‘Once a Westsider...’
Bank at Broadmoor CEO recalls roots as local branch takes form
“Once a Westsider, always a Westsider,” remarked D. Edward (Ed) Sauer in a recent interview.
The president and CEO of the Bank at Broadmoor is backing that philosophy up in a big way by leading its creation of a Westside branch.
The hope is to open the doors of the new, full-service, 3,200-square-foot facility at 3216 W. Colorado Ave. by mid-May. The building has been under construction since October.
Sauer's Westside heritage goes back to when he was 3 years old and his family moved from Garden City, Kan., to Pikes Peak Avenue and 15th Street. As he grew up (later living in homes off 17th as well as 19th streets) he attended Buena Vista, West and later Palmer High. His first job was working for his father (a commercial contractor) in the 1960s, building a modern Westside landmark - now the Old Town Plaza at 25th and Colorado.
After earning a degree from the University of Colorado's School of Banking, Sauer worked in different capacities for the Western Industrial Bank, United Bank (now Wells Fargo) and Old Colorado City-based Pikes Peak National Bank.
In 1988, the Bank at Broadmoor, a then-small operation founded in 1980, was looking for an experienced president to guide its growth. When Sauer came on board, the bank had just eight employees and total assets of $10 million. Now, with three locations (the Broadmoor area, downtown and Briargate), the bank lists 48 employees and $138 million in assets.
Sauer points to his employees as the key to the bank's success. “All we ask is that they smile, call their customers by name and treat their fellow employees as if they were their best customer,” he said. “If they (employees) are happy, it comes across to the customers.”
The Briargate branch was the most recent, opening in 2000. By 2004, the Bank at Broadmoor was considering another expansion. At first, the plan was to become part of the city's new development out east. Analyses were performed, demographics considered.
But Sauer wasn't sold. He had another idea, he explained at a meeting of the bank's board of directors. People moving into the new east side subdivisions wanted retail-oriented banks, ones that handle their money needs and that's about all. “I told the board, 'That's not us. We're all about relationships. We're involved in the community. We support charities, schools, clubs and parades.'”
Sauer asked the board to think instead about the Westside and Manitou Springs, both of which have old neighborhoods, longstanding traditions and interests in historic preservation and revitalization. “If we get involved with places that already have a community, we're going to be successful,” he recalls telling the board.
Once bank officials decided on the Bank at Broadmoor - Westside, they didn't twiddle their thumbs in seeking out community involvement opportunities. Sauer and other officers explained their plans early on to the Organization of Westside Neighbors (OWN), the bank was a major sponsor of the 2006 St. Patrick's Day Parade (in which Sauer rode his Harley-Davidson motorcycle down Colorado Avenue), he's been elected president of Manitou's Urban Renewal Authority, and 19 bank volunteers assisted at Manitou's annual coffin-race event this year, he said.
There's also no denying the personal satisfaction of establishing a branch on the Westside. “It's like coming home for me,” Sauer said.
Westside Pioneer article