New expansion into southwestern Colorado for Stewart Title of Colorado

Durango operation opened on May 1

HOUSTON (May 7, 2007) - Stewart Title of Colorado has expanded into the southwest portion of the state for the first time, with the May 1 opening of Stewart Title of Colorado - Durango and Cortez divisions.

“We made a significant capital investment, acquiring the title plant in Cortez in Montezuma County and we built a new La Plata County title plant from scratch,” said Sandy Capell, president, Stewart Title of Colorado. “Delivering that advanced technology to our title searches as well as our AIM® title production system and SureClose® transaction management system means that Stewart will deliver improved speed and accuracy for magnificent closings for our customers.”

Leading the new Durango operation as division president is 27-year title industry veteran Christie Banowetz, who moved to the area from Eagle County, where she had helped build a leading office for an independent title agency.

“I’ve known Sandy for a number of years and feel fortunate to work directly with a national title insurance underwriter such as Stewart,” said Banowetz. “I’m excited to have this opportunity to build a great staff to work with the real estate agents, brokers, developers, builders, lenders and attorneys in the area.

“Durango is a huge tourist destination – even Oprah Winfrey brought her road trip through here,” said Banowetz. “We know that it is a big second-home destination for baby boomers from places such as Arizona and California, and we want to be a part of that growth.”

Durango is southwest Colorado’s largest town. According to the Economic Development District of SW Colorado Inc., population growth has been driven in recent years by quality-of-life issues. The natural environment and the amenities it provides are behind much of the growth and have become the region’s chief economic asset.

Tourism is the number-one industry, with Mesa Verde National Park, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and San Juan National Forest in the Durango-Cortez area. The nearby Sky Ute Lodge and Casino as well as a new casino hotel, convention center and golf course are owned by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, one of the largest employers in the region.

Stewart Title of Colorado now has 35 offices in the state. For an office in your area, visit the Stewart Title of Colorado Web site:

Stewart Title of Colorado is a wholly owned subsidiary of Stewart Information Services Corp. (NYSE-STC), a customer-oriented, technology-driven, strategically competitive, real estate information and transaction management company. Stewart provides title insurance and related information services required for settlement by the real estate and mortgage industries through more than 9,500 policy-issuing offices and agencies in the United States and international markets. Stewart also provides post-closing lender services, automated county clerk land records, property ownership mapping, geographic information systems, property information reports, flood certificates, document preparation, background checks and expertise in tax-deferred exchanges. More information can be found at