There always seems to be conflicting news about downtown Denver’s recovery. One day you hear good news and the next bad. However, things are definitely looking up. Crime is down across the board in District 6, foot traffic continues to increase, the hotel occupancy rates are up, and the Colorado Convention Center continues to book more conventions. Additionally, eleven new businesses have leased space on the 16th Street Mall despite the construction. One of those businesses, Casa Tequilas, has leased the former Rialto Café space. Finally, the Together We Will initiative is making a difference in the safety and cleanliness of downtown, and more of the unhoused are being connected with services.
Despite the good news, the perception remains that downtown isn’t safe; we need to change that! Go shopping, eat out, report issues, and most importantly spread the word that downtown Denver is a safe place to live, work and visit.
The Denver Police Department has started a new program called Before the Badge. For one week at the beginning of the academy experience, new police officer recruits spend one day in each police district and hear from members of the community. This experience gives the recruits an opportunity to view the city through the eyes of those who live and work in the various districts. A few days ago, Rob Squire and I had the opportunity to introduce UpDoNA and the Upper Downtown Neighborhood to the recruits. With 54 men and women, this is the largest class of recruits since 1986.
June 6th is Election Day. As you know, we have two run-off elections: Kelly Brough and Mike Johnston for Mayor and Chris Hinds and Shannon Hoffman for District 10 City Council. In addition, some of our members who live in District 9 have a run-off election between Candi CdeBaca and Darrell Watson This election, just like the one before it, is extremely important for the future of downtown. Unfortunately, only 21% of registered voters in Upper Downtown cast a ballot on June 4th. We can do better! Please be an informed voter and VOTE! If you were unable to attend the D10 Run-Off Debate at the Chamber of Commerce, you can view the debate on UpDoNA’s YouTube Channel, using this link: https://youtu.be/qIGFJ5BzwPs The last day to mail your ballot is May 30th.
Upcoming UpDoNA Board of Directors’ Election: The terms of the UpDoNA Board of Directors are staggered. This year we have three open positions, and we have five members who have expressed an interest in serving on the board. All UpDoNA members should have received bios, introductions from the candidates, and the voting procedures from the Election Committee. Voting this year will be completed entirely online ahead of the Annual Meeting. On the night of the Annual Meeting, the new board members will be introduced. I want to personally thank everyone who served with me on the Board this year. A special thank you to Bennett Parsons and Ron Townsend whose terms ended this year.
UpDoNA Annual Meeting: All members should have received an invitation to the Annual Meeting which will be on Monday, June 12th, from 6:30-8:30 at Terra Denver. Join your neighbors and friends to celebrate all that UpDoNA has accomplished this year! The evening will be filled with delicious appetizers, great drinks, friends, and prizes. Make sure that you save your spot by registering on EventBrite using this link: Annual Meeting Link
For another fun-filled night, don’t forget to mark your calendars to attend our first National Night Out to be held on Tuesday, August 1st, at Skyline Park from 4:30-7:30 p.m. National Night Out gives us the opportunity to get to know and thank those who serve and protect us. The Safety & Quality of Life Committee continues to work with LoDoNA and the Downtown Denver Partnership to plan an exciting event. We already have commitments from the fire department, police department, RTD, Department of Safety, legislative leaders, and many others. There will be music, food, booths, and, of course, fire trucks, police cars, including the copsicle, and many more surprises. So come on out and enjoy a wonderful evening in your neighborhood!
Finally, two words: Go, Nuggets! The Nuggets’ run to the NBA Championship is not only exciting for the franchise and faithful fans, but also for downtown Denver. The Avalanche Stanley Cup run helped to draw 277,520 visitors to downtown and increased retail sales by $500 million. The Downtown Denver Partnership is expecting similar results with the Nuggets’ run!
Have a wonderful June!