One of the biggest businesses operating in Colorado will continue to run things from a little Louisiana city.
And that's despite the fact that telecom giant CenturyLink absorbed two Colorado corporations — Qwest Communications International and Level 3 Communications — and is now run by a Coloradan, Jeff Storey.
CenturyLink has long been based in Monroe, Louisiana — population 48,371, far from population centers and where the summers, per Weather Spark, are "long, hot and oppressive." But it had been committed to stay there only through next year.
There had been talk that CenturyLink might relocate its headquarters to Denver, with its international airport, booming tech sector, educated workforce and renowned quality of life.
As Greg Avery of the Denver Business Journal reported in March 2018, metro Denver is now the home base of most of the company's consumer business units. At the time, the company employed about 8,000 people in Colorado, with three metro-Denver office campuses, versus roughly 2,000 in Louisiana.
But despite all that, the Fortune 500 company — worth $13.4 billion on the market — agreed this week to stay put in Monroe through 2025.
"CenturyLink is pleased to reaffirm our commitment to Louisiana," CenturyLink CEO Storey — who used to run Level 3 before CenturyLink gobbled it up — said Tuesday at a press event alongside Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.
That's after Louisiana stirred a little sweetener into CenturyLink's tea. The Associated Press reports that the state offered CenturyLink $17.5 million in tax incentives over the life of the deal. It's the third tax-incentives deal offered to CenturyLink since 2011, AP says.
Grants are also being offered to Louisiana universities to help them train new CenturyLink HQ employees.
It's unclear if Colorado officials offered any incentives to lure the CenturyLink HQ here. Typically, state officials don't disclose which companies have been offered incentives unless they're accepted. And the company has declined to comment on whether it considered moving.