President’s Message – January 2023

It’s hard to believe that 2022 has come and gone.  UpDoNA had a very busy first year, and I am extremely proud of what our members and volunteers accomplished.  Thanks for your commitment to making Upper Downtown a better place for everyone to live, work, and play; your efforts made a difference.  Below are some updates and upcoming events in 2023.


The City’s contract with the Aloft Hotel will end in July 2023.  The owner of the hotel has signed a contract with Marriott to resume operations as an Aloft Hotel in August 2023.  City Council’s Finance and Governance Committee unanimously voted to extend the contract one final time and to cease using the Aloft Hotel as an emergency action shelter.  It is expected that the full City Council will do the same.  Beginning April 17th,  HOST will start relocating all residents of the hotel, moving the last resident out of the hotel by April 30th.  From May through July, the City will use FEMA funds to refurbish the hotel.  Sabrina Allie, Department of Housing Stability, will keep UpDoNA’s Safety & Quality of Life Committee informed of its Step-Down Plan which will include information about the placement of the residents.  The residents will be offered several housing options such as:  shelters, reunification with family/friends, safe and assisted living facilities, and housing vouchers.  Please look for monthly updates. 

Together We Will/Downtown Action Team:  On 12/15/22 the Downtown Denver Partnership held a Public Health and Safety Webinar updating the public on the progress of its new initiative.  The Downtown Action Team’s concentration on the Colorado Convention Center Corridor, which includes parts of the 16th Street Mall, has made a difference.  Criminals are being arrested, unsheltered individuals are being connected with services and housing, and DOTI has power washed 1,700 square feet of sidewalks and alleys and has painted over 28,480 square feet of graffiti.

Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars – UpDoNA has partnered with LoDoNA to host a District 10 Candidate Forum on Thursday, February 16th, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Home2 Suites.  UpDoNA filed a Fair Election Fund application with the Denver Clerk and Recorder’s Office and that application was approved.  Currently, there are five candidates running for the District 10 City Council position and all five candidates have agreed to attend.  The upcoming City Council and Mayoral elections are extremely important for the future of downtown.  Space will be limited to approximately 125 people, so be sure to save your spot to learn about the candidate positions and to be an informed voter.  An official announcement will be sent out in January. 

Please look for Sal Tripodi’s newsletter article about an opportunity to attend a Mental Health First-Aid Class at Bayaud Enterprises.  The class discusses how to recognize mental health and substance abuse disorders for the layperson and explains who to call to get the appropriate assistance for individuals.  Many of the unsheltered suffer from either mental health issues or substance abuse disorders, or both. 

The Safety & Quality of Life Committee will be scheduling a Community Safety Presentation by the Denver Police Department which will discuss tips for personal safety, protecting property, being a good witness, situational awareness, when to call the police, etc.  Please watch for a date/time for this Zoom presentation.

Thank You

Thanks to everyone for your generosity in making the Christmas season a bit brighter for the men, women, and children at STEP Denver, The Delores Project, The Gathering Place, and the Boys and Girl’s Club.  Donations of money, toys, food, and clothing were greatly appreciated!  Thanks to Kristen Deak and the UpDoNA Cares Committee for coordinating these efforts. 

Carolyn Benton is replacing Janet Apter as the new co-chair of Clean Sustainable Denver Committee.  Carolyn will work alongside Kristen Deak to continue UpDoNA’s Clean-Up Days and to monitor Upper Downtown for safety and cleanliness issues.  Thanks to Janet Apter for her service.

Finally, thanks to our members and volunteers!  A strong and active membership has given us a powerful voice in the community.  As we enter 2023, we can look back and be proud of what we have accomplished while looking forward with excitement to what we will do moving forward. 

Previous New Business Member – Union Lodge No. 1
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UpDoNA is a City Registered Neighborhood Organization representing the community of Denver’s Upper Downtown.

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