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Mayor Hancock gives Denver travel tips to U.S. News & World Report

His picks included LoDo, the Denver Art Museum and Red Rocks.

Excerpt:

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has been a key force behind efforts to ramp up tourism in the Mile High City since being elected in 2011, working to expand direct flights to Denver International Airport and improve the airport's facilities. A longtime Denver resident now in his second term, Hancock has seen firsthand how much the city has grown and changed over the years. He says Denver has a special quality that makes the city unique.

"There’s a certain spirit in this city you don’t find everywhere," he tells U.S. News. "It’s a very optimistic, forward-thinking, positive spirit that permeates every sector and every individual."

. . .

Describe your perfect day in Denver.

My family and I would go have brunch at Snooze or one of the great diners in Denver, like the Denver Diner downtown. Then we would go walk the dogs in City Park. Then maybe we’d go to the Denver Zoo, which is well-respected around the country. The primates and the elephants are my favorite animal exhibits. At night, we’d have dinner, then we would go find somewhere to enjoy live music because Denver has more live music venues than Austin, Texas. I love listening to jazz at El Chapultepec and Jazz at Jacks. The Soiled Dove Underground in [the neighborhood of] Lowry has great sound and gets some national acts.

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Government Technology looks at DPS Imaginarium

Government Technology magazine reported on Denver Public Schools' Imaginarium in a feature on innovation in education.

Excerpt:

At the other end of the spectrum is the imaginarium, an innovation lab launched last year by Denver Public Schools. Part of its reason for being is to counter traditional approaches to improving education, explained Peter Piccolo, director of innovation at the lab. "My colleagues are making sure the trains go down the tracks while I'm trying to build the rocketship," he said. 

There's also a big difference in the amount of money that governments are willing to spend. Gregory couldn't put a number on the cost of his program, but it probably amounts to little added expense. The cost of provisioning space on CalCloud is low. There is also the cost of the manpower of the developers. Currently, any other expenses are coming out of the state's enterprise IT fund, which already supports approved IT projects that are developed in the lab. But the program is brand new, and the state is still discussing how projects might be funded in the future, said Gregory.

The imaginarium, on the other hand, is a big investment. It has a staff of 20 and a budget this year of almost $6 million, with about $3.8 million coming from the school district and $2 million from philanthropies, according to Piccolo. 

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CNBC tokes up at Adagio Bud & Breakfast

The segment covered the weed-friendly inn in Denver.

Excerpt and video:

Joel Schneider had a long and successful career as a lawyer on Wall Street. "I practiced law for 30 years and hated it."

So once his kids graduated from college, he decided to pursue his passion: Pot.

Now he runs three Bud+Breakfast hotels in Colorado.
 
"There is no place like this," he said while giving a tour of his first B&B in Denver, a 7,000 square foot home built in 1892 that gives new meaning to "high end."

The six suites range in price from $299 to $399 a night. Guests have included musicians and former NFL players, as well as cannabis fans ages 21 to 80, who enjoy the well-appointed rooms, fully stocked bar, and meals prepared by a chef.


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Broncos' Okung pens op-ed pushing athletes to invest in tech

Denver Broncos offensive lineman Russell Okung wrote an op-ed for SportTechie advocating that fellow professional athletes invest in technology.

Excerpt:

For decades, athletes have used the money they earned on the field to invest in projects off it, with plans to achieve financial security for life after the game. In the past, these investments were typically in steakhouses, car dealerships, or nightclubs; businesses in which athletes thought they could use their fame to directly generate business and incur large profits. While some athletes -- take Walt Frazier and John Elway -- have been extremely successful, many have learned the hard way that these can be fickle and risky investments. Unfortunately, it has also created a stereotype that athletes are unsophisticated in business and prone to unwise investments.

Now, some people are warning that venture capital funds and tech startups are the new steakhouses; money pits luring naïve athletes. Sure, some athletes have lost large sums of money as a result of reckless investments and typically, when this happens, it generates a lot of media attention because it reinforces the aforementioned stereotype. But this narrative ignores that investment failure is not the exclusive domain of athletes. It is, by its nature, a risky endeavor and all investors have the same obligation to be diligent, to self-educate and to consult industry and investment experts.

Everyone, not just athletes, needs to do their homework before investing. And athletes are just as able as anyone to do so.

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Star Tribune reports on proposed Upstairs Circus in Minneapolis

The Denver-based bar offers customers crafts with their cocktails.

Excerpt:

Bar hoppers in downtown Minneapolis will likely have a new and more creative outlet beginning next summer.

Upstairs Circus, a Denver-based arts-and-crafts bar, is expected to sign papers soon to expand in the popular North Loop area, according to owners Matt and Kelly Johannsen.

At its two existing locations in Denver, Upstairs Circus offers guests the chance to sign up for “project socials” with friends or strangers. The events allow attendees to create projects while they imbibe. Individuals can choose from among a few dozen possibilities that range from making custom leather hip flasks or drink coolers to assembling tassel necklaces and devising urban silhouette art.

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Christian Science Monitor reports on GrowHaus

Christian Science Monitor covered The GrowHaus, a nonprofit indoor farm in Elyria-Swansea.

Excerpt:

"How can we say that we have this amazing, healthy city, and boast our outdoors life, but we have these communities that don’t have access to healthy food?" says Coby Gould, executive director and cofounder of The GrowHaus. "We are a food-based organization, but ultimately we’re a community development organization -- and we use food as the tool, food as the lens."

The GrowHaus is based in a rehabbed, 20,000-square-foot space that was formerly a flower distribution center. It's surrounded by factories, highways, and rail lines, and the whistle of a freight train interrupted Mr. Gould's comments.

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Red Rocks makes Business Insider's list of world's 15 most beautiful public spaces

Business Insider named the legendary, Denver-owned amphitheatre to its list alongside Millennium Park in Chicago and London's Trafalgar Square.

Excerpt:

[W]e reached out to urban designers and planners around the world. They told us about spaces that have been game-changers for cities, that inspired them to go into the field, and that they simply find stunning.

Here are 15 of the world's most beautiful parks, libraries, streets, and plazas, according to people who design them for a living.

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Fox News spotlights Denver women brewers making a statement

"Makin Noise: A Pussy Riot Beer" was first produced in December at Goldspot Brewing.

Excerpt:

Female brewers in Denver, Colo. are taking a stand against oppression, sexism and anti-LGBT sentiments by collaborating to produce a series of craft brews that will be released leading up to president-elect Donald Trump's inauguration later this month. 

The first batch of "Makin Noise: A Pussy Riot Beer" was produced on Dec. 28 at Goldspot Brewing. Kelissa Hieber, Goldspot's head brewer and one of the group's key organizers, told FoxNews.com that the goal of the project isn't about promoting anti-Trumpism (though she admitted to Westword that many felt "defeated" and "helpless" after the election) but rather to foster unity among likeminded individuals and beer lovers.

"Despite a kneejerk reaction to assume that an inauguration day release insinuates a protest to Trump, however our only desire for this beer to to insight a larger sense of community and to stand up against injustice," Hieber said.

Read the rest here.

Forbes profiles Havenly founder in "30 Under 30 2017" feature

Emily Motayed, founder of Denver-based interior-design startup Havenly, was a focal point in the 2017 edition of Forbes' "30 Under 30" feature.

Excerpt:

Many of this year's crop of impressive young entrepreneurs started a business to solve their own problem. Take 28-year-old Emily Motayed. When she cofounded Havenly with her older sister Lee Mayer in 2013, she didn’t know much about interior design -- other than that she couldn't afford it.

After moving into her first "big-girl" apartment in New York, she discovered that traditional interior designers weren’t interested in working within her modest budget. Working with a roster of more than 200 freelance interior designers, Havenly charges a flat fee that tops out at $199 per room.

The Denver-based e-commerce platform also sells furniture, allowing shoppers to buy a whole Instagram-ready look, from a chic coffee table (candles and all) to an entire dorm room. In three years Motayed and Mayer have grown Havenly’s team from 2 to 60 and raised $13.3 million in funding.

As the daughter of Indian parents, Motayed is one of 19 members of this year's retail and e-commerce Under 30 list who is either an immigrant or a first generation American.

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NY Times explores real estate in RiNo

RiNo's development boom was the subject of a recent story in the New York Times.

Excerpt:

Among the unconventional work spaces and restaurants in the district, known as RiNo and north of downtown, is Comal, a lunch spot with Latin American cuisine where women from low-income backgrounds are learning how to run a business. In RiNo's recently opened Denver Central Market, shoppers can grab a sandwich, coffee or fresh fish,or sit at a bar and take in the scene.

The neighborhood has attracted artists who helped gentrify the old and neglected industrial expanse, which in its dilapidated condition was long considered the back door into downtown from westbound I-70.

Business promoters now want to create an international trade hub in the district and are ready to capitalize on what they see as one of Denver's last development frontiers. The developer Sean Campbell and World Trade Center Denver, a nonprofit organization that helps regional businesses, have proposed building a $200 million international business campus in RiNo.

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NPR profiles maverick Denver minister

Fresh Air's Terry Gross interviewed Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber.

Excerpt:

Bolz-Weber tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that while addressing the crowd of "academics and queers and comics and recovering alcoholics" at the funeral, she realized: "These people don't have a pastor, and maybe that's what I'm supposed to do."

After going to seminary, Bolz-Weber founded a church in Denver called The House for All Sinners and Saints. She writes about the church, which she describes as "Christo-centric," in the new memoir Accidental Saints: Finding God in all the Wrong People.

Bolz-Weber's congregation includes LGBT people, people with addictions, compulsions and depression, and even nonbelievers. "Some churches might have a hard time welcoming junkies and drag queens; we're fine with that," she says.

Read and listen here.

Lonely Planet pegs Denver among 10 best U.S. destinations for 2017

The city was ranked no. 9 on the travel publisher's annual list for its sunshine, beer, access to skiing and hip neighborhoods.

Excerpt:
 
Home of the bearded and the buff, Denver's aspen-tinged allure has never been greater. The secret is out: ample sunshine, a brewery on every corner and an endless supply of adrenaline-firing fun are fuelling the Rocky Mountain rush. And those lofty alpine summits aren't the only highs in town -- revamped Union Station is at the heart of new developments like the Ski Train, which in 2017 will whisk skiers direct from downtown to Winter Park's powdery bliss. Throw a vibrant economy into the mix, and you get artsy districts like RiNo (River North) and LoHi (Lower Highlands), where you can replenish your calories in slow-food market halls, bookended by gallery hopping and a night out with some rootsy, denim-clad rockers.

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Inc. tells Punch Bowl Social founder's comeback story

Denver-based Robert Thompson took a winding road to success with his growing restaurant empire.

Excerpt:

Don't be fooled by the case of pies in the front window. As you enter the diner in downtown Denver at 8 p.m. on a Friday, the gold booths, open kitchen, and chicken 'n' waffles are only a teaser for the adult playground ahead. The thump of Ol' Dirty Bastard lures you through to Punch Bowl Social's cavernous main hall, 23,000 square feet of fun. At its center is a circular bar lit by a massive antler chandelier, where bushy-bearded, tattooed bartenders serve local brews, craft cocktails, and elder-flower-spiked punch to a crowd of hipster parents and their heirs apparent. Drink in hand, it's time to choose your own adventure. A couple of rounds of bowling, perhaps, in one of eight dimly lit lanes adorned with vintage fox-hunting prints? A private karaoke room? A game of bocce? You wander upstairs, where there's another bar, dozens of 1980s arcade games, Ping-Pong and pool tables, and low banquettes that, as the night wears on, become the backdrop for more sloppy public making out than you've encountered anywhere else in post-collegiate life.

While this scene might not be everyone's idea of a good time, anyone trying to sell to the elusive, highly sought-after 20- and 30-somethings marketers love to refer to as Millennials will want to take notes. Every detail a guest sees, hears, tastes, and experiences at Punch Bowl is part of a well-honed formula for fun engineered by weathered restaurant vet Robert Thompson.

Thompson, who sports a shaved head and an expression that reliably hovers between a squint and a scowl, is hardly a poster boy for the type of carefree good times he's spent his career designing for others. "I can't have fun when I'm here," concedes Thompson, who would rather stay home with his wife and two young sons on Friday night than soak up the endorphins at one of his eight Punch Bowl locations scattered in cities throughout the country. "All I see are the cigarette butts in the parking lot," he nitpicks. "I notice when booths aren't perfectly aligned with light fixtures, if the music levels aren't right for the time of day, whether the hostess ran over to open the door, if the servers are smiling."

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Zagat tabs Denver as no. 3 food city in U.S.

Only Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles topped Denver on the 25-city list.

Excerpt:

The best city for singles. For millennials. For entrepreneurs. For outdoorspeople. Over the past few years, Denver has ranked at or near the top of virtually every U.S. index there is; it was only a matter of time before outsiders "discovered" its dynamic dining scene too. This year alone, Nobu MatsuhisaGregory GourdetDeborah Schneider and Hugh Acheson staked claims here; Jeffrey Wall of Atlanta's Kimball House is on his way, and so is the team behind New York's Death & Co.

Meanwhile, there's no stopping our homegrown talent. Beard award-winners Bobby Stuckey and Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson (Frasca) will be opening Tavernetta soon; fellow recipient Jennifer Jasinski (Rioja et al.) is expanding her mini empire with Ultreia. 

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WSJ analyzes impact of affordable housing in Denver

There was no drag on nearby property values, and even an uptick in Denver, according to the Wall Street Journal story.

Excerpt:

The majority of metro areas in the study, which included most coastal markets in California, along with New York City, Miami, Denver and the Pacific Northwest, saw no significant differences in prices after low-income housing was built.

There were a few exceptions: In Boston and Cambridge, Mass., home values closest to low-income housing increased at a slower pace than the area slightly farther away, amounting to a difference of between $18 and $19 per square foot.

In Denver, the opposite happened: Prices for homes closest to the low-income housing grew at a faster rate than the more distant ones.

Read the rest here.
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