Eighty percent of the Colorado economy is based on services, including tourist services. The remainder is well-diversified, coming from mining and energy extraction, the cattle industry and manufactured goods such as computer components and medical instruments.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Colorado's economy grew by 2.9 percent in 2008, despite the national economic crisis.
Denver has an advantageous location, being almost exactly between Los Angeles, Seattle, New Orleans and Chicago. That makes it a major regional headquarters for American corporations, the federal government, and several Rocky Mountain and Plains area distribution networks.
Coloradans must love their craft beer, because their 100 microbrewers gives them the largest number of breweries per capita in the country.
The state is riddled with parks and preserves: four national parks, 42 state parks, 15 national forests and grasslands, and 10 national monuments or recreation areas. It also has more than 30 ski resorts and ski areas.
Businesses that cater to tourists contribute about $10 billion a year to Colorado's economy. Tourists come to spend their dollars on skiing, hunting, camping, hiking, fishing and general sightseeing.