By on September 22, 2015

Wyoming up with startups

Wyoming is the state to launch new business ventures. Wyoming Business Council’s coverage of the latest Kaufmann Index made it clear that the Equality State has much to offer startups beginning with its friendly tax and regulatory structure.

Gov. Matt Mead touted Wyoming to entrepreneurs at the Wyoming Global Technology Summit held in Jackson recently. The event drew national heavy hitters and local entrepreneurs looking to examine the growing technology marketplace in Wyoming and around the world.

“I am excited about the entrepreneurial spirit we see around the state and from the University of Wyoming,” Mead said in a release. “The message is clear: Wyoming’s innovators are solving the problems of the world. They are growing and diversifying our economy.”

Wyoming ranked No. 2 in a list of best states for startups – up from sixth in 2014. Only Montana was better. The .032 percent rate of new entrepreneurs in the past year translates into 1,400 Wyomingites becoming self-employed in 2015.

Enzi on the hotseat

Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi might be the fall guy if the nation experiences another government shut down this year. The senior senator chaired the Budget Committee for the first time this past year, crafting what he called a “balanced budget.”

Enzi’s spreadsheet faces tough challenges ahead from Democrats who are unhappy with his increase in military spending and cuts in social domestic programs. Enzi told Wyoming Public Radio he does not fancy so-called omnibus bills, which lump every federal agency together in one massive spending budget.

The 60-vote threshold required in the senate also invites filibustering. Something Rep. Cynthia Lummis detests.

“It’s indescribably frustrating,” the Wyoming Congresswoman told WPR. “The fact that the Senate has not and continues to stonewall on this issue is a tremendous frustration. That 60 vote threshold that is required in the senate is something I think the senate should reconsider.”

Not Webster’s Wyoming

Okay, we’re a little late to the party. We just caught some Urban Dictionary definitions of Wyoming on Facebook the other day. Most date from years ago but the general consensus still pegs the Cowboy State as windy, homophobic and insignificant.

One UD user wrote: “Supposedly a state in the United States. In reality, Wyoming does not exist. Nobody has ever met anybody from Wyoming. It is a vast government conspiracy. If you think you are driving through Wyoming, you are really unconscious in a secret government facility where scientists are implanting false memory engrams into your mind.”

Others were more grounded, but harsher. In 2009, one user-supplied definition of Wyoming read: “Bum-f**k America. Everything is brown. Worse than hell. Over 100 degrees in the summer and below zero in the winter. Always windy.”

The worst of the bunch? How about this: “The definition of worthless. The population consists of 60 percent idiot, truck-driving, conformist cowboys (usually alcoholics); 38 percent deer that haven’t been hit by a truck yet; and 2 percent people who exist on some normal plain [sic]. Our favorite? “Currently populated with cowboys, roughneck oilfield workers, Indians and generally nice people who love the outdoors and hate the way the rest of America lives. [Ninety] percent of said population could probably kick your ass in half.”

More cowbell… and fringe

The Western Design Conference wrapped up in Jackson Hole last week and the name of the game on the runway was “fringe.”

The Denver Post covered the annual fall event in its Sunday Lifestyles section. Suzanne Brown penned the feature that included mention of the 31st annual Fall Arts Festival as well.

Fringe was flying at the fashion show; after all, cowboy couture is nothing without a little hem tassel. But Brown said home furnishing offerings were surprisingly devoid of the usual heavy and rough-hewn. “Instead, fine woods were used in innovative ways, sometimes inlaid with tile or other materials,” she wrote.

JH outbid by SV

It looks like Jackson Hole was knocked off the top spot when it comes to auctioned real estate. Big Wood River Estate, a 71.3-acre spread near Sun Valley sold for “at least $20 million,” according to Crain’s New York Business.

Former Lehman Brothers CEO Richard Fuld owned the 11 BR/10.5 BA property, which had six bidders in a frenzy until an unidentified buyer from the Pacific Northwest snatched it. Concierge Auctions ran the sale. The final value won’t be disclosed for 30 days.

The previous record for an auctioned piece of property in the U.S. was $19.25 million for an estate in Jackson Hole, according to Laura Brady, Concierge’s president. PJH

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