BizSense launches second site in Colo.

BusDen_4CBizSense is heading west.

After honing our business for seven years in Richmond, we are taking our show on the road. On Jan. 5, BizSense will launch a second online newspaper in Denver, Colo. And if we can compete in a larger market, we can then expand to larger markets all over the country.

The model for BusinessDen.com is identical to our business in Richmond. We have a downtown newsroom and a handful of new reporters to cover local business in the Mile High City. We aim to be first on new startup stories and big commercial real estate stories. We’ll also stretch into some new beats, such as the business of legal marijuana and professional sports franchises.

The bulk of our revenue will come from local advertising.

The question I get asked most often is, “Why Denver?” Richmonders then point out cities that would be closer, and much less hassle to reach. (The hassle part is certainly true. Can I start a petition for a direct flight from RIC to DIA?).

We’ve been planning this expansion for two years and are investing several hundred thousand dollars because there isn’t another city in the country better for our niche. Denver is a booming market with the right mix of local business that we’ve become experts at covering. The downtown skyline is punctured with construction cranes for new office and apartment projects – all scoops we will start breaking shortly. It’s also a major hub for startups and VC with a large concentration of outdoor recreation and natural food companies. And it has a similar powerful regional identity, akin to Richmond. Denverites love their city and need the kind of well-written business news we deliver on a daily basis.

But while Denver is gaining tens of thousands of new residents each year, there is less business reporting than even five years ago. Denver used to be a two-newspaper town until one of its dailies closed during the recession. The one daily left doesn’t have a business section on Mondays. That gap is our opportunity.

Our plan in Denver is start this year on building a loyal readership and selling targeted advertising. In 2016, we’ll build out the events and also our Pro subscription, which gives readers access to specialized data at their fingertips.

And having two sites lets us dream up more improvements and put them in place at a faster clip. An insight for our business in Denver can be implemented in Richmond. And vice versa. That will help us push even harder on innovations to our coverage, advertising and events. We can also improve our recruiting by luring new staffers who see a longer career trajectory at a bigger company.

The second question I get asked most often is how Richmonders can help. That’s a simple one: If BizSense readers have friends or colleagues in Denver, please put us in touch. We’ve got a lot of work to do and need all the help we can get.

But at least this time we have a road map.

BusDen_4CBizSense is heading west.

After honing our business for seven years in Richmond, we are taking our show on the road. On Jan. 5, BizSense will launch a second online newspaper in Denver, Colo. And if we can compete in a larger market, we can then expand to larger markets all over the country.

The model for BusinessDen.com is identical to our business in Richmond. We have a downtown newsroom and a handful of new reporters to cover local business in the Mile High City. We aim to be first on new startup stories and big commercial real estate stories. We’ll also stretch into some new beats, such as the business of legal marijuana and professional sports franchises.

The bulk of our revenue will come from local advertising.

The question I get asked most often is, “Why Denver?” Richmonders then point out cities that would be closer, and much less hassle to reach. (The hassle part is certainly true. Can I start a petition for a direct flight from RIC to DIA?).

We’ve been planning this expansion for two years and are investing several hundred thousand dollars because there isn’t another city in the country better for our niche. Denver is a booming market with the right mix of local business that we’ve become experts at covering. The downtown skyline is punctured with construction cranes for new office and apartment projects – all scoops we will start breaking shortly. It’s also a major hub for startups and VC with a large concentration of outdoor recreation and natural food companies. And it has a similar powerful regional identity, akin to Richmond. Denverites love their city and need the kind of well-written business news we deliver on a daily basis.

But while Denver is gaining tens of thousands of new residents each year, there is less business reporting than even five years ago. Denver used to be a two-newspaper town until one of its dailies closed during the recession. The one daily left doesn’t have a business section on Mondays. That gap is our opportunity.

Our plan in Denver is start this year on building a loyal readership and selling targeted advertising. In 2016, we’ll build out the events and also our Pro subscription, which gives readers access to specialized data at their fingertips.

And having two sites lets us dream up more improvements and put them in place at a faster clip. An insight for our business in Denver can be implemented in Richmond. And vice versa. That will help us push even harder on innovations to our coverage, advertising and events. We can also improve our recruiting by luring new staffers who see a longer career trajectory at a bigger company.

The second question I get asked most often is how Richmonders can help. That’s a simple one: If BizSense readers have friends or colleagues in Denver, please put us in touch. We’ve got a lot of work to do and need all the help we can get.

But at least this time we have a road map.

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John Murden
John Murden
7 years ago

Very cool!

Henry Clifford
Henry Clifford
7 years ago

Couldn’t imagine a better city or better outfit to take on that city. Well done Aaron and crew and break a leg in the Mile High City!

Michael Barnett
Michael Barnett
7 years ago

Exciting news, Aaron. Good luck!

Mark Deutsch
Mark Deutsch
7 years ago

Congrats to you, Aaron, & the crew at RBS. This is a GREAT move. The small biz / ‘trep climate in Denver shares a great deal with #RVA. In fact, I’m aware of a number of RVA businesses who are starting to do a lot of work in Denver. Seems we are on parallel tracks. Good luck & go get ’em.

Bruce Anderson
Bruce Anderson
7 years ago

Congratulations, Aaron! We wish you all good luck and prosperity with this expansion.

Stuart Siegel
Stuart Siegel
7 years ago

Aaron,

I remember our discussing your potential expansion, and while I too wonder about the distance, I fully understand the justification for that decision.

I wish you all the best.

Stuart Siegel

Lowell V. Smith
Lowell V. Smith
7 years ago

Good luck.. You all are; and have been doing a great and appreciated job for the business community in the Richmond area.Thanks for your good work…

Charles Batchelor
Charles Batchelor
7 years ago

Ten years ago I talked with several publishing pros in the Richmond market about starting up a print biz weekly product, getting nowhere. One person I talked with even had a business plan in hand, but ran into the same lack of enthusiasm I did. I even tried to convince American City Business Journals to add Richmond to their list of 45 cities back in 2005. Not interested, they were cutting back, not expanding… thank you for your time, goodbye. ACBJ is cover Denver right now…: http://www.bizjournals.com/denver/ So, I don’t know about the “gap” that is the opportunity. But, one… Read more »

Todd Muse
Todd Muse
7 years ago

Congrats on being the new best-kept secret in Denver!

Ben Evans
Ben Evans
7 years ago

Awesome Aaron! Glad you were able to realize your expansion vision to the first of many new cities. I hope to hear an update like this again in 12 months 😉

-Ben

Brian Bald
Brian Bald
7 years ago

Congrats Aaron! I know this has been a long time coming, so I’m very excited for you and your team.

Linda McElroy
Linda McElroy
7 years ago

That’s awesome Aaron! Much success.

Russell Lawson
Russell Lawson
7 years ago

I remember our discussions of possibilities for expansion during our regular lunches in the past. I am delighted for you that one has finally stuck pay dirt.

Chris Trebour
Chris Trebour
7 years ago

When do you go live and where do I sign up?

Monica Dirom Wiley
Monica Dirom Wiley
7 years ago

Denver is a great place and you should do well here. Denver Business Journal and the Colorado Real Estate Journal are two publications I read. I am a Richmond native but have lived in Denver for the past 6+ years. Lots happening here in business and real estate. I am a commercial broker with CBRE here in Denver and formerly in Richmond.

Sarah Cole
Sarah Cole
7 years ago

Good for you, Aaron!