Corporex CEO: Now is Denver's 'time to shine'

Two things never fail — quality and hard work.

That's according to Bill Butler, chairman and CEO of Corporex Companies.

Butler founded the company in 1965. Under his leadership, Covington, Kentucky-based Corporex has grown into a diverse investment company with a focus on hospitality, real estate development and management.

Corporex has developed over 18 million square feet of commercial space in 20 different states, and its first development in Denver was in 2002 — the Embassy Suites Hotel on Tower Road near the airport.

Recently, Corporex developed the Art Hotel on Broadway, numerous office buildings in the metro area, Fitzsimons Village and several other hotels.

"We've both seen and been a part of the dynamics in Denver — and I've enjoyed them," Butler said.

Butler compared Denver's growth to what he witnessed in Atlanta in the late 1980s, where he was developing office buildings. Atlanta metro had about 2.3 million people towards the end of the 80s, and it's approaching six million today.

"When I look at Denver metro, I see the same thing," Butler said. "I don't think there's any end to growth in Denver."

As someone who has both lived and worked through many real estate cycles, Butler said that this is the city's "time to shine."

Part of the allure of the city is the natural amenities of the mountains, sun and air — as well as the people.

"The business people of Denver were very embracing of people coming into the market," Butler said. "There’s a warmth to the energy that has made Denver come alive."

Butler added that once you "go east," it's difficult to enjoy that same kind of warmth.

One of Butler's developments in Colorado, Alpine Mountain Ranch and Club, is located in Steamboat. It was launched the year of the recession, 2008, according to Butler.

He said they waited about nine years for the recession to end. Corporex has been in business for 53 years, so Butler said it's weathered "four major downcycles."

"We’re somewhat progressive but we’re conservative," Butler said.

The business survived because it was equipped with enough existing capital to pay off the bank, maintain the staff, maintenance and marketing programs.

Sustaining the recession years allowed Butler to preserve the original vision for Alpine Mountain Ranch and Club, which was to be the premier developer of single family homes in the mountains.

"We were well prepared for this one, and we were able to support the development," Butler said. "Now we’re reaping the rewards."

The rewards being a planned community project over 1,200 acres, 9000 of which are preserved for wildlife.

The five-acre homesites have expansive views of the Yampa Valley, the ski area, Emerald Mountain and the Flat Tops. Priest Creek and Walton Creek.

"We always build to the highest standard of quality," Butler said. "So when it came to recessions, we always got the business sales when other people did not."

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