DENVER (CBS4)– Colorado and Denver officially welcomed the outdoor apparel company VF Corp. on Wednesday.

VF Corp. is the parent company of The North Face, JanSport and Smartwool, among others. All of the companies are scattered throughout the country.

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Gov. John Hickenlooper and Denver Mayor Michael Hancock welcomed the company’s CEO at a news conference in Montbello Wednesday morning. That’s where one of VF Corp.’s brands, The North Face, build a climbing wall for the neighborhood.

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It’s that kind of connection to the outdoors that helped convince VF Corp. to move its headquarters to the Denver metro area.

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VF Corp CEO Steve Rendle (credit: CBS)

“Colorado and metro Denver especially allow us to provide a high quailty of life for our employees and allow them to be more engaged and more productive in the work that we ask them to do,” said VF Corp. CEO Steve Rendle. “I’ll quote Smartwool: ‘Go far, feel good.’ That really could be the motto of Colorado, probably the motto for the entire outdoor recreation industry as well.”

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Smartwool started in Steamboat Springs 24 years ago.

Hickenlooper even brought some visual aids to the welcoming announcement.

Gov. John Hickenlooper (credit: CBS)

“I brought out my old pack from when I was geologist, this is a JanSport. It’s made by VF Corporation. It was made in 1975. So we’re talking almost 45 years old and you could use it today as I did back then when I spent two summers north of Yellowstone,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper.

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VF Corp. still has to find a location for the company’s headquarters, which hasn’t moved in more than 100 years. Employees are expected to start moving to Colorado next summer.

“We don’t make decisions like this lightly. We take a long view when we look at significant business decisions like this and the long view here is to come and make Colorado our home for the foreseeable future,” said Rendle.