Nov 26, 2012

Epic’s growth has been a boon for Madison as well as Verona

Excerpted from Wisconsin State Journal
By Dean Mosiman

Madison officials mourned the loss of booming Epic Systems to Verona in the mid-2000s, but the medical software colossus is having a huge, unexpected impact on its original hometown.

Smart, young Epic employees with cash in their pockets and an affinity for Madison’s culture, restaurants and nightlife are fueling demand for rental apartments in the Downtown area.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of visitors to the Epic campus are booking Madison-area hotel rooms, boosting city room tax revenues in a tough economy.

The visitors are filling airline seats — sometimes requiring bigger planes and more flights — enjoying Madison’s offerings and taking hundreds of cab rides monthly between the airport, hotels and Epic’s campus in the rolling hills of Verona.

Mayor Paul Soglin, who criticized city officials for letting Epic leave when it announced plans to do so in 2001 and worked as an administrator at Epic from 2004 to 2007, didn’t foresee it.

But Soglin and other city and business officials laud Epic’s undeniable benefits for the city’s businesses, economy and quality of life.

“It comes up all the time,” said Downtown Ald. Mike Verveer, 4th District. “You can just feel it. You can see it.”

Read the full article.