Film and TV

Governor Hickenlooper cuts the ribbon for Blockbuster's new Colorado headquarters

Blockbuster, now a subsidy of Dish Network, yesterday officially opened its international headquarters in Colorado -- specifically, at the Meridian International Office Park in Douglas County. The move comes with the possibility of $2.5 million in Job Growth Incentive Tax Credits from the Colorado Economic Development Commission, since Blockbuster promises to bring 150 jobs to the state over the next five years.

After brief remarks from Dish President and CEO Joseph Clayton, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen, Governor John Hickenlooper and Blockbuster President Michael Kelly, the four men grasped a pair of giant scissors to cut the ribbon that will open a new era in Blockbuster history.

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Though times have been tough for the rental-movie industry and Blockbuster stores have been closing, the company is still the largest video-rental outfit in the nation with 840 locations -- more than the total number of Apple and Costco stores combined, Kelly pointed out. Blockbuster has already reinvigorated its stores with a games section and "Blue Cloud" digital suite, a kids' play zone and movie area, tiered pricing and a Blue Carpet (not red carpet) wall of the latest releases.

The integration of Blockbuster and DISH is "an opportunity to bring two great brands together at a time of great change in the entertainment industry," Clayton said. Over the past year, the two companies have worked to make Blockbuster stores more manageable, efficient and profitable, while also incorporating Blockbuster movies into the DISH service thorough Blockbuster @Home.

When it comes to new releases, "We have a 56 day advantage over Netflix in most cases and a 28 day advantage over Redbox," Kelly pronounced. "We believe we have the most variety in the marketplace [with our movie stock]." Blockbuster is also pushing a new new "all you can eat model" that allows members unlimited in-store exchanges. "It's interesting to see the behavior of some of the customers when they can come back four or five times a day," Kelly said, as the crowd laughed. Dish and Blockbuster are also partnering with the Hopper, and a new mascot could have kids "hopping" to their new section in the stores. Although the event was designed to hype Blockbuster, it also focused on Colorado. "A big part of Blockbuster's potential for success hinges on our decision to relocate the headquarters from Texas to the great state of Colorado," Clayton said.

After all, as the governor noted: "Talent attracts more talent. Businesses attract more businesses."

This move could be a blockbuster.

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Natalie Gonzalez