President’s Message – April 2024

What’s in a name – apparently a lot. UpDoNA recently received an email from someone suggesting a name change for our neighborhood from the Central Business District to City Center. I explained that the Downtown Denver Partnership (“DDP”) changed our neighborhood name from the Central Business District to Upper Downtown a few years ago. That’s why we named our organization the Upper Downtown Neighborhood Association. However, it turns out that I was mistaken. Here’s what I learned.  

The Central Business District encompasses Upper Downtown and Lower Downtown, parts of Capitol Hill, Five Points, RiNo, Highland, Golden Triangle, and more. Our neighborhood didn’t have a name until two years ago when DDP gave us the name Upper Downtown. As you know, UpDoNA’s footprint is Speer Boulevard, Lawrence Street, 20th Street, Broadway, and Colfax Avenue. Our footprint is actually DDP’s Business Improvement District, not the CBD.  

As our city leaders work to reimagine downtown Denver with possible building conversions to housing, daycares, and more public spaces, the Central Business District name will most likely be changed to reflect downtown’s new identity. However, the many unique neighborhoods that makeup downtown will keep their names, including ours—the Upper Downtown neighborhood.  

UpDoNA Social/Membership Event:  UpDoNA’s Social and Membership Committees have made plans for an April event.  Please join us on Wednesday, April 3rd, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Fortissimo Dueling Pianos, 891 14th Street.   Appetizers will be provided, and drinks will be available at happy hour prices!   Stop by to learn about UpDoNA’s future work!  Please use this link to register, space is limited:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/updona-april-social-event-at-fortissimo-dueling-pianos-tickets-869528712787?aff=oddtdtcreator

Meeting with City Leaders. Thanks to 100+ people, including UpDoNA members, members of the Building Owners and Managers Association, tenants, and office workers, for attending our recent meeting with city leaders. Our panelists included Evan Dreyer, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Mayor; DPD Chief Ron Thomas; RTD Deputy Chief Steve Martingano; Director of Public Safety Armando Saldate; Beth Moyski, Sr. V.P. of Downtown Environment, Downtown Denver Partnership, Ryan Ertman, Director of Safety and Security, Downtown Denver Partnership, and Travis Bogan, DOTI Engineer-Architect lead for the 16th Street Mall project. Also in attendance were Lt. David Albi, Councilman Chris Hinds and his Senior Aide Paul Rosenthal, and Councilman Watson’s Senior Aide Bonnie Guillen. The panelists addressed several issues, including crime trends, RTD safety, business retention, migrants, decommissioned encampment areas, and security, and included a PowerPoint presentation about the 16th Street Mall. 

The meeting provided an opportunity to hear directly from our city leaders about accomplishments to date and plans for Upper Downtown. It also provided an opportunity for those who live and work downtown to get their questions answered.

The meeting’s goal was to provide information that will help guide the decisions of tenants and office workers to remain downtown. I will follow up with the Building Owners and Members Association to find out if we were successful.  

If you didn’t or weren’t able to attend the webinar, please watch it using this link:


Passcode: Fwy&7fL@

Important Date—Denver District Attorney Debate. To assist our members in being informed voters, UpDoNA is partnering with LoDoNA and the LoDo District to host a debate for Denver’s District Attorney on Tuesday, April 30th, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. The debate will be held at Orchid Denver,1448 Market Street, Denver.

The upcoming District Attorney race is crucial for Denver’s future. Currently, there are three Democratic candidates: Leora Joseph, Lisi Owens, and former U.S. Attorney John Walsh. You will receive an email from UpDoNA with the Eventbrite invitation to save your spot.  

UNO: Thanks to everyone who attended our first UNO—UpDoNA Night Out! Approximately 40 people attended the happy hour at Fortissimo Dueling Pianos. Everyone had a great time, and, more importantly, it was a great way to support an Upper Downtown business. Please visit the Events Page on our website at updona.org. To find out when and where we will meet in April, please visit https://updona.org/event/  See you there!

Have a wonderful spring.  

Lisa L. Pope


Lisa L. Pope, President

Thumbnail attribution – Lisa Pope

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