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Canadian Press writes about challenges of promoting cannabis tourism

An interesting outsider's take on how we are promoting pot. Or, more accurately, not promoting it. 

An excerpt:

"Welcome to Colorado, where the cannabis-consuming tourist can enjoy a sushi-and-joint rolling class, a buds-and-suds tour combining dispensaries with micro-breweries or get a cannabis-infused massage at a "4-20-friendly" hotel — a reference to annual marijuana celebrations on April 20.

Just don't expect to pick up a brochure at the airport.

Since legalizing recreational weed in 2012 and becoming the first state in the country to allow storefront sales in 2014, Colorado has seen a boom in marijuana-themed visitor experiences. But the Colorado Tourism Office and local organization Visit Denver say they can't promote the industry because marijuana is illegal federally."

Read the full story here.


 

Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports of Denver-based Brickstone's new project

Brickstone is hoping to "demolish a 1950s office building on the north side of Lake Calhoun in order to build a 200-unit residential tower," according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

The newspaper says the project is evolving: "The company now says that it wants to build an eight-story building that is 112 feet tall, down from its initial idea of a 13-story building."
 
 
Excerpt: "In August 2015, an entity associated with Brickstone paid the Ackerberg Group $8 million for the Lake Pointe Corporate Center at 3100 W. Lake St. The 50,000-square-foot building was built in 1953 and is known best for a colorful, nearly three-story steel sculpture on its driveway and a pair of oversized green Adirondack chairs on its lawn."

The developer still needs permission before it can move forward: "Brickstone needs a conditional-use permit from city planners to redevelop the property because the maximum height limitation in the area is 56 feet, or about four stories, and the site is within the Shoreland Overlay District, which further limits the height of structures to 35 feet, or about two stories."

Read the entire news story here.
 

Bloomberg says marijuana jobs are causing a shortage of restaurant workers in Denver

Bloomberg says marijuana jobs are causing a shortage of restaurant workers in Denver

Here's an excerpt:

The pot industry is taking a toll on local restaurant work forces and in some cases, liquor sales. “No one is talking about it,” said Bobby Stuckey, the James Beard award winning co-owner of Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder and the soon-to-open  Tavernetta in Denver. “But Colorado’s restaurant labor market is in Defcon 5 right now, because of weed facilities.” 

Denver’s population has been steadily growing. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked it as the best place to live in the country because of its proximity to the great outdoors, along with the tech boom, among other things. The city is particularly popular with millennials. A boom in restaurants soon followed, transforming a sleepy culinary scene into a particularly vibrant one. (Another reason for the expanding dining scene is the $54 million Union Station renovation, which opened in 2014 and brought a concentration of fine dining spots downtown.) 

Read the rest here.

 

PBS NewsHour covers "Mi Tierra" at DAM

The new exhibit at the Denver Art Museum delves into the Mexican-American experience.

Excerpt:

RAMIRO GOMEZ: It's important for me to highlight these people that are not going to be recorded in our history.

JEFFREY BROWN: In Denver, Gomez was one of 13 young Mexican-American artists chosen for an exhibition called Mi Tierra, their assignment, to create a new work that explores the idea of home and place in the American West.
There were smaller paintings and large installations, videos about the land before Europeans settled here, and a garden that looked like a giant pinata.

Many of the artists tackled the politically charged topic of immigration. This piece contained an actual panel of the U.S.-Mexico border fence.

RAMIRO GOMEZ: For me, place becomes a very difficult word to focus on, just because place is never permanent. We're constantly moving. It's constantly shifting.

I'm an American-born child to Mexican immigrants. So, I'm at once Mexican and American. I'm in between. That in-between space, that in-between place that I occupy is something that is constantly changing within myself.

Watch and read the rest here.

ULC's Tony Pickett offers housing lessons to Oregon's Metro

Tony Pickett of Denver's Urban Land Conservancy recently spoke about affordability and equity in Portland.

Excerpt:

The Urban Land Conservancy, where Pickett has worked since 2013, has even more opportunity to create affordability in the Mile-High City. Started with a $15 million seed fund, the organization has grown over time to invest $70 million in 28 projects, generating over $400 million in redevelopment.

One of the conservancy's advantages has been the ability to move quickly to purchase prime sites as Denver undergoes a multi-billion dollar expansion of its rail transit system.

Pickett shared the example of the conservancy's Park Hill Village West development, on Denver's new A-Line commuter rail connecting downtown to Denver International Airport. Urban Land Conservancy purchased the site close to a planned station in a historically black neighborhood to create permanently affordable housing with easy access to the region's growing transit network. The development opened at about the same time as the rail line.

Read the rest here.

Skytrax ranks DIA as best U.S. airport

Skytrax has released its annual rankings of "The World's est Airports." At No. 28, Denver International Airports was sandwiched between airports in Barcelona and Vienna. Singapore was at the top the list, and Denver bested 10 other U.S. airports that made the cut of 100.

See the full list here.

Inman offers tips for booming cities from Denver

The real estate news site looked at how housing inventory, affordability and other issues are being handled in Denver.

Excerpt:

Trends that metro Denver experienced last year due to housing demand are opportunities that real estate agents can leverage in growing cities such as Charleston, Houston, Raleigh, Fort Myers and Austin.

So, what can other markets projected to have skyrocketing populations in 2017 glean from Denver?

First, for perspective, our January 2016 market trends report stated: "Looking forward into 2016, the top concerns are tight inventory, home affordability, appraisal issues, tight credit and TRID." These issues all rose to the surface, and are the same issues facing many up-and-coming hot cities throughout the United States today.

Read the rest here.

DIA food tops RewardExpert airport dining list

Denver International Airport beat out second-place Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix.

Excerpt:

Denver International Airport comes in at number one for the RewardExpert restaurant rankings by a comfortable margin. Ranked the highest in overall quality and second in price and variety, the DIA offers a breadth of excellent choices at a low price. The field-to-fork Root Down has a 4 and a half star rating with more than 1,000 reviews to its name.

Read the rest here.

Builder mag showcases Denver construction coworking space

The story looked at the innovative model of Tradecraft Industries in north Denver.

Excerpt:

Tradecraft Industries founder Bryce Ballew envisioned a shared office space where building pros can network and build relationships with others in similar trades. Memberships are offered for private and flex offices, mailing addresses, and storage units. Other features include conference rooms, continuing education programs, and estimating rooms.

Read the rest here.

Realtor.com pegs Denver as fourth-hottest housing market

The city ranked fourth on the list, after Vallejo, California, San Francisco and Dallas.

Excerpt:

"Spring has arrived early this year, at least in terms of the rapid decline in the age of inventory," Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke of realtor.com said in a statement. "Strong off-season demand powered new seasonal highs in prices and left us with a new low in available homes for sale. Potential sellers take note: This year is shaping up to favor you even more than last year."

Another indication of the continuing strength of buyer demand is that the median list price remains level at $250,000, which is a steep 9 percent higher than one year ago. If this figure holds by the end of the month, it would be a record for February. Buyers are also ramping up their search online: realtor.com saw the highest year-over-year increase in average views per listing since April 2015.

While nearly 425,000 new listings will have entered the market in February, there still aren't enough to meet buyer demand. In fact, the sharp double-digit decline in for-sale housing inventory observed since October is continuing.

Read the rest here.

Tnooz reports on Denver pitch event for travel startups

Four graduates of the Travelport Labs Accelerator presented their business plans at the event.

Excerpt:

Wolo entered the program as a B2C "online bucket list community" company, but pivoted at the halfway point to a B2B company aimed at leveraging the power of bucket lists to improve corporate rewards and incentives.

Founders Ray Collins and Mike Swisher had just left another large accelerator program in South America where the team was one of more than a hundred in the program.

Collins and Swisher initially were hesitant about joining the newer, smaller Travelport Labs accelerator. However, the pair quickly appreciated the dedicated coaching and mentors the Travelport Labs program provided. And they loved Denver so much so that the team has now decided to relocate and base their business in the city.

Read the rest here.

CNN Money segment takes Ski Train from Denver

CNN Money covered the comeback of the Ski Train from Denver to the slopes at Winter Park.

Excerpt:

Beat the traffic and ditch the car: Amtrak's "Winter Park Express" takes skiers--and their gear-- from downtown Denver, Colorado, to the Winter Park Resort, literally steps away from mountain chair lifts. The train climbs nearly 4,000 feet above Denver, cruises through 28 tunnels and gets you back to the city in time for dinner.

Permalink here.
 

Expedia names Denver one of "America's most artistic towns"

The travel site included Denver in a roundup of artsy cities of all sizes.

Excerpt:

Denver is miles ahead when it comes to the best cities for art. Denver Art Museum houses diverse permanent collections from across the globe, and attracts world-class exhibits on the regular. Night owls should join Untitled Final Fridays (January through October), which include special programs, workshops, and “tours with a twist” after the sun goes down. RiNo (or the River North Arts District, if you're fancy) transformed warehouses and factories into galleries, working studios, and more than a few places to catch live music and a good drink. When you need a place to crash, hit up the ART Hotel, which seriously stays true to its name.

Read the rest here.

AP story delves into the history and present of Five Points, Denver's "Harlem of the West"

The Associated Press story looked at the rich legacy of jazz, African-American history and the neighborhood's modern-day boom.

Excerpt:
 
Denver's Five Points isn't the only historically black enclave changed by population shifts and revitalization. In New York, neighborhoods like Harlem and Brooklyn's Fort Greene have lost black residents as rents have risen. Seminal black-owned landmarks, like Harlem's Lenox Lounge, have shuttered. Activists in Houston's Freeman's Town have worked to prevent brick streets laid by former slaves from being uprooted despite development pressures.

On the other hand, some of Five Points' new businesses are opening in storefronts that have long sat empty, and they're making an effort to recognize the neighborhood's roots.

The 715 Club, founded by the son of a Pullman porter at the corner of Welton and 26th, had been closed for years before a 2016 reopening. "We are a neighborhood bar in the heart of 5 Points trying to preserve a piece of Welton history," the new owners say on their Facebook page.

Read the rest here.

NY Times covers I-70 expansion controversy

The story delved into the environmental and health hazards associated with the project.

Excerpt:

Each morning Yadira Sanchez and her three children awaken to the roar of traffic and the plumes of exhaust that spill from the highway that cuts through their neighborhood.

Now, Ms. Sanchez and her family are confronting a plan to triple the width of this state's main east-west artery, sending tens of thousands more cars by their door.

Denver was the fastest-growing large city in America in 2015, with a population of nearly 700,000, and the scene of a tech and marijuana boom that has drawn 1,000 new households a month. But as in other cities, its highways have not kept up with development. Many roads are crumbling, leaving officials with decisions that will have lasting effects on the families living nearby, including residents of Elyria-Swansea, a low-income and overwhelmingly Latino community still reeling from the road's construction back in 1964.

Read the rest here.
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