranked second at 61.7% followed by Rockwall County, Texas (60.5%); Loudoun County, Virginia (58.5%); Forsyth County, Georgia (53.4%); Pinal County, Arizona (51.0%); Douglas County, Colorado (50.0%); Henry County, Georgia (49.2%); Paulding County, Georgia (48.9%); and Lyon County, Nevada (48.5%).

Utah had four counties rank in the top 100 fastest growing counties in the nation.

  • Washington County had a growth rate of 39.8% from the 2000 Census to July 1, 2006 and ranked 19th in the nation.
  • Wasatch County ranked 35th,
  • Tooele County ranked 40th, and
  • Utah County ranked 84th, with growth rates of 33.1%, 31.5%, and 26.1% respecŽtively.

Largest Counties

The largest county in the nation was once again Los Angeles County, California with 9.9 million residents followed by Cook County, Illinois (5.3 million); Harris County, Texas (3.9 million); Maricopa County, Arizona (3.8 million); and Orange County, California (3.0 million).

Salt Lake County was the only county in the Utah to make the top 100 list, ranking 39th with a population of 978,701.

Salt Lake County continues to be Utah's most populous county followed by

  • Utah (464,760),
  • Davis (276,259),
  • Weber (213,247), and
  • Washington (126,312) counties.

Anatomy of a healthy corporation

How can business leaders embed "healthy" thinking in the organization?

The challenge of sustaining corporate performance has long exercised the minds of executives and management thinkers. Pioneering leaders such as GM's Alfred Sloan and IBM's Thomas Watson, who sought to create enduring institutions, have become the stuff of business legend. And scholars have spilled oceans of ink trying to explain what makes strong performance endure.

Yet many senior executives, try as they might, still find it hard to shift their attention away from today's stock price and the next set of interim results. The forbidding presence of hedge fund and private-equity investors on corporate share registers and the increasingly short tenure of CEOs have only intensified the obsession with short-term performance.

A series of articles in The McKinsey Quarterly has described the way companies can take steps today to ensure that they perform well not only this year but also in the years to come. Underlying these actions is a mental discipline founded on the simple metaphor of human health, which improves when cared for and deteriorates when neglected. Further research has deepened the understanding of what a healthy corporation looks like and, more important, what business leaders can do to embed healthy attitudes throughout their organizations.

Mental minefields

Given the familiarity of the concept of human health, why do business leaders find it so difficult to nurture health in a corporate context? At least three sets of impediments block the way.

  • The first might be called the "mindfulness" trap: the tendency to be pulled back into a short-term performance perspective by the press of daily business, much as moments of reflection at home come abruptly to a halt when the doorbell rings. Mental effort enters into the problem too: running through the remaining steps for next week's product launch is less tiring and potentially more satisfying in the short term than pondering, with all the attendant frustrations, how to build a more customer-oriented culture.
  • Then there are the cognitive traps: a preoccupation with the near-term outputs of performance and what is needed to produce them, the mistaken belief that organizational health is soft and intuitive and therefore lacking the hard-nosed rigor and precision needed to drive performance, and the easy but wrongheaded assumption that near-term performance and long- term health embody a set of trade-offs (and that the first to some extent precludes the second). Another cognitive trap-the long-term one, an insidious complement to its short-term counterpart-assumes that health problems arise in the unknown future rather than taking hold (as we know, for example, from our own cardiovascular systems) in the present.
  • Finally, there is the self-knowledge trap: our tendency to say (and believe) one thing and do another. One management scholar, Henry Mintzberg, famously demonstrated in the 1970s that managers often see themselves as strategic visionaries, though in practice they spend a remarkably small proportion of their time on anything related to strategy. Likewise, it's hard to find managers who don't acknowledge the importance of managing a company's health, and most insist that they already do so a lot even if they should be doing more. Yet when you diagnose what happens in major organizations, executives are frequently surprised by the disparity between what they think they are doing and what they actually do. The managing director of a North American chemical manufacturer we know talked a good game about regenerating and replacing assets-and then promptly promoted and lauded two site managers who had met their short-term financial targets by starving the facility of maintenance capital.

Attributes of health

What characteristics must companies have to be truly healthy? It's important for executives to develop a clear picture of what sound health really looks like before they try to embed healthy thinking in a company's processes and people. To arrive at this clear picture, we did three things. First, in an effort to mine what was already known about the question, we reviewed more than 800 empirical-research papers, journal articles, and books published from the 1950s to 2005. Second, we analyzed 60,000 responses to an organizational-health survey we have administered to employees and managers at hundreds of companies over the past five years. Last, we distilled what we learned from a series of executive forums and more than 30 in-depth interviews with functional leaders across all disciplines.

We winnowed the resulting insights to find those that had support from empirical evidence; were broadly applicable across companies, industries, and geographies; and could be acted upon in a practical way. Then we distilled the survivors into five overarching characteristics of business health: resilience, execution, alignment, renewal, and complementarity.

It's important to stress that we are not trying to claim that these five have a causal relationship with corporate health; we made no effort to isolate the five characteristics from other possible success factors, such as the macroeconomic environment, the attractiveness of different industries, or luck. We also recognize that trade-offs and tensions among the five characteristics must be managed.

Nonetheless, these characteristics represent a coherent and interrelated set of ideas. Resilience and execution can be seen as what it takes to get into a "bracing" position-the ability to withstand shocks and discontinuities. Renewal and complementarity are more associated with what sporting commentators call the "front foot": the ability to see and act proactively rather than merely react. Alignment around a common goal is desirable whether companies are in the bracing position or on the front foot.


We know that markets are unkind, customers fickle, and competitors relentless. Beyond these everyday problems, managers must contend with unpredictable and often threatening disruptions: financial-market meltdowns, extreme weather conditions, power failures, even terrorism. Healthy companies are practiced at spotting and managing key risks (including low-probability but high-impact catastrophes), and they build mechanisms and have the resources-cash reserves or backup IT systems- to get through difficult periods. Wal-Mart Stores' ability to reopen most of the 125 stores in the path of Hurricane Katrina within a few days owed much to an alternative railroad supply system, which temporarily replaced paralyzed highways, that the company had set up for just such an eventuality. Land Rover wasn't as farsighted: the British automotive company had a near brush with disaster in the 1990s, when the sole manufacturer of its chassis went bankrupt, jeopardizing more than 11,000 jobs.


Even as companies hedge against external shocks, they need to get the basics right, make good decisions, and perform essential tasks. Brilliant products, clever promotions, or surging markets can obscure sloppy execution for a while. But sooner or later, as Atari spectacularly demonstrated when it fell from grace in the mid-1980s, this kind of fragility will be exposed; the games company lost the ability to turn out high-quality products because it focused too much of its energies on marketing and cost control.

As both our experience and our reading of the academic research suggest, companies that execute well share certain attributes: distinctive capabilities, the ability to make sound and timely decisions, strong forecasting skills, and employees who understand their roles and responsibilities. Too many managers take these things for granted. A healthy company pays attention to them constantly.


Many companies seem robust in the face of external surprises and good at conducting day-to-day business, yet their managers and employees lack cohesiveness of purpose. In our experience, healthy companies, however scattered and disaggregated physically and organizationally, generally work toward a common cause. They usually achieve this kind of alignment when they sketch a compelling vision of the future for everyone connected with them-employees in particular-by articulating a shared identity that rises above individuals, functions, and business units; by reflecting stakeholder concerns in corporate values; and by reinforcing the sense of common purpose with formal mechanisms, such as performance contracts.


Healthy companies invest in their future by expanding into well-chosen markets where existing assets and competencies provide real leverage, usually with the help of a winning formula that has been honed from experience and facilitates smooth integration across the entire value chain and the efficient extraction of synergies. Nike's forays into golf, ice hockey, and soccer in the areas of footwear, sportswear, and equipment, for example, follow a pattern that the company first set with basketball.

Renewal also requires attention to softer issues, such as the ability to generate ideas and adapt to change, both culturally and strategically. Markets and industries move quickly; most companies do not. Smith Corona was a peerless and highly successful typewriter maker until the electronic age overtook it.


Continued Next Week

Source: McKinsey and Company, 2007

Developers Becoming Green??

The 2007 ICSC Spring Convention will go down as the year sustainable design went mainstream. Dozens of developers were talking of their first significant steps towards adopting green techniques in upcoming projects. And the sense of excitement about the move towards creating more environmentally-friendly projects was palpable.

ICSC was in the action itself, unveiling a Green Pavilion between the North and Central Halls that featured presentations and examples of green technologies and building techniques.

"The Green Pavilion is representative of the new focus on sustainability," says Terry Brown, CEO of Edens & Avant. "It's coming along very quickly. The hope is that we all have to find a way to make the economics work." Brown acknowledged that Edens & Avant is exploring how it can incorporate these strategies in its ongoing development and redevelopment efforts.

And there are tons of examples of projects to pick from. For example, regional mall REIT Macerich Co. is working on a sustainable redevelopment of an existing property called Santa Monica Place from an indoor into an outdoor center, will include such features as energy-efficient lighting, storm water systems, and water efficient landscaping. The approximately 600,000-square-foot development will be the first LEED-certified project for Macerich.

They are far from alone. "All of the big REITs we work with - Macerich, General Growth Properties, CBL & Associates, - are very interested in sustainable design and they all want to do it," says Tipton Housewright, principal with architecture firm Omniplan.

Colm Macken, president & CEO of Shea Properties, adds that across the country cities are angling to get developers to build environmentally- friendly mixed-use projects as a way to ease traffic. "I think the trend is going towards mixed use and green," Macken says.

For example, the Town of Markham in Canada and the Remington Group announced what they are calling the largest environmentally-friendly mixed-use development in North America. The $3 billion project broke ground today.

The movement is also moving overseas. Architecture firm Callison unveiled what it says will be the first environmentally-friendly project in China. The 1.5-million-square-foot Central Walk project will be located in the city of Shenzen. The project will include green space, optimized energy performance and a green roof among other features.

One of the biggest challenges developers talked about was that because the industry is only at the beginning of incorporate green design, there are no established best practices. Many are looking to the LEED certification program for guidance. But there will be a lot of experimentation beyond that as owners figure out what works and what doesn't.

Source: Retail Traffic, 2007


St. George ranked as the fastest growing metropolitan area in the US!

Bob Springmeyer

Bonneville Research

  • Economic Notes:
    • Global Survey of Business Confidence
    • Global businesses remain less than enthusiastic about current conditions or prospects through the remainder of the year. Confidence is up from its low point at the very end of last year, but it continues to signal that global growth is at the very low end of its potential. Supporting optimism is the end of the global manufacturing inventory cycle. The ongoing housing correction in the U.S. and in parts of Europe continues to be a source of pessimism. There has been a recent spurt in pricing pressures, as higher energy and other commodity prices are having an impact. Financial and business service firms and Asian businesses are the most optimistic. Vehicle manufacturers, real estate firms, and European businesses are the least upbeat.
    • New Home Sales (C25)
    • Caution should be taken in interpreting April housing data. Against expectations, new home sales surged 16% in April from the previous month to stand at an annualized 981,000 units. On a year-ago basis, sales remain down by 11%. Census also revised upward first quarter numbers. The months of inventory have dropped sharply to 6.5 months. The median sales price, however, has dropped by 10%.
    • MBA Mortgage Applications Survey
    • Mortgage demand increased 1.6% in the week ending May 18. Purchase applications increased 1.3% and refinance applications increased 1.9%. The increase in purchase applications is a welcome sign to suppliers in the housing market, but one result of tighter lending standards may be a growing disconnect between the ratio of applications to eventual sales.
    • Chain Store Sales Snapshot
    • Chain store sales tumbled 1.5% in the week ending May 19 under the weight of record high gasoline prices. The decline was the largest since last December. Year-over-year growth fell back to 1.9%.
    • Durable Goods (Advance)
    • New orders for manufactured durable goods rose a smaller than expected 0.6% in April following a 5% rise in March. Shipments were up 1.9% following a smaller gain in March. Core capital goods orders continue the rebound begun in March, rising 1.2% over the month. Inventories were up 0.5% in April and unfilled orders posted another increase as well.
    • Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report
    • Underground storage of natural gas increased by 104 billion cubic feet during the week ending May 18. This was above expectations, which had called for a 98 Bcf injection. Inventories are now 20.7% above the five-year average. This report is likely to have a modestly bearish impact on prices.
    • Oil and Gas Inventories
    • Crude oil inventories rose by two million barrels for the week ending May 18, according to the Energy Information Administration, above the 0.6 million barrel build expected. Gasoline stocks rose by 1.5 million barrels, in line with expectations. Refinery activity improved markedly to 91.1%. Soaring gasoline imports and improved refinery runs are helping bolster gasoline stocks. Distillate inventories rose 0.5 million barrels. This release will likely help put some bearish pressure on oil and gasoline prices.
    • Jobless Claims
    • U.S. initial jobless claims moved more in line with expectations, increasing by 15,000 to 311,000.

    Source: Economy.com

  • This Weeks Leads:
    • Old Spaghetti Factory
    • OSF International, Inc. trades as Old Spaghetti Factory at 37 locations throughout CA, CO, GA, HI, ID, IN, KY, MN, MO, TN, UT and WA.
    • The restaurants occupy spaces of 9,800 sq.ft. in freestanding locations, mixed-use and power centers and urban/downtown areas.
    • Growth opportunities are sought throughout Denver, CO and HI during the coming 18 months.
    • Typical leases run 15 years with three, five-year options.
    • Preferred demographics include a population of 200,000 within five miles earning $50,000 as the average household income.
    • The company prefers to locate near historic sites and business centers.
    • A land area of 80,000 sq.ft. to 90,000 sq.ft. is required.
    • The company prefers to acquire sites.
    • For more information, contact
      • Ric Holderbaum,
      • OSF International, Inc., 0715
      • Southwest Bancroft Street,
      • Portland, OR 97239;
      • 503-225-0433, Ext. 327,
      • Fax 503-226-6214;
      • Email: ric@osf.com;
      • Web site: www.osf.com.
    • Boloco, Boudin Bakery & Quiznos
    • Boloco operates 21 locations throughout CA, IN, MA, NC, NH, OH and WA.
    • The restaurants occupy spaces of 2,000 sq.ft. in lifestyle and power centers in addition to street fronts.
    • Growth opportunities are sought throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties in CA during the coming 18 months, with representation by Epsteen & Associates.
    • Typical leases run 10 years.
    • Boudin Bakery operates 24 locations throughout CA.
    • The restaurants occupy spaces of 3,500 sq.ft. in endcaps and freestanding locations with a patio. Growth opportunities are sought throughout Los Angeles, CA during the coming 18 months, with representation by Epsteen & Associates.
    • Typical leases run 10 years.
    • Quiznos Subs operates 4,000 locations nationwide and internationally. The sandwich shops occupy spaces of 1,300 sq.ft. in power centers in addition to street fronts.
    • Plans call for 30 openings throughout Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties in CA during the coming 18 months, with representation by Epsteen & Associates.
    • For more information, contact
      • Steve Ganalon,
      • Epsteen & Associates,
      • 1429 4th Street,
      • Santa Monica, CA 90401;
      • 310-451- 8171,
      • Fax 310-395-6361;
      • Email: sganalon@epsteen.com;
      • Web site: www.epsteen.com.
    • Ted's Montana Grill
    • Ted's Montana Grill operates 40 locations throughout AL, FL, GA, IL, KS, KY, NC, NE, TN and VA.
    • The eco-friendly restaurants, serving fresh beef and bison, roasted chicken, burgers, salads and desserts occupy spaces of 4,800 sq.ft. in endcaps.
    • Growth opportunities are sought throughout the midwestern, northeastern and southeastern regions during the coming 18 months.
    • Typical leases run 10 years with three, five- year options.
    • Preferred demographics include a population of 150,000 earning $56,000 as the average household income.
    • Prefers to locate near upscale retail tenants.
    • A land area of 1.2 acres is required.
    • For more information, contact
      • Max Sheets,
      • Ted's Montana Grill,
      • 133 Luckie Street, Atlanta, GA 30303;
      • 605-223-9792,
      • Fax 404-233-6717;
      • Web site: www.tedsmontanagrill.com.
    • Squeeze USA
    • Squeeze USA operates 10 locations throughout CA, CO, TX and VA.
    • The smoothie and juice shops occupy spaces of 800 sq.ft. to 1,600 sq.ft. in endcaps with a drive-thru.
    • Growth opportunities are sought throughout Los Angeles, Orange, San Fernando Valley and Ventura counties in CA during the coming 18 months, with representation by InSite Realty Group.
    • Preferred cotenants include health/wellness grocers or concepts, national bookstores, national coffee chains, grocery, toy and pet stores, health clubs/gyms and high-end retailers.
    • The company prefers 15 feet of frontage, allowing display of corporate signage of fascia and marquee/monument signage.
    • The company prefers sites with a combination of daily needs and a regional draw within close proximity and/or visibility to an interstate, freeway or highway.
    • For more information, contact
      • Jonathan Tsai or
      • Bethany Scheffer,
      • InSite Realty Group,
      • 556 South Fair Oaks Avenue, Suite 416,
      • Pasadena, CA 91105;
      • 661-438-5005;
      • Web site: www.insiterg.com.
    • Noodles & Co.
    • Noodles & Co. operates 147 locations throughout CA, CO, IL, KS, MD, MI, MN, MO, NE, OH, OR, UT, VA and WI.
    • The restaurants, offering a variety of global noodle dishes, occupy spaces of 2,500 sq.ft. to 2,700 sq.ft. in freestanding locations and malls in addition to entertainment, lifestyle, power, specialty, strip and tourist centers and urban/downtown areas.
    • Growth opportunities are sought throughout Sacramento, CA; NC; Columbus, OH and Portland, OR during the coming 18 months. Typical leases run 10 years with two, five-year options. A vanilla shell is required. Preferred cotenants include Blockbuster Video, movie theaters and Starbucks.
    • Preferred demographics include a population of 14,000 within one mile earning $60,000 as the average household income.
    • Competition is cited as Nothing But Noodles and Wild Noodles. The company is franchising.
    • For more information, contact
      • Tim Mosbacher,
      • Noodles & Co.,
      • 520 Zang Street, Suite D,
      • Broomfield, CO 80021;
      • 720-214- 1913,
      • Fax 720-214-1913;
      • Web site: www.noodles.com.
    • Penn Station East Coast Subs
    • Penn Station, Inc. trades as Penn Station East Coast Subs at 173 locations throughout IL, IN, KY, MI, MO, NC, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA and WV.
    • The shops, offering sub sandwiches, fries and lemonade, occupy spaces of 1,500 sq.ft. to 1,800 sq.ft. in strip centers.
    • Plans call for 35 openings throughout the existing markets during the coming 18 months.
    • Typical leases run five years with options.
    • Preferred demographics include a population of 65,000 within three miles earning $40,000 as the average household income.
    • The company is franchising.
    • For more information, contact
      • Mark Partusch,
      • Penn Station, Inc.,
      • 8276 Beechmont Avenue,
      • Cincinnati, OH 45255;
      • 513-474- 5957,
      • Fax 513-474-7116;
      • Web site: www.penn-station.com.

  • Next Week: Anatomy of a healthy corporation continued
  • How can business leaders embed "healthy" thinking in the organization?

    • Executives generally appreciate the importance of monitoring the underlying health of their companies and of taking action to improve it. Impeded by a variety of cognitive and other traps, however, they seldom practice what they preach.
    • The challenge is to embed healthy thinking at all levels of the organization. The first step is to understand the attributes of a healthy company-in our experience, one that shows resilience to shocks, executes well, aligns employees around a common purpose, focuses on renewal, and ensures that its practices complement one another.
    • Businesses can work toward this elusive goal by regularly analyzing the way they allocate resources, striking a balance among different types of initiatives, developing appropriate metrics to test their health, adapting their core processes, and reinforcing healthy attitudes through performance contracts.

    Next Week's Major Features

    • Complementarity
    • Healthy actions
    • Monitor the way you allocate resources
    • Integrate into core processes
    • Have the metrics to match
    • Reinforce through performance

    Source: McKinsey & company

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