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  • 11/24/2020 11:05 AM | Carly Mazure (Administrator)

    On Thursday, November 12 Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) was joined by Kat Stewart from St. Charles Town Company LLC, a Denver urban real estate development company. Kat discussed the top challenges that retail, restaurants and commercial tenants face and how commercial districts can help overcome those challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The challenges are as follows;

    • COVID-19

    • Rent

    • Real Estate Tax

    • Building Department/Codes


    The COVID-19 Pandemic has created new challenges and exacerbated already existing challenges for tenants in Colorado. The major challenges of COVID-19 are;

    • Decreased sales 

    • Increased staffing levels 

    • Disruption of supply chains

    Kat stressed the importance of landlords doing whatever they can to keep their current tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic because the cost to re-tenant a commercial space is large and it tends to be a long-drawn-out process.

    Some tips to keeping the same tenets during the COVID-19 Pandemic are as follows;

    • Monetize all day-parts

      • Day-part: morning, mid-day, afternoon + evening 

      • Making sales all day long by changing menu, operations and partnering with different retailers + restaurants

    • Landlord, tenant and City Collaboration


    Tips for keeping up with Rent

    • Tenants and landlords to partner on rent solutions 

    • Facilitate solutions 

      • Grants

      • Business Improvement District connections

      • Public Improvement Fees - reducing operating expenses

      • Creative leas solutions - deferring rent 


    Tips for dealing with Rent and Real Estate Taxes

    • Take the lead in protesting real estate tax assessment 

      • Large increases in commercial real estate taxes are detrimental

      • Time and expense of these protests can be shared between tenant and landlord

      • Gallagher repeal will help with this


    Tips for dealing with City Building Departments/Building Codes

    • Cut through the red tape of building departments and building codes

    • Stakeholders need to advocate for the tenant 

    • Building department flexibility

      • Time = Money, timeframe for entitlement and development to be cut so that tenants can move in and begin generating revenue

      • Reducing the point of contact in the city and building departments to streamline the process

      • Fast Facts Document that is a shortlist of requirements that will increase productivity

      • Ensure more collaboration

      • Reduce Cost Burden

        • Eliminate code interpretation driven by opinion 

        • Relax rules for small tenants on some high-cost improvements

        • Rural municipalities to incorporate more progressive codes


    To watch the full video recording please click here

    Kat Stewart 

    Kat is a freelance project and operations professional.  Kat began her career with a local, full-service real estate development company and later moved into commercial real estate as the Vice President of Finance for Shift Workspaces, a shared workspace provider. Kat most recently was the Vice President of Operations for St. Charles Town Company and was responsible for the oversight and asset management of the company’s real estate portfolio. Kat has extensive experience working with tenants to maneuver through the City of Denver's building department and permitting process.

  • 11/23/2020 1:38 PM | Carly Mazure (Administrator)

    On November 19th Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) hosted our final COVID response call of 2020 focusing on Planning Happy Pandemic Holidays that encourage a safe holiday season and support small local businesses! We had the privilege of hearing from five different communities across Colorado and how they are adapting their holiday traditions to cater to social distancing and statewide mandates. 

    • Kristine Borchers: Lake City

    • Kris Marreta: Basalt

    • Tim Walsworth: Durango

    • Laurel Prud’homme: Colorado Springs

    • Terri Takata-Smith: Boulder


    Lake City

    Lake City has some of the best access to public land and outdoor recreation in the country. This winter, Lake City wants Coloradans to leave their homes for some socially distanced outdoor recreation this holiday season! The town is also adapting their annual Missing Mistletoe tradition into a virtual experience in order to reduce in-person interactions while still supporting small businesses. Kristine highlighted two small businesses that are shipping across the state for this holiday season. Dog + Bone, who is offering celebratory 2020 dog collars, and Refuge Coffee Roasters who want to share their excellent coffee with Coloradans across the state.

    • Encouraging outdoor recreation (i.e. Lake City Ski Hill is open...etc.)

    • Virtual Missing Mistletoe 

    • Dog + Bone: https://dogplusbone.com/

    • Refuge Coffee Roasters: https://www.refugeroasters.com/

    You can reach Kristine at kristineborchers@yahoo.com 

    Basalt

    Kris Mattera from the Basalt Chamber is planning for any level of statewide restrictions because the town does not want to host an event that would turn into a super spreader. Basalt is encouraging holiday decorating contests among residents and downtown businesses. They are also planning for a virtual Santa and Santa riding around town on a firetruck with holiday music instead of their traditional holiday tree lighting event. The winter weather does not allow for outdoor dining, but the city is encouraging residents to have their favorite restaurant cater their holiday meals. In order to prevent overcrowding in local businesses, the town is suggesting that retailers offer one on one appointments as well as online shopping opportunities.

    • Holiday decorating contest

    • Virtual Santa 

    • Santa riding on a firetruck 

    • Safe + healthy = good for business

    • Restaurants cater to holiday meals

    • One on one appointments and online shopping for local retailers

    You can reach Kris at director@basaltchamber.org 

    Durango

    Durango is changing things up this year by expanding their Noel Night tradition to Noel Nights to encourage shoppers to spread out their shopping experience and dissuade shoppers from overcrowding local retailers. During Noel Nights local businesses offer discounts for locals only, and some retailers will be offering virtual shopping experiences using Facebook Live and other social media platforms. Durango is also promoting a Holiday Rewards Program from November 23rd-December 15th that gives customers a gift card depending on the amount they spend at local retailers. Downtown Durango partnered with the chamber of commerce and various sponsors to invest $20,000 into the program allowing them to reward up to 600 people. Durango is also launching an online auction/marketplace called More the Love that encourages online shopping with local retailers and businesses. 

    • Noel Nights for the month of December

    • Virtual shopping experiences using Facebook Live + social media

    • Holiday Rewards: https://www.downtowndurango.org/holidayrewards

    • More the Love:: https://www.downtowndurango.org/onlinestore

    You can reach Tim at TimW@downtowndurango.org 

    Colorado Springs

    Small Business Saturday starting the first Saturday of November to encourage distanced shopping while supporting local businesses. Downtown Colorado Springs is also providing Small Business Saturday stickers and posters for businesses to display as well as stickers for costumers to get the word out. Downtown Colorado Springs has updated its online directory with photos and website links for online shopping, and they are providing a discover downtown digital coupon book and encouraging retailers to do virtual and in-person appointments for shoppers. This year they are activating empty storefronts for QR code window shopping and an adventure game called with my gnomies! Families can peek through the windows of downtown to find hidden gnomes and find clues to decode a message. Downtown businesses are also providing seventeen curated adventure packages as gift ideas. 

    • Smaller Business Saturday starting the first Saturday of November 

    • Stickers and posters for Small Business Saturday promotions

    • Full online directory with photos of businesses

    • Discover downtown pass: digital coupon book

    • Shopping by appointment with virtual and in-person options

    • With my gnomies adventure game: http://downtowncs.com/gnomies/

    • Window shopping with QR codes

    • Curated adventure packages: https://downtowncs.com/adventures/

    You can reach Laurel at Laurel@DowntownCS.com


    Boulder

    Downtown Boulder redesigned its website to advertise virtual events and shopping opportunities. Light Up The Holidays activities including Snow Much Fun, a self-guided walking tour of downtown holiday lights that is on display until January 10th. For the Love of Boulder social media campaign promoting and highlighting local businesses and giving customers an inside look at the people and ideas behind these businesses. Downtown Boulder and downtown businesses also teamed up for Love the Local gift boxes that include samplings from local merchants and can be pre-ordered and shipped throughout the United States. Downtown Boulder is purchasing the boxes at full price from merchants and selling them to patrons at a discounted price to encourage shoppers to discover all the unique merchants in downtown Boulder. For children and families, there will be a Freezie the snowman bingo game with prizes and rewards for finding Freezie in stores and storefront windows. Other family-friendly activities include free coloring books and a mailbox to send letters to Santa.

    • For the love of Boulder: social media highlights weekly for local businesses

    • Snow Much Fun holiday lights November 22nd- January 10th: https://boulderdowntown.com/light-up-the-holidays/events/snow-much-fun

    • Light Up The Holidays: https://boulderdowntown.com/light-up-the-holidays

    • Sidewalk sales permits

    • Love the Local gift boxes with samplings from downtown merchants: https://boulderdowntown.com/gift-box-guide

    • Freezie the snowman bingo game in stores + store windows: https://boulderdowntown.com/light-up-the-holidays/events/freezie-bingo

    • Mailbox for letters to Santa 

    • Coloring pages + coloring books free of charge online and in stores

    • Downtown businesses holiday decorating contest that is judged by the community

    You can reach Terri at terri@downtownboulder.org 


    Kristine Borchers

    I have been the Main Street manager in Lake City since 2006 and also serve as a Hinsdale County Commissioner.

    Kris Mattera

    Kris moved to the Roaring Fork Valley from Boston, Massachusetts in 2016, following years of visiting Colorado and a summer working at a dude ranch in Buena Vista. She received her undergraduate degree in graphic design and multimedia studies from Northeastern University and a Master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from Emerson College. 

    Kris is fascinated by the intersection of community, technology, society and the digital space, and how it can be leveraged to build personal connections and tell great stories. She moved to the Valley due to its great mix of job opportunities, recreation, culture, mountain town charm and natural beauty. 


    Tim Walsworth

    Tim Walsworth has served as the Executive Director for the Durango Business Improvement District since January 2013. Since he has been hired, BID has grown its budget, taken on the management of the San Juan Brewfest and Durango’s 4th of July celebration, relocated its office, added new programs, and improved its service to its constituents.

    Prior to assuming the position of Executive Director of the Durango Business Improvement District in January 2013, Tim Walsworth served as the President and CEO for United Way of Southwest Colorado for 10 years. Additionally, he has more than 15 years of nonprofit management experience and worked for two leading United Way chapters prior to arriving in Southwest Colorado.


    Laurel Prud’homme

    Laurel Prud’homme began her career as a graphic designer, working in advertising and design firms where she advanced to roles as art director and account manager. With a career transition to the corporate world, she shifted her focus to marketing strategy and implementation of integrated B2B and B2C communications plans in the nonprofit health care sector.

    Currently, Laurel is the Vice President of Communications for the Downtown Partnership of Colorado Springs. Her work involves strategic communications, promotions, marketing and media relations to position Downtown Colorado Springs as an economic driver and the destination of choice for shopping, dining, art, culture in the Pikes Peak Region.


    Terri Takata-Smith

    Terri Takata-Smith is an experienced marketing and PR strategist with over 20 years in the industry and 10 years marketing downtown Boulder. She specializes in developing and implementing comprehensive marketing, promotional & communication plans and campaigns. 

    As the Vice President of Marketing & Communications for the Downtown Boulder Partnership (DBP), Takata-Smith provides strategic leadership and management of the organizations’ initiatives – both brand and event marketing. Throughout her ten years with DBP, Downtown Boulder has launched an extremely successful and well-received social media program, responsive website and other creative initiatives keeping Downtown Boulder at the forefront of innovative marketing and communications among downtown districts.

  • 11/18/2020 10:16 AM | Carly Mazure (Administrator)

    On Tuesday, October 27th, Jeff Speck joined Downtown Colorado, Inc (DCI) for a presentation on the current condition of streets and the future of streets in a post-pandemic world. We talked about the COVID adaptations to streets in downtowns across the country. The graphic below shows the many different types of reconstructed streets that bring businesses outside and into the fresh air. 

    Mr. Speck emphasized that the design of streets should be focused on the survival of businesses and that some of these alterations could be made permanent to encourage more walkability and outdoor interactions. 

    COVID adaptations aside, the future of streets is to be walkable! Walkability can bring more customers to businesses. The general theory of walkability in America is that the walk has to be as good or even better than the drive in order to encourage Americans to slow down and take in the scenery. 

    Cities and towns across America can get people to walk by providing a,

    • Reason to walk

    • Safe walk

    • Comfortable walk

    • Interesting walk




    Most successful places in America have a parking problem and issues with speeding in popular downtown areas. How can we provide, design, and manage parking so that cities can thrive?

    1. Eliminate the on-site parking requirement 

    2. Price parking in line with its value

    3. Create parking benefits districts 


    Questions + Answers

    Q: How can we address the issue of electric bikes speeding on Broadway in Eagle?

    A:  

    • Signage

    • Angled parking can create slower driving

    • Restructure the road by moving curbs and switching to parallel parking spaces


    Q: What adaptations would you suggest for rural downtowns during COVID?

    A: In rural downtowns, the focus should be on supporting the existing businesses with more sidewalk dining adaptations, and using extra curb space if it is available. 

    Jeff Speck

    Jeff Speck is a city planner and urban designer who advocates internationally for more walkable cities. As Director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts from 2003 through 2007, he presided over the Mayors' Institute on City Design and created the Governors' Institute on Community Design. Prior to his federal appointment, Mr. Speck spent ten years as Director of Town Planning at DPZ & Co., the principal firm behind the New Urbanism movement. Since 2007, he has led Speck & Associates, an award-winning private design consultancy serving public officials and the real estate industry.



  • 10/15/2020 11:32 AM | Carly Mazure (Administrator)

    Since early March 2020:

    • Millions of employees shifted to remote work in a matter of weeks.

    • The unemployment rate skyrocketed to 4.4% (and it hasn’t peaked) and many are gig economy workers, self-employed, and small business owners.

    • And, recent labor statistics show that the average worker changes jobs 12 times in a lifetime.

    We’re living in the age of accelerations, a term coined by Thomas Friedman. Multiple accelerations in technology, climate, and globalization are happening concurrently and faster than ever before. Society and our economy are being reshaped right before our very eyes.

    This also implies that work, jobs, and the workforce are being reshaped. In fact, the entire concept of professional identity is being destabilized. New forms of professional identity are emerging — along with hybrid jobs is the emergence of hybrid professionals.

    With the coronavirus pandemic, we’re being forced to dramatically shift the way we work. Post-COVID, the landscape of work is going to look different. Work will not return to the way it once was. The hybrid economy is upon us. So, how should we prepare?

    The Hybrid Job Economy

    Burning Glass Technologies compiles job market analytics. In 2019 they wrote a report on how “new skills are rewriting the DNA of the job market.” They described that jobs are essentially tasks that need to be completed, so why not look at the DNA of those tasks to understand what’s happening in the job market.

    In doing this, they scored nearly a billion current and historical job postings to analyze trends. They scored jobs as more hybrid if:

    • “They required skills typically requested outside their occupation group.”

    • “They required skill clusters that often combine multiple functional domains (e.g. marketing automation software).”

    • “They required a larger set of distinct core skills and competencies.”

    What Burning Glass found was that in today’s labor market “technology is mutating jobs into new, unexpected forms.”

    The report stated:

    More and more jobs are “hybrids,” combining skill sets that never used to be found in the same job, such as marketing and statistical analysis, or design and programming. Certain skills are acting as hybridizing forces, spreading across different roles. Fully one-quarter of all occupations in the U.S. economy show strong signs of hybridization, and they are almost universally the fastest-growing and highest-paying — and also the most resistant to automation. Some of these jobs are new, some are new versions of existing jobs, but all of them pose much different challenges for workers, students, employers, and educators.

    Burning Glass found that hybrid jobs are becoming the highest-growing and highest in-demand, with projections for “very high” hybridization jobs estimated at 21% over the next 10 years, more than double the pace for jobs overall. Not all jobs in the job market will be hybridized, and there are different levels of hybridization within jobs. Some will be more hybrid than others.

    It’s important to note that hybridization doesn’t mean more technology is involved. In fact, hybrid jobs tend to require a substantial amount of human talent in the areas of judgment and creativity, things that can’t easily be automated. If jobs are being hybridized, then professional identities are too. How should we refer to this new type of professional in the workforce?

    Welcome the Hybrid Professional

    Hybrid professionals blend dissimilar skills and traits across unrelated domains to achieve new forms of work. A marketer who is also a data scientist and a coder is a hybrid professional. Fields such as UI/UX is a whole new category that emerged at the intersections of technology, design, and user research.

    Professional identity is a complex topic. We tend to associate a person’s identity with their occupation or industry and define them by that. Instead, professional identity is a social construct that’s based on how a person perceives themselves. That’s a significant difference .

    A person who works in education doesn’t necessarily see themselves as a teacher or an administrator. They might be an online instructional designer or a translator of exceptional learner needs. These are identities that transcend typical boxes and include cross-disciplinary, ambiguous, and mixed skill sets. It’s not easy to write job descriptions for hybrid professionals or to even give them job titles.

    In this age of accelerations, as we rewire the DNA of traditional jobs into hybrid ones, professionals can be both experts and generalists. Professional identity used to be binary — either an expert or a generalist. People with many identities were called jacks-of-all-trades, multi-talented, or polymaths. However, hybridity is the integration and weaving together of multiple identities, not just having multiple identities. Hybrids work from the intersections, and that’s where an entirely new type of identity exists, a hybrid one.

    Hybrid professionals claim their multiple talents along with their passions, and mold it into something new, even developing their own hybrid title. A hybrid title is a way to declare themselves as a professional who does something novel, and it differentiates them from the rest of the workforce because they don’t sound like everyone else.

    A Chief Edu-Agitator or a Motherhood Sanity Builder are examples of hybrid titles that give some familiar clues as to what they might do but also leaves a lot to the imagination. Hybrid titles like this beg for potential employers and clients to ask them for more information about themselves. Such titles are gateways for hybrid professionals to define and express themselves instead of being lumped together with colleagues. It’s the identity they wish to bring to the workforce instead of the one that was assigned to them.

    Future of Work

    Heather McGowan, a future of work strategist, shares an analogy of an iceberg to describe how she sees what’s important for the future of work. While skills are key, she says we focus on them too much. McGowan places skills at top of the iceberg since it’s the only part we see above the water.

    McGowan places identity as a foundational element at the base of the iceberg, hidden from sight. She emphasizes that adaptive and resilient identity are at the base of everything. In her diagram, knowing one’s purpose and adapting along the way are what propel a strong workforce.

    Futurists predict workers will potentially hold 17 jobs spanning across five sectors in one lifetime. As the economy shifts, new roles appear and old roles disappear. Workers must constantly evolve and merge skills and talents. Hybridity is becoming a critical asset to remaining relevant, not just a nice to have attribute.

    In a post-COVID world, employers will be looking for people who continue to grow, gain new skills, and are able to adapt their talents into changing circumstances and workforce needs. The lifelong career is becoming a portfolio career, a non-linear path that’s uncertain and unpredictable. This requires workers to know how to easily articulate their hybridity — what makes them unique and competent at combining skills in ways that are unlike other workers. Hybridity will be a valuable commodity in a rapidly shifting, competitive global job market.

    For more information on Sarabeth Berk and her work please visit her website: More Than My Title.

    You can contact her at: info@morethanmytitle.com

  • 10/14/2020 11:47 AM | Carly Mazure (Administrator)

    DCI continues to provide COVID-19 programming on Thursday mornings from 8:30am-10:00 am. During our October 8th call, we invited the Colorado Brownfield Partnership which is made up of Community Builders, Development Research Partners and CDPHE to share resources and engagement tools for brownfield implementation success. The speakers included Clark Anderson and Danielle Campbell of Community Builders, Amy Johnson of Kit Carson Rural Development, Mark Rudolph of CDPHE, and Jesse Silverstein of Development Research Partners. 


    COLORADO BROWNFIELD PARTNERSHIP SERVICES AND RESOURCES


    CASE STUDIES


    Silverton

    Community engagement workshop to discuss needs and opportunities. The workshop provided context and knowledge on economic development, public-private partnering, and financing opportunities. The engagement experience also included an opportunity to identify Silverton’s assets and community needs. 


    Outcomes:


    Kit Carson

    Development of brownfields is full of many challenges in small-town communities where home values are not as high. The challenges require creative innovation, partnerships, problem solving, and perseverance lead to amazing results that benefit the community as a whole. 

    Kit Carson is a small, rural community with many vacant, dilapidated houses or abandoned houses or houses in severe disrepair. There is a housing shortage and new homes have not been built in over 25 years. Kit Carson Rural Development is a nonprofit organization devoted “to promote, beautify and assist in the betterment of the towns of Kit Carson and Wild Horse.” Many of the vacant sites are brownfields with concerns of asbestos and other environmental concerns.

    Kit Carson Rural Development in partnership with Colorado Brownfield Partnership has been able to address the housing concern in Kit Carson by utilizing brownfields resources, grant money, partnerships, community support, and hard work. 


    Kit Carson’s Strategies:

      


    TAKEAWAYS

    • Community engagement encourages identification of opportunities and next steps

    • Perseverance, creativity and partnerships are crucial when dealing with brownfields sites

    • Colorado Brownfield Partnership has a variety of expertise and resources to problem solve 


    Watch the full event here From Vision to Reality! Engagement Tools For Brownfield Implementation Success, and access the presentation slides here.

    ABOUT THE PRESENTERS

    Clark Anderson:

    Clark Anderson is co-founder and Executive Director of Community Builders. He has spent the last 15 years helping communities address complex land use, transportation, housing, and economic development challenges. An entrepreneur, seasoned facilitator, and bridge-builder, he’s adept at helping people find common ground through informed dialogue and meaningful public engagement. Clark helps communities create a shared vision for the future and identify the strategies and partnerships needed to get there.

    Clark is also a small-scale developer focused on building “missing middle” housing within his own community. Born and raised in nearby Eagle County, Clark currently lives in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, with his wife, Kayce, and their children, Blu and Rayne. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Colorado and a master’s in geography from the University of California, Davis.

    Danielle Campbell:

    Danielle is a Project Manager with Community Builders and leads Colorado Brownfields Partnership in on the ground assistance and financial resources. She leads on-call customer service for individuals wanting to learn and access the Program’s resources.

    Danielle has a strategic focus in real estate and economic development and is uniquely qualified to deliver strategies and best practices for implementation. In addition, she has worked across private, public, and non–profit sectors, making her skills versatile and able to address complex issues across diverse groups.

    Amy Johnson:

    Amy Johnson is the chairperson of Kit Carson Rural Development (KCRD), a non-profit that focuses on improving the rural town of Kit Carson.  Amy has served as chair of KCRD since 2006, and in that time KCRD has worked on two HUD grants to develop affordable housing, an EPA grant to clean up brownsfields, and a GOCO grant to develop the local park.  In addition KCRD has worked with other funders on affordable housing and other town improvement projects. 

    Amy also works on her family’s cattle ranch.  She and her husband of 25 years, Toby, manage the family’s cow calf operation that has operated in Kit Carson since 1907.  Amy is originally from Bethesda, Maryland and attended Colorado College graduating in 1993. 

    Mark Rudolph:

    Mark Rudolph has been an Environmental Protection Specialist with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) for over 20 years and has 30+ years of experience working on environmental projects including Superfund project management, site assessments, sampling investigations, and Brownfields redevelopment.  Additionally, Mark has extensive knowledge in mine site reclamation, regulation and operations.  He has experience in monitoring of air, water, emergency response and Quality Assurance and Quality Control planning.  

    Jesse Silverstein:

    Jesse Silverstein has extensive experience providing commercial real estate strategies, public finance analysis, and economic/fiscal impact analysis for a variety of public-private development and redevelopment projects.  Jesse’s market intelligence services are used for critical decisions regarding real estate investment and economic development opportunities in Colorado and nationally.  Mr. Silverstein's experience includes positions as founder and executive director of the nonprofit Colorado Brownfields Foundation, director at Equitable Real Estate Investment Management, and Chief Appraiser for the Resolution Trust Corporation (a division of FDIC) in Washington, D.C. Mr. Silverstein holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Delaware, a master's degree in economics from the University of Colorado Boulder, and has an MAI professional designation in commercial real estate analysis from the Appraisal Institute. 

  • 09/21/2020 11:15 AM | Kylie Brown (Administrator)

    Since 2017, students in Randy Harrison’s ‘Economic Development’ class (PUAD 5630) have had the opportunity to engage with Colorado communities in an experience unlike any felt in a typical classroom.  Through its partnership with Downtown Colorado, Inc., this SPA course allows students to become project coordinators in a process known as the Colorado Challenge Program; here, students connect with community members and experts in the field to establish a plan of work to engage public, private, and non-profit partners in addressing a significant community challenge over the course of their semester.[i]  Through their partnership, SPA students and DCI have connected with and created initiatives for almost 30 Colorado communities.  

    Despite the touchdown of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the intentions for community improvement by this year’s SPA students, their DCI partner, and the five Colorado communities selected to participate in the program were unwavering.  

    In order to shape their plans of action, the SPA-DCI team transitioned their work with the 2020 Challenge Communities entirely online.  While some communities shifted their respective challenges to address COVID-19 recovery and planning, the community of Old Colorado City kept their sights set on their original challenge to “Form Corridor Partnerships.” More specifically, Old Colorado City sought to establish themselves as a strong community partner to their Colorado Avenue neighbors, Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs.  In the midst of a global pandemic, and with their goal in mind, the OCC-SPA-DCI team got to work.

    Throughout the course of the semester, SPA Student Coordinator John Hill worked closely with the OCC Special Improvement Maintenance District (SIMD) Board Chair, Jonathan Neely, to identify opportunities for the community to not only connect with their Corridor partners but thrive in their own right.  

    Jonathan Neely provided the below testimonial about his experience in the Challenge program: 

    The Old Colorado City Partnership is excited to be a part of the Colorado Challenge Program and partner with Downtown Colorado, Inc. and the School of Public Affairs as part of the continued effort to connect OCC with regional partners and revitalize the district.  The work done through DCI and the SPA students this past year has created a foundation for the OCCP to enhance our advocacy efforts and connect with regional efforts.” 

    As the project progressed and various pressures stemming from COVID-19 crept in, previous SPA student coordinator Jackie Hazelwood joined the team to assist in broadening the scope of the project to focus on opportunities all three Corridor communities could take advantage of.  Hazelwood brought her prior experience working with Center, Colorado in the 2019 Challenge Program to the table. 

    Jackie Hazelwood provided the below testimonial about her experience working with DCI and participating in the Challenge program:

    “In working with Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) and two different Colorado Challenge Communities over the course of the last year, I’ve gained invaluable hands-on experience in the field of Economic Development.  In addition to the field experience gained, my classmates and I were able to build relationships with the individual communities we worked with.  In thinking back on this “course,” it feels like anything but work done in a classroom; we were able to see our efforts directly translate to action!”

    The conversations and planning between various Corridor stakeholders culminated in a two-hour Virtual Studio Workshop on April 16, 2020 in which DCI and now Corridor partners, Old Colorado City, Manitou Springs, and Colorado Springs, brought together presenters to provide a framework for establishing a revitalization strategy for Old Colorado City.  The Virtual Studio Workshop included two breakout sessions where participants brainstormed ideas to establish Old Colorado City as a strong partner along this commercial corridor.  Additionally, participants highlighted key assets the entire Corridor could capitalize on in their collective goal of creating a unique progression between the communities’ retail areas along Colorado Avenue.


    As the semester came to a close, SPA students put together a comprehensive report for each community summarizing identified assets, obstacles, and opportunities their respective community might pursue based on stakeholder conversations and the Virtual Studio Workshop.  Today, DCI continues to work with each of these communities to implement the action plans SPA students put together for the 2020 Challenge Communities. 

    The SPA Economic Development class has been credited by communities for providing an important service at this time of need. Past students from this class have also attributed the real-life experience as the number one class they reference when sharing experience for a job interview. The class is remarkably well-suited for virtual participation and in 2021 will consider the prospects and frameworks that communities will need to build more inclusive places in the future. 

    The School of Public Affairs Economic Development class 
    This class has been credited by communities for provided an important service at this time of need. Past students from this class have also attributed the real-life experience as the number one class they reference when sharing experience for a job interview. The class is remarkably well-suited for virtual participation and in 2021 will consider the prospects and frameworks that communities will need to build more inclusive places in the future. 


    [i] Downtown Colorado, Inc. (2020). https://downtowncoloradoinc.org/Colorado-Challenge-Program

  • 09/17/2020 10:19 AM | Kylie Brown (Administrator)

    The COVID-19 Pandemic struck the world in early 2020 and resulted in a shutdown of the state of Colorado on March 25, 2020. The stay-at-home order not only impacted University of Colorado at Denver (UCD), but dramatically effected retail businesses, restaurants, community events, and other vital main street institutions that drive the economy of our state. A cross-section of these impacts comes into play when Randy Harrison’s ‘Economic Development’ class (PUAD 5630) and their partners Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) shifted their work with five Colorado communities entirely online and helped transition these communities into the recovery process.

    ‘Economic Development’ is hands-on and innovative course that utilizes Colorado as a laboratory for understanding economic development concepts and strategies. Students not only get experience with community development but they also gain real-world experience working in partnership with DCI to assist communities throughout Colorado in addressing economic development challenges. Students worked with town leadership and stakeholders to create action plans to respond to COVID as well as plans for their economic futures. The goal of the program is to turn challenges into opportunities.

    The City of Durango was selected to work with this group early in the year as a DCI 2020 Challenge Community to address the challenge of “Creatively Financing Development”. As the pandemic emerged, DCI was able to quickly adapt to virtual community meetings and the plan for Durango turned to developing a strategic approach to slowly reopening of the community to ensure economic viability of re-opening their economy once and responsibly.

    UCD SPA Student Coordinators, Erin Guthrie and Connie Liu developed the material and were key in managing the discussion around reopening. Here are their testimonials from the experience:

    "It was a great learning experience working with Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) and Alex Rugoff and Scott Shine from City of Durango. Though our class did not go as planned because of Covid-19, I really appreciate the opportunity to understand the struggles the community was facing.  I'm glad we were able to come up with steps to safely reopen.” – Connie Liu

    "Downtown Colorado, Inc (DCI) provided the support and resources needed to navigate the challenges of Economic Development during the COVID-19 era. During the 2020 Challenge Studio, we were able to pivot to support Durango as they worked towards a safe reopening. DCI ensured that the right questions were being asked and empowered the collaborative network of La Plata County stakeholders to work together. This experience was truly one-of-a-kind and offered a hands-on opportunity unavailable in many classrooms. I would recommend the class to anyone even remotely interested in economic development, as it has the power to foster that interest into a passion.” – Erin Guthrie

    During a two-hour Virtual Studio Workshop on April 15, 2020, the City of Durango and DCI brought together presenters to provide a framework for considering a reopening strategy that included Public Health and Economic Development perspectives. The Virtual Studio Workshop included two breakout sessions where participants brainstormed ideas for a reopening plan, including key audiences, sectors, and metrics as well as recovery and reimagination of vital Durango industries like education, tourism, retail, and hospitality.

    Alex Rugoff from The City of Durango remarked this following the process, “Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) and the School of Public Affairs’ (SPA) Student Coordinators played an integral role in La Plata County’s economic recovery. Student Coordinators Connie Liu and Erin Guthrie brought community leaders together during our Challenge Community Virtual Studio Workshop to plan for a safe and efficient economic reopening.  The Workshop led to the formation of the La Plata Economic Recovery Task Force, which has been instrumental in providing local businesses resources to survive and adapt to the changing environment. I would strongly encourage other communities and SPA students to get involved in DCI’s Challenge Community Program.”

  • 09/08/2020 7:29 AM | Magdalena Sowder (Administrator)

    Watch the full presentation on Vimeo!

    Downtown Colorado, Inc. (DCI) and the Economic Development Council of Colorado (EDCC) are pleased to announce a month of education and conversation around the Gallagher Amendment to the Colorado Constitution. DCI and EDCC have formed a partnership to establish and present educational content to build awareness and informed action around the Gallagher Amendment in advance of the November election where the repeal of the Gallagher Amendment is on the ballot.

    On Wednesday, September 2nd Reeves Brown began Gallagher Education month with an overview of the Gallagher Amendment. Watch the full presentation here!

    Be sure to stay tuned for our upcoming Gallagher Education Month events:

  • 07/30/2020 3:49 PM | Carly Mazure (Administrator)

    Downtown Colorado Inc (DCI) had our seventeenth webinar of the series covering various topics on the commercial district response to COVID-19 and how people can support each other while maintaining the CDC’s recommendation of social distancing. Thursday’s call focused on how businesses can expand to outdoor spaces to better serve the community.


    Some of the key concepts and topics for discussion included:

    • Street closures for creating more outdoor spaces

    • Building strong relationships with businesses

    • Transforming outdoor spaces for use during colder months

    • Rethinking urban design with Colorado Parklets


    Olde Town Arvada Business Improvement District 

    Joe Hengstler, Executive Director of the Olde Town Arvada Business Improvement District started us off with an overview of how Olde Town Arvada has reinvented its dining and retail experience. He stressed the importance of working closely with businesses to figure out the best way to ensure they thrive. Street closures allowed twenty Arvada restaurants to expand outside with 88% of businesses reporting an increase in customers. A focus on public art initiatives and music has ensured that Olde Town Arvada will continue to be a vibrant community space in the time of social distancing.


    City of Golden

    Robin Fleischmann, the Economic Development Specialist for the City of Golden, talked about Golden’s outdoor business expansions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses expanded outdoor dining onto sidewalks and parking lots adding their own personal touch to the barriers provided by the public works department. Golden experimented with street closures, but ultimately businesses preferred that the streets stay open. There is no one size fits all solution to navigating public spaces during this time, so it is imperative that municipalities and businesses work together to develop a solution that works for the community. 



    Colorado Parklets

    Maggie Kavan of Colorado Parklets shared their innovative parklet design, and how businesses can customize parklets to fit their needs. The parklets are ADA compliant, easy to install, and can be adapted to withstand winter temperatures and precipitation. The cost for each parklet starts at $3,500 and has the opportunity to be funded by a Streetscape Challenge grant from the Colorado Department of Transportation. 


    Colorado Parklets Website


    QUESTIONS + ANSWERS


    Is the Olde Town Arvada BID planning for the fall and winter months?

    The current street closures expire September 7 and we are looking to get those extended through October to match what Denver is doing. We are also in the process of working on a plan for the winter months. 


    What is a parklet?

    A sidewalk extension that repurposes part of the street into a community space that is ideal for following social distancing guidelines. 


    What size parklets do you offer?

    Standard sizes are 8 x 8 and 10 x 10, and custom sizes can be configured to accommodate your space.

    ABOUT JOE HENGSTLER 

    Joe Hengstler is the Executive Director of the Olde Town Arvada Business Improvement District. Joe graduated from Roosevelt University in Chicago, IL with a BA in sociology in 2008 and began his work in the non-profit sector with a focus on event planning, fundraising and development with a focus on assisting underserved communities. After relocating to Colorado in 2011, Joe returned to school to pursue a Master’s in Global Affairs from the University of Denver, graduating in 2015.

    Joe has been with the Olde Town Arvada BID since 2017. He is a tireless advocate for community engagement and downtowns while delivering meaningful results for small businesses. When Joe is not in Olde Town, he enjoys playing music, getting out in the great outdoors, and spending as much time as possible with his wife and new daughter.

    ABOUT ROBIN FLEISCHMANN 

    Experienced economic development executive with a demonstrated history of working in governments, economic development organizations, and consulting. Skilled in Urban Planning, Transportation, Corporate Social Responsibility, Nonprofit Organizations, Philanthropy, and Fundraising.

    ABOUT MAGGIE KAVAN

    Maggie Kavan is Co-Founder of Colorado Parklets, a Denver native and 5th generation native to Colorado.  Maggie has lived in Durango for 21 years and is the owner of ConsciousMKTG, a full-service marketing agency.  She and her business partner Michael Carrier created Colorado Parklets to help revive the beloved small businesses and restaurants of every community in Colorado and around the US.  Together we will recover from the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the impact it has had on our communities.

    7/23 COVID Call Video



  • 07/20/2020 8:56 AM | Carly Mazure (Administrator)

    Lessons from an Egg Farm: Increase Your Revenue, Have More Free Time, and Get More Customers Using Accelerators

    I recently interviewed an owner of a chicken farm who used one piece of advice that improved their production and efficiency by 1500%.

    Best of all, what she learned is directly applicable to every business. Even yours.

    I want to tell you about my daughter, Jenna, and her Kansas farm which has about 1,200 egg-producing chickens. The eggs from Jenna’s chickens are all given away to hungry people through the non-profit she created and each month, she provides hundreds of dozens of farm fresh eggs to people in need.

    Needless to say, I’m one proud Dad.

    But this story isn’t just my chance to brag about my daughter. This story has a profound lesson in it for every one of you.

    When Jenna first started out with her non-profit chicken farm, she did everything by hand. The chickens all roam around in coops (150 feet long and 24 feet wide) eating grain and drinking water. When she started, the water for the chickens came from 8-gallon watering containers which had to be filled with a hose, and then, carried into each coop, with 3-5 waterers per coop. (Each waterer weighs over 65 pounds). Jenna did that. She also had to pour grain into the feeding troughs, and then, go around to the 30 nesting boxes (where the chickens laid eggs), and collect each egg individually.

    After collecting the eggs in buckets (at the beginning, about 140 eggs a day), Jenna would haul the eggs to the sink, individually candle the eggs (that’s chicken-talk for checking for cracks), and then, hand scrub each egg to make it clean, finally putting each egg into a carton and labeling each carton. For 140 eggs, it took her about 6 hours of work every day. As the chickens laid more eggs and Jenna added more chickens, her days grew longer and longer, all the while feeding more needy families.

    But a funny thing happened that changed everything: The guy who provided the metal for her first chicken coop was named Marvin, and one day Marvin mentioned to Jenna that during his weekend, he helped collect 14,000 eggs at his father-in-law’s farm.

    That got Jenna’s attention and she asked Marvin some questions. Turns out Marvin’s father-in-law (Andy’s his name), had an automated egg production facility over in Missouri.

    Shortly thereafter with Marvin’s help, Jenna traveled 3 hours away to Missouri to see Andy’s farm. And when she got there, she saw Andy’s automated conveyor belts that carried eggs from the nesting boxes into a separate egg cleaning room and a machine that thoroughly cleaned each egg, all automatically. She also saw how Andy’s coops each had automatic waterers (no need to haul 8-gallon containers of water), and automatic grain feeders (no need to haul grain and pour it out), and instead, an auger pulled the grain from a grain silo directly to the chickens, all by flipping a switch.

    Andy willingly shared his knowledge and expertise and most importantly, the mistakes he’d made over the years that now allowed him to process thousands of eggs in a day. And shortly afterwards, Andy helped design a smaller, similar system for Jenna’s coops and that system was installed this Spring.

    Now, with this investment in her business and the time she put in to learn all the new processes and machinery and reconfigure every part of her egg production business, she took a tremendous leap forward, all because of Andy sharing his expertise of what worked and what didn’t.

    If you’re interested in statistics, Jenna went from feeding, watering, collecting, cleaning, and packaging 12 dozen eggs in 6 hours at the beginning of her business to doing all the same processes with over 1,200 chickens, but now she can process over 62 dozen eggs in 40 minutes by herself. A 1,500% increase in efficiency.

    But here’s the lesson: None of this increase would have been possible without Marvin mentioning Andy’s name and Jenna being inquisitive and asking more, and Andy taking the time to take Jenna through an eye-opening introduction into efficient egg processing.

    And finally, Jenna questioning how she was doing business and wondering if it could be dramatically improved.

    The key in all this was Andy. Andy was the Accelerator. Andy shared his knowledge, mistakes, experience, and processes with Jenna and helped her see a vision for her non-profit and what was possible to accomplish in a fraction of the time she was spending, all enabling her to help hundreds of more people every month with free food.

    Wouldn’t it be great if you could discover your own Accelerators for your business?

    Well, guess what? You can!

    3-Days of Accelerators: Sign up for our Online Destination BootCamp

    I know you’re busy and you don't like shameless plugs, and I know it’s the holiday weekend, but hear me out: Unlike most business classes you might have taken, I teach a class that is filled with business Accelerators: Real lessons from successful business owners who I’ve studied, who I’ve picked their brains, and lucky for me, these brilliant entrepreneurs shared with me how they got to where they are today.

    This class is my Destination BootCamp. In my newest version of the Destination BootCamp, I show you my entire 14-step process to make your business irresistible to consumers that I learned after interviewing over 10,000 business owners.

    Best of all, in our upcoming 2020 BootCamp classes, I’ve totally rewritten each chapter to add techniques and steps that will help you generate more sales and attract more customers to your business, even during this Covid-19 pandemic when people might not be coming in to your business in the same numbers or frequency.

    Lucky for me, I have met owners who were unafraid to share their secrets and success strategies with me, who were unafraid of me sharing it with others who might need their lessons.

    Plus, now my Destination BootCamp can all be taken online: No need to travel to Colorado, stay in a hotel for 3 nights, get on a plane and all the other issues that make traveling and sitting in a room filled with people not the best idea these days.

    We have a Destination BootCamp class that starts this Tuesday, July 7. I still have 3 seats left. But you have to register by Saturday night if you want in.

    Then, this year, we also have Destination BootCamp classes on September 1-3, and October 27-29, if you want to attend later in the year.

    Think about it and email me directly at js@jonschallert.com if you want to learn more, or if you want to read about the BootCamp or register, just go to www.DestinationBootCamp.com.

    OK, onto a new topic:

    ATTENTION ALL COMMUNITY LEADERS, HERE'S A CLASS FOR YOU:

    I want you to think about becoming a Facilitator for our Destination Creation Course

    If you don’t know about our Destination Creation Course, it’s a shortened version of my Destination BootCamp class described above. You can read all about it here: www.DestinationCreationCourse.com

    If you would like to help your local business owners, we are looking for people who can lead my Destination Creation classes.

    The Destination Creation Course was started last August, and we now have 53 trained Facilitators of our Destination Creation Course in 19 states and the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, Canada.

    Here are the states where we DO NOT HAVE Facilitators: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.

    We also DON’T have Facilitators in the other 8 Canadian provinces that aren’t Alberta and Saskatchewan. (If you're in Canada, you know who you are).

    I’m listing all of these states and provinces because we’d love to have a minimum of one (1) Facilitator in each of these locations. We can take more than 1, but we’d like to at least get 1 in each of these States and Provinces.

    If you or someone you know in your community would be great at helping business owners with an entirely new class that can help them grow their businesses, learn about the Destination Train-the-Trainer class (the class you have to take to become a certified Facilitator -- next class is July 28-30). You can also see and learn about our current skilled team of Facilitators and what others have said about the Destination Creation Course by going here: Click here to learn more.

    And remember, if you have any thoughts, questions, or if you just want to say hello, email js@jonschallert.com.

    Thanks!

    Jon Schallert
    The Schallert Group, Inc.
    Info@JonSchallert.com
    303-774-6522


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