“Power Lunch” is in Denver, looking at diverse Rocky Mountain success stories, ranging from real estate to air travel to a Mexican fast-food restaurant company. Here's what some of the guests on the program are saying.
CEO Margaret Kelly
The franchised residential and commercial real estate firm has branches all over the world, but Kelly says the Denver market stands a mile high: "The local market is better than the national market," says the CEO. "For the last couple of months, Denver has lowered and lowered the foreclosure rate." No small claim, as Colorado was up until this year No. 1 in foreclosures.
Kelly says of the market as a whole, "There are some bargains out there. But home sellers are going to have to be realistic. ...If you don't have to sell, don't. It's a usable asset: Live in it."
But for those determined to put their homes on the market, Kelly advises: "It's an ideal time to use a realtor -- they'll get you the most exposure possible."
Chipotle Mexican Grill Founder and CEO Steven Ells
Ells has shown that even for a fast-food chain, "quality" can mean "profitable."
His Denver-based casual-dining Mexican restaurant chain, famed for the freshness of its ingredients, was spun off from McDonald's last October, after eight years as a subsidiary. On Feb. 15, it reported earning $41.4 million on $882 in revenue in 2006
And even in cuisine-conscious New York City, Chipotle is a big hit.
Ells talks about how expanding the brand, and gaining sales and clout has enabled his firm to keep even closer to his ideals of offering mass-merchandise food that's as natural and healthy -- and tasty -- as possible.
Janus Capital Group Co-CIO Jonathan Coleman
Coleman oversees the investment strategy of a vast enterprise, with $190.6B in assets under management as of June 30, 2007.
It includes 30 Janus direct funds, 24 advisor funds, 19 signature Aspen portfolios, 17 world funds, plus various institutional, private and sub-adivised accounts in the U.S. and overseas.
Coleman touches on the impact of the Federal Reserve rate cuts earlier this week. But forget currencies, oil or tech stocks -- the CIO is getting back to basics: "We've done well in agriculture and companies that make fertilizers."
Frontier Airlines CEO Sean Menke
The discount carrier seems to have a golden ticket: It managed to grow its business even as its base, Denver International Airport, was snowed under last December, and as category-killer Southwest Airlines began flights from the Mile-High City in early 2006.
Menke talks about how record-high oil prices will trickle down to the discount airline segment -- and what Frontier and its peers are doing to hedge against and subsidize these costs.