Happy Green 4th of JulyDid you know that Denver Concierge was the very first certified green cleaning company in Colorado? Every year we get recertified with the Green Clean Institute and 2022 was no exception, as we have just been recertified for the year. Back in 2007 we applied for certification and have proudly carried that with us through today. What does that really mean for you? Simply it means that you are doing your part for the environment by using a certified company. Every product we use has been vetted as 100% green. Our people are trained in green cleaning practices and we take every step to ensure that we are taking care of the environment as we clean. We do our best to stay humble over here, so we don't really like to blow our horns too loudly. That said, we are very proud of this certification and what it means to our clients and the wonderful city we live in. Also, this month we have a guest writer who covers the benefits of going green in your home. We hope you enjoy it. We also want to wish you and your families a safe and happy 4th of July weekend. Denver Concierge will be closed on Monday the 4th so our folks can enjoy some time with their families as well. Finally, some fun facts about the 4th. Did you know that 150,000,000 (yes million) hot dogs will be consumed in America on the 4th of July? “Enough to stretch from D.C. to L.A. more than five times,” according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. Fun facts like that and many more can be found here, thanks to Parade magazine. We hope you have a fun 4th of July weekend, as always thanks for being part of the Denver Concierge family.
School Enrollment PlummetingWhat exactly is going on with Denver area school enrollment? Of course, it seems that COVID started all of this, but we didn't expect it to stay this way. Jefferson County, for example, has proposed a plan to close multiple elementary schools in the district due to low enrollment levels. From the article on Fox News, "According to Jeffco, the district has the capacity to serve 96,000 students in their traditional schools and currently has 69,000 students enrolled. Jeffco expects the enrollment to continue declining to 66,000 by next year." "Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online and at-home learning became the new norm for students in Colorado. When schools reopened to in-person learning, many failed to return to the traditional in-school education." The folks at Westword also did a piece on this, and they believe the declining population in Denver is also a factor. Even as Colorado’s population grew (prior to 20-21), its public-school enrollment shrunk. Enrollment was generally increasing until 2020-2021, when it rapidly fell by a whopping 30,024 students, according to Colorado Department of Education data. Most definitely a challenging time for education as funding is allocated on a per-pupil basis. Denver Public Schools predict another 6% enrollment decrease in the next 5 years and the plan is to establish criteria for permanently closing schools with low enrollment by 2024. Finally, it seems we are not alone here in Denver. The New Y0rk Times recently published a piece on this topic and it can be found here.
Wages & InflationBefore COVID, most of us were pretty happy with that good old 3% wage increase. These days, it might not be enough. One of the concepts few employees understand is effective purchasing power. It is super easy to get intoxicated by a higher wage, but if all the goods and services around you are going up at a higher rate (see the chart above), then purchasing power is lost. So even though wages have skyrocketed and are up 4.9%, inflation is up 6.2%, a net loss. Closer to home, and from the DBJ article on this topic, "In Denver, median weekly earnings rose 6.5% over the past year from ,163.80 to ,239.38. Meanwhile, the cost of living rose 12.9% since 2019." "That combination of factors means what would have been a traditional raise two or three years ago may not cut it for many employees — especially when it's far from what they could fetch on the open market." It is certainly safe to say we are in trying times both as employees try to pay their bills, and companies do their best to retain talent with fair pay. Sadly, the inevitable conclusion of all of this could likely be fewer jobs, as companies strive to automate and eliminate humans wherever possible. Meanwhile, we will do everything in our power to keep a happy and well-paid workforce in your homes.
Navy Seals & NeuroscienceSo, a Navy Seal and a neuroscientist walk into a bar....... Just kidding, but it sounds like the beginning of a great joke. In reality, it was a five-hour podcast between Andrew Huberman, a neuroscientist and professor at Stanford School of Medicine, and Jocko Willink, an ex-Navy Seal officer. This was a treasure trove of information about how the human mind and our nervous systems actually work. More importantly, how can we use them to our advantage. For example, do you know what "optic flow" is? We didn't either but it can relieve stress. Also, if you are like us, we hit the coffee button right when we rise in the morning. We learned that the timing of the first caffeine in your body is important and that you should wait 60-90 minutes after waking to ingest it. This is due to a molecule called adenosine. We won't bore you with the details, but it's all in this wonderful article we found on Medium. The title of the article is 15 Learnings From a Conversation Between a Neuroscientist & Navy SEAL Officer and we found it to be one of the most informative pieces we have seen in a long while. So, if you want to learn about cool things like adenosine and dopamine, and how a simple sigh might lower your stress, this is the place for you. The full article on Medium.com can be found here, we hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Going Green in Your Home
By Guest Writer Ethel LairWhether you're looking to buy a new house or planning some home improvements on your existing property, think about the many benefits of having an eco-friendly home and garden. Going green isn’t just good for the planet, it can also save you money. So here are some things to consider when you’re looking for a house, or if you want to turn your existing abode into an eco-friendly haven: Save Money on Your Energy Bill To keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, thus reducing your need for costly air conditioning, make sure it is well insulated, from attic to basement. When buying a home, look for one that has been outfitted with dual pane windows that keep the outside elements from affecting the temperature inside the house. Solar panels have become increasingly popular over the years, and for good reason: they allow homeowners to harness the sun’s energy to power their house by turning it into electricity. Additionally, installing a solar energy system will increase the value of your home, and may even help it sell faster. When making home improvements, make sure you take before-and-after pictures of your remodeling and energy-saving projects, and keep all receipts and invoices you’ve received, both for labor and for materials. This will allow you to quantify the increase in value of your home when you’re ready to put it on the market. Reduce Your Consumption If you have leaks and drips around your house, you are wasting precious water and increasing your utility bill. Check your appliances such as refrigerator, dishwasher, and washing machine regularly to detect such problems early on, and replace your older appliances with high-efficiency machines that use fewer resources. Upgrading your bathroom fixtures will also help in reducing your water usage. Replace your showerheads, faucets, and toilets with low-flow, high-efficiency options that are as effective as their older counterparts but use a lot less water. It’s a low-cost home improvement that can lead to big savings over time. In your backyard, install an irrigation system that will help you conserve water while keeping your landscape beautiful year-round. Smart sprinklers deliver a fine mist of water that covers an area more efficiently, and if you install weather or rain sensors, they will prevent the unnecessary watering of your lawn, helping you reduce water waste. Another way to reduce consumption, especially if you have a business, is to find ways to go paperless. For example, you can rid yourself of the hassles of printing by switching to a digital scheduling tool or a cloud based accounting system. You even save time by having automated processes and using efficient workflows. Plus, you’ll only pay for what your business needs with software that can grow with your business. Reuse and Recycle Use less paper and plastic products by investing in reusable cloth bags to do your grocery shopping, and opt for permanent storage containers instead of disposable plastic bags to store leftover food and snacks. Avoid using plastic cutlery and paper plates that end up in landfills, and save on gift bags and wrapping paper by creatively recycling what you already have on hand. Choose reusable cloth rags over paper towels to clean your windows and countertops, and reusable mop covers to clean your floors instead of disposable ones to keep your home sparkling clean. Avoid harsh cleaning products that contain unhealthy chemicals, and use the power of steam to clean and disinfect your floors and other surfaces naturally. For a certified green cleaning experience created to reduce indoor air pollution, call on the services of Denver Concierge. Repair and refinish old furniture to give it a new life instead of buying new pieces. A fresh coat of paint and some new hardware will update an old desk or dresser for a fraction of the price of a new piece of furniture. If the item is beyond repair, try repurposing the wood by turning it into a tray, frame, or bookshelf. An eco-friendly house will save you money over time and protect your environment. Whether you’re in the market for a new home or planning some renovations, consider the green alternatives currently available and invest wisely, both for yourself and for the planet. Denver Concierge provides more than 15,000 certified-green house cleanings per year. To see what makes us different, please visit our website or contact us today!
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for May were Patricia Rodriguez, Gabriela Barrancas, Maria Zapata, Maria Concepcion Reyes, and Guadalupe Caloca. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Paz Jimenez and Mayra Soto We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of May.
I just completed 21 years with Denver Concierge. I have been working alongside the same two women in the office and several of our Team Leaders during the entire time. Pretty impressive. However, I would be remiss to not include in my congratulatory mood, the many, and there are many, of our clients who came to Denver Concierge the same time I did. Imagine 21 years of bi-weekly cleanings, given a holiday here and there. 21 years of births and marriages, celebrations and anniversaries, remodels and construction, leaky ceilings, and flooded floors. The good the bad and the ugly; we've been there for you through it all. When I take on a new client it really does feel like I am welcoming them into the Denver Concierge family. We are so proud that we have stood the test of time with our clients. It is no small feat. The service industry can be brutal. As always, thank you! Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Memorial DayFor most of us, this means a day off from work, grilling with family and friends, traveling, or just plain relaxing. It also signifies the beginning of summer for some. For others, it is a solemn day to remember those in our lives that have been lost defending our great nation and freedoms. Here at Denver Concierge, we are very grateful for the sacrifices that have been made so that we can run a business, send out a newsletter, and exist in our own peaceful way. For those reasons and many others, we annually take this time to express our gratitude and humility as we know without those sacrifices things might not be the way they are today in our land. So, in that spirit, we want to share some interesting facts about this special day. Some facts you may have seen in past newsletters, as well as a couple of new tidbits we ran across. For starters, Memorial Day used to be called Decoration Day. Originally conceived to honor the over 600,000 people that died in the Civil War, by the 1900's it became a day to celebrate all Americans that have died in service around the world. It was renamed in 1967 and became a federal holiday in 1971. This year it falls on Monday the 3oth, and of course, Denver Concierge will be closed. Did you know that at 3 PM on Memorial Day every American is to stop what they are doing to remember and honor those who have died in action? Also, the flag is supposed to be flown at half-mast until noon, then raised to full mast until sunset on Memorial Day. Many of us wonder why the end of May was chosen. Was it a significant battle, anniversary, or date? Way simpler than that, the date was chosen because flowers would be blooming all around America. So the blooms would be abundantly available for decorating soldiers’ graves. Also, while no one is quite sure where this tradition originated, many locations claim to be the first to recognize this day. Some records indicate that one of the first such spring rituals took place in Charleston, South Carolina less than a month after the Civil War ended. Columbus, Mississippi is also cited as an early location of celebrations when a group of women visited a cemetery to decorate graves in 1866. Overall, more than two dozen locations in both the north and the south all claim to have hosted the first Memorial Day traditions. But in 1966, the federal government headed by Lyndon Johnson proclaimed Waterloo, New York as the holiday’s official birthplace. It was there, a century earlier, that a celebration to honor Civil War vets first took place and went on to become an annual tradition. Finally, even in this time of relative peace in America, 25 people per day are buried at Arlington Cemetery. Please join us in honoring the fallen this Memorial Day. We wish you the best for a safe and relaxing holiday weekend.
Best Places to Live 2022How things change. For years we have promoted our fine state and cities here as they rose through the ranks of U.S. News and World Report's annual "Best Places to Live" rankings. As you might expect based on many factors, our place in the rankings has dropped. There was, however, a change in methodology this year, as they added air quality to the rankings. We aren't sure how much this affected our ranks, but all of our cities except one dropped in stature. Starting with Boulder, which was ranked #1 in 2020 and 2021 which fell to #4. Colorado Springs was the only Colorado city on the list to receive a better ranking this year and they came in at No. 2, improving upon a No. 6 rating in 2021. Fort Collins sank to No. 54 from last year’s No. 17, and Denver plummeted the furthest, hitting No. 55 after being ranked No. 14 in 2021 and No. 2 in 2020. The top spot? Huntsville, Alabama, with Green Bay, Wisconsin coming in third. Evidently, the weather doesn't factor in, as any Packer fan will tell you about winter in Wisconsin, but we digress. The full and always interesting rankings direct from U.S. News and World Report can be found here.
Property Tax ReliefFor those of you that own a home in Colorado, there is good news and bad news. One check of Zillow will probably make you feel very good about your real estate investment. Then, the property tax bill comes due. Nearly all of us who own homes will feel this burden, as home values have skyrocketed and the government will be happy to collect more from us in taxes. Thankfully there is a bit of relief on the horizon. In early May, a bill was approved to ease the rising tax burden that comes with rocketing property values. It caps the amount of value that properties are taxed for the 2023 and 2024 tax years. From the Denver Post article, "In its unveiling, Gov. Jared Polis said it would save the owner of a 0,000 home an average of 4 a year. It will cost the state an estimated 0 million over two years, funded via one-time money, as tax refunds required under the Tax Payer Bill of Rights or simply chalked up as lost revenue." "The measure was designed to head off proposed ballot initiatives, including one from state Rep. Colin Larson, R-Littleton, to cap property tax increase at 3%. But those backers, including others backed by liberal and conservative groups, put down their metaphorical arms, right down to signing affidavits as political peace treaties." Along with the tax refund we are all receiving (see last month's newsletter if you missed it), this provides a bit of relief for a problem nearly all of us share in. A full recap of the bill, as well as assessment rates for 2023 and 2024 can be found here, courtesy of Coloradonewsline.com. Lastly, we ran across an article on ways to reduce your property tax and it can be found here.
Is Your Home at Risk?The tragic Marshall Fire over the holidays last year was a stark reminder about how quickly the things we have can be gone. We know a number of people that were displaced and our hearts go out to them. Sadly, many stories have come out regarding underinsured homeowners, problems with replacement values, etc. In fact, the problem was so rampant that many insurance agents weren't even taking calls about it immediately after the disaster. We ran across an informative piece by insurance.com that goes through the ins and outs of underinsurance and what you can do to protect yourself. It can be found here. From the article, "Most homes are underinsured. Nationwide estimates that about two-thirds of American homes are underinsured. Some homes are underinsured by at least 60 percent and the average is about 22 percent. CoreLogic estimates that three out of five American homes are underinsured by an average of 20 percent." The bottom line? Talk to your agent and make sure you have coverage that includes new (and higher) building costs and that you are fully covered for any disaster. The only thing worse than losing your home is realizing you are not able to rebuild it without a significant financial penalty, sometimes in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Finally, we found a website that will actually calculate your risk of fire or flood based on your address and it can be found here. Let's hope that we never encounter these problems, but in the event we do, let's make sure our insurance is in order.
Airport Expansion & New Gates
We have used this space frequently in the past to shed light on the debacle that has been the DIA expansion project.
It is only fair that we call out any progress that is being made and we have some news to report.
If you haven't flown for a bit, you may be surprised to see that there are 16 additional gates developing on the C Concourse.
From the DBJ article. "Southwest Airlines will soon have 16 more gates available to travelers at Denver International Airport, bringing the airport another step closer to its goal of having the capacity to handle 100 million annual visitors in eight to 10 years."
In fact, the new space is the largest physical expansion by DIA since the Westin hotel was built in 2015.
The ultimate goal is for DIA to handle up to 100 million passengers per year in 8-10 years.
Lots of new things to do out there as well, including eight new shopping and dining options by 2023 including Black Canyon Market and Goods, Longs Peak Market and Goods, Aviano Coffee, Mister Oso, Bar Dough, Cholon Modern Asia, Marczyk Fine Foods and Teatulia Tea and Coffee Bar.
Exciting times at DIA, and nice to see some progress on this long and drawn-out project.
Happy travels Denver!
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for April were Gabriela Caloca, Maria Zapata, Gabriela Barrancas, Ivette Amaro, and Haydee Espinosa. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Mayra Soto and Laura Varela We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of April.
Handling client cancelations is one of the toughest challenges in the service industry. To reach a balance that recognizes and accepts the client's need to cancel while minimizing disruption to the schedule is no small feat. Our daily schedules are made well in advance and the workload is distributed equally among the teams. If a client cancels it leaves a gap in one of the team's schedules. Cancelations requested in advance allow the scheduler a chance to fill the space from a short waiting list, and the team does not lose work hours. In the case of last-minute cancelations, it is less likely that the space can be filled on such short notice, and in all probability, the three ladies on the team will lose work hours that day. Emergencies are part of life and are unexpected and unavoidable. We understand and graciously accept this fact of life. However, we hope the above clarification will raise awareness of the importance of canceling in advance whenever possible. Just a small request. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
National Small Business WeekThe first week of May is indeed National Small Business Week. Way back in 1963, President John F. Kennedy issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America's entrepreneurs and small business owners. So, what defines a "small business"? According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), a small business has no more than 1,500 employees and less than .5 million in average annual revenue, depending on your industry. We think million is a pretty large business! If you look at the government definition based on the Affordable Care Act, they would characterize any business under fifty employees as small. As a point of reference, 90% of businesses have fewer than twenty employees. Supporting local businesses keeps tax revenue in the state and city as well as providing jobs and support for the overall economy. While we love Amazon too, buying locally has tremendous benefits for the community you live in. We found a nice piece published by Verizon that gives 10 great ways to support small businesses and it can be found here. We also know that COVID sadly put the hurt on so many small businesses and we know they need our help, which is another great reason to shop local. Colorado is also doing their part to support small businesses, and they have a great toolkit for promotion and it can be found here. As a small business, we are so grateful to be part of your lives. As always, we will continue to earn your trust every day. Thank you!
Universal State Tax RefundsLooks like we all have a refund coming and who doesn't like free money? It was recently announced that each individual in Colorado that files their 2021 taxes by May 31, 2022, will receive 0. Joint filers will receive 0. The amount is fixed and will not be modified based on income or any information on your 2021 tax return. From the article on the Denver Channel: "Under the Colorado Taxpayer Bill of Rights, when there’s a TABOR surplus, it gets refunded to taxpayers. What would normally come to taxpayers in April 2023 is being given in an advanced payment, due to the proposal, to address the rising costs of inflation, officials said." It seems that the coffers of Colorado are overflowing with money, and we are happy to see the state giving it back to the residents. The complete article from the Denver Channel can be found here.
Denver's ExodusFor years it seems we have been talking about the massive inflow of people into our city. That trend is over. For the first time since the early 2000's, the population in Denver declined. In fact, the population declined by just about 1%, with a dip of just over 6,000 residents. Statewide, however, our population did indeed grow, but only by 28,000 residents. This is only about one-half of one percent over the previous year, which is well below our recent run rate. It seems we are not immune to the migration pattern that seems to show folks leaving big cities for the country, or for cheaper locales. New York City, for example, lost 328,000 residents, and metro Los Angeles gave up 176,000. We aren't smart enough to know what this all means. Part of it could be COVID, part of it could be rising costs in the city or our increasing crime rate. At the risk of piling on, Denver was recently listed among the top 5 least affordable metro areas to live in. The only cities worse than Denver were San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Miami. Those of you that have been wishing for people to stay wherever they are and not move to Denver may have finally gotten your wish. Here is hoping this trend reverses and our city transforms into one we can all be proud of, and that more people want to live in.
What's in a (baby) Name?We are always fascinated by the trends in baby names. The days of Beverly, Doris, Chester, Clarence, etc. may be winding down except for the most traditional of parents. There was a book written a while back called Freakonomics and they devoted an entire chapter to the evolution of baby names The authors keep this concept going and their latest ideas can be found here. Of course, there are many societal aspects to naming your baby. The most interesting tidbit we ran across was from the co-author of Freakonomics, Steven Levitt, who said: "I think it really is about the parents. As I’ve studied naming, what I’ve come to believe is that the primary purpose, when a parent gives a name, is to impress their friends that they are whatever kind of person that they want to be" Very interesting statement, don't you think? Ok, so enough about the evolution of baby names. What are the top baby names for 2022? For starters, the national trends are trending towards playful (Buddy, Sonny, Coco), earthy (Bali, Sequoia, Forest), and regency (Benedict, Simon, Genevieve). Also, for societal reasons we are seeing more gender-neutral names as well, such as Blair, Shiloh, and Wren. Without further ado, here are the top three baby names in Colorado in 2022: Girls-Olivia, Charlotte, Emma Boys-Liam, Oliver, Noah As you know, we are pretty old school over here, so we were happy to see William come up 7th and James 8th. No such luck on the girls as Sophia was the most traditional name we found. The full piece on Colorado baby names can be found here. Finally, Parade magazine listed the top 350 baby names of 2022, and their comprehensive list can be found here. Oh, and folks....be careful giving your baby a hard to pronounce name. We don't have an opinion on this, but studies indicate it may make life difficult for your future adult.
How Wise are You?
What is the difference between being intelligent and being wise?
Well, the photo we chose this month says it all. As we thought about this, however, it brought up many questions about wisdom and the difference between that and intelligence.
We know a few very, very smart people (intelligence) that may not function in society very well. Conversely, we know some people with high school educations that we go to with all of our problems because they are wise (wisdom).
Yes, you can be smart and not wise, or vice-versa. Intelligence is typically measured with innate ability and/or IQ. Wisdom is about experience, knowledge, and overall good judgment.
So, how do we cultivate wisdom?
What did we learn? Becoming wise is a process, and fully cultivated it becomes a guide for your life.
Here's to being wise....and smart.
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for March were Gabriela Barrancas, Josefina Quinonez, Maria Zapata, Katherine Crespin, and Reyna Galvez. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Juana Olivas and Mayra Soto. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of March.
I have a referral I would like to share. Absolute Electrical Heating and Air is a company that by pure chance I used for an ongoing heating issue I had been plagued with for years. They diagnosed and fixed the problem and restored my faith in the American work ethic. All in the space of an hour. Imagine if you can a company whose technicians are thoroughly trained and knowledgeable, equipped for the job at hand, who show up on time, polite and respectful but not chatty. Their customer service folks answer promptly and listen to you. I'd even say I've met my match in that arena. The list of their capabilities is long. Basically most anything that can happen in the lifetime of your home is under their care. What a soothing thought! Forgive my over-enthusiasm but I think we can all agree that the service industry is sorely lacking on many levels. An exception deserves public applause, recognition, and gratitude. I offer all three. You can find Absolute on their website, linked above, or at 720-381-1767.
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Another 20 Year EmployeeHow lucky are we? Over the past couple of years, we have celebrated 20-year anniversaries for two of our wonderful staff, Angela and Maria. This month, we celebrate our 3rd 20-year employee, our Office Manager, Blanca Garcia. Blanca started out with us cleaning houses and was quickly elevated to Team Leader. If there is a "jack of all trades" in our office, it is her for sure. That's her on the left, next to our leader and General Manager, Maria Herrera. She is Maria's backup on payroll and office matters, she makes sure our ladies get to your houses on time and follow the work orders. She is our backup driver as well, helping us manage our fleet of vehicles and get them to the right place as needed. Not to mention she knows a lot about how to clean a home and assists Maria in making sure our quality is always top-notch. In her spare time, Blanca loves to cook and has a wonderful family that appreciates her almost as much as we do. Please join me in congratulating Blanca on her 20 years with the company. We love you Blanca!
Denver Car TheftsCars are a hot commodity these days. If you have tried to buy one lately, you won't be haggling and you will probably have to wait 3 months to get it. Unless you steal one. That seems to be the prevailing problem in Denver, with nearly 40,000 vehicles stolen in 2021 alone, an average of over 100 per day. According to the latest statistics from the Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority, there has been an 88% percent increase in motor vehicle thefts since 2017. So which cars are being targeted? The most stolen vehicle in 2021? The Chevrolet Silverado. This vehicle was involved in 1500 thefts in '21, beating out the Kia Optima by nearly 600 thefts. The full list of most-stolen makes and models can be found here. The Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority has a great site on this topic with tips for prevention, etc. Finally, much like the password article in this month's newsletter, a lot of problems can be solved upfront. The typical stolen vehicle has the keys in it or is running. Makes it pretty easy for the thieves. Finally, if you do have your car stolen, there are groups out there using technology to help you find it. More information on "ethical hacking" can be found here, meanwhile, let's hope you never have to use it. There is also a Facebook page for stolen cars in Colorado. Lock your cars, Denver!
Password SecurityWhat do you think the most common password is? If you guessed "password", you were close, it came in fourth. The most common password? 123456 We have no words for this, but if you want to be entertained, here is the list of the most common passwords leaked on the Dark Web. Moving on, and from Lookout, which makes cloud security apps for mobile devices, noted in a December blog post that, on average, 80% of consumers have had their emails leaked onto the dark web. You could easily be among that majority without even knowing it. Much like leaving your keys in the running car, having a simple password opens you up to all sorts of security issues. On to the next question....how many of you use your browser's "autofill" function for passwords to the various websites you visit? We do, and boy were we surprised at what a bad idea it is. It seems this common practice exposes all your passwords, and in many cases could include credit card information. So what is the bottom line? Identity theft costs consumers billion in 2021 alone. The moral of the story is as follows: 1. Use complex passwords 2. Change them often 3. Enable 2-factor authentication 4. Don't use autofill in your browser Simple stuff, but we all get too busy and don't do it until sometimes it's too late. For those of you looking for a great password manager, we love Keeper. They have a family plan and everything is 100% encrypted. A full list of the best password managers can be found here.
Best Bars in DenverThere are days when we just need a drink. The fine folks at 5280 Magazine published the best 26 bars in and around Denver, and we were intrigued. From old standbys like Green Russell to new speakeasies like B&GC in Cherry Creek, (most mysterious) they did a wonderful job of outlining some great watering holes in Denver. Everything from dive bars to the best romantic bars are listed, and we wanted to try them all (well most of them anyway). For those of you that prefer a nice glass of wine, they published a list of the top wine bars in Denver and it can be found here. We still love CRU, but they didn't even make the list. Old school. Now that COVID seems to be winding down, let's hope we can all let our hair down a bit and enjoy a fresh libation! Bottoms up!
2022 Interior Design Trends
Things change quickly in the world of interior design.
So, when we need a refresher we reach out to our friend Marina Dagenais at Designer Premier.
They were recently quoted in a Redfin article on 2022 design trends, so congratulations are in order.
Our interior design skills can always use an update, and we found some things that were super interesting.
For example, who knew what Scandifornian was? Well, it's just what it sounds like, it blends California modern with Scandinavian. Here we come Ikea!!
We also learned about biophilic design which is a concept used within the building industry to increase occupant connectivity to the natural environment using direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions.
Fascinating stuff for sure.
As always, if you need a pro, reach out to Marina for first-rate service.
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for February were Maria Zapata, Gabriela Barrancas, Josefina Quinonez, Aurora Dominguez, and Ivette Amaro. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Natalia Olivas and Paz Jimenez. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of February.
Congratulations to my co-worker Blanca on her 20-year anniversary with Denver Concierge. Bravo! The three women who together run the offices of Denver Concierge have now all been with the company for over 20 years. Our General Manager Maria completed her 20 years two years ago, and I completed mine last year. That means 63 years of combined experience at your service! In spite of, or possibly because of, the diverse skills and backgrounds each of us brought to the job, we formed a strong bond that became the engine that has driven Denver Concierge for the past 20 plus years. Our all-for-one and one-for-all attitude has allowed us to weather the challenges that have come our way through the years, and still maintain a unified front for our employees and our clients. I'm so proud. Well done, us! Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Is the Pandemic Over?No, we aren't trying to be controversial here. Hopeful, maybe? Mask mandates are dropping everywhere, and our incidence rate is trending in the right direction. Couple this with what looks like a much milder version in Omicron, and we are feeling better about things for sure. In fact, estimates show that 73% of our population in the U.S. is immune to Omicron. Experts expect this to rise to 80% by mid-March. Denver is lifting the public health order requiring vaccinations of city and county employees on March 4. Private employers are not affected by this and can still decide to require vaccination if they desire. For any of you that want to "geek out" on the potential end of the pandemic, The Lancet wrote an exhaustive piece on the end of this wild ride. Titled "Covid-19 will continue but the end of the pandemic is near", it does a great job of analyzing data and trends. From that article: "The impacts of future SARS-CoV-2 transmission on health, however, will be less because of broad previous exposure to the virus, regularly adapted vaccines to new antigens or variants, the advent of antivirals, and the knowledge that the vulnerable can protect themselves during future waves when needed by using high-quality masks and physical distancing. COVID-19 will become another recurrent disease that health systems and societies will have to manage." "For example, the death toll from omicron seems to be similar in most countries to the level of a bad influenza season in northern hemisphere countries. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated the worse influenza season during the past decade in 2017–18 caused about 52 000 influenza deaths with a likely peak of more than 1500 deaths per day." "The era of extraordinary measures by government and societies to control SARS-CoV-2 transmission will be over. After the omicron wave, COVID-19 will return but the pandemic will not." We are sure hopeful that those thoughts and projections are correct. Of course, we don't know what new strain might show up, but it seems to be weakening thankfully. In the meantime, we will continue to wear masks in your home out of an abundance of caution. We have been very lucky in having few infections and have no cases of transmission from us to a client. There are still some places with mask mandates, and the full list of mask mandates by county can be found here. Stay safe folks, let's hope this beast is winding down.
Wacky WeatherHave you ever looked outside and thought "Make up your mind weather!" We have, quite a bit recently. A couple of newsletters back, we were lamenting our lack of moisture. In fact, our snow drought had us conjuring up images of a nice early spring (much to the chagrin of our skiing clients). It was not to be. In fact, we have been catching up on snow ever since. January dropped 13.4 inches of snow, ranking it as the 13th highest total ever. February was similar racking up 15.8 inches, which was good for the 14th highest ever. The law of averages and regression to the mean are real things, even for the weather. Throw in the recent "arctic blast" we experienced, with record low temps and we don't know what to make of it all. On the 22nd, the National Weather Service recorded the highest temperature for Denver at 8 degrees which set a new record for the coldest high temperature for the day. The lowest high on Feb. 22 was 13 degrees back in 1913, according to the NWS. Another record was set on Wednesday morning when Denver recorded a record low for the day of minus 7 degrees. The previous record low for Feb. 23 was minus 4 degrees. That was set in 1899, according to the NWS. Wacky weather indeed. We hope you all have a Colorado wardrobe, as next week will be back into the 60s and 70s. It's why we love Colorado. Stay warm, or cool, but watch the weather.
International Women's DayIndeed, and it occurs on March 8. A great opportunity to celebrate the wonderful women in our lives. From our very own Queen Bee to Maria Herrera our GM, we are so fortunate to have the most amazing women around. That's even before we talk about the dedication and commitment of the women who clean your homes (yes, they are all women, we haven't found a man that can clean as well as they can). If there are any men out there that want to give it a shot, we are always hiring. 🙂 From Wiki: "International Women's Day (IWD) is a global holiday, celebrated annually on March 8 to commemorate the cultural, political, and socioeconomic achievements of women. It is also a focal point in the women's rights movement, bringing attention to issues such as gender equality, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women." We love the women in our lives and want to take this time to thank them for all they do for us. We couldn't be more grateful. For all the details on this holiday and all that it recognizes, visit them here.
Real Estate UpdateSo much for the real estate market slowing down. While the common wisdom is that as interest rates tick up, borrowing will get harder and slow the housing market, it's not happening yet. In fact, the inventory of homes across the Front Range is lower than it has ever been for January and February. We found a very detailed report courtesy of Norada Real Estate that we thought was very interesting. From that report: "Denver metro area remains a seller's market with January 2022 being yet another unusual month. The latest report from DMAR shows that the market ended the month down 17.77 percent in new listings from 2021, a 31.04 increase over the previous month. Usually, the market typically experiences a 70% increase in new listings from December to January. Similarly, the market ended the month with an all-time low of 1,184 active listings. To put this in perspective, that is over ten times less inventory than is typical at this time of year." Wow, still rocking, and the median sales price in January was 5k, which represented a nearly 17% increase over January 2021. So, the trend continues at least for now. Great news for sellers, not so much for buyers.
Creating a Home that Works for YouDenver Concierge offers some tips to help you turn your space from cold and impersonal to warm and inviting. Working From Home Depending on the amount of space you have, working from home can be a challenge. If you are in a rental, you cannot knock down walls or build additions, but you can make the area you do have more efficient. Zenbusiness shares some ideas for creating a functional home office including using spare closets or even the corner of a room. You can add shelving to the walls of a closet or purchase an L-shaped desk for that under-used corner of your living or dining room. You need a spot where you can focus on your important work, so think about how you will use the space and what will be most convenient for your own needs. Making Space for Your Children Kids tend to accumulate a lot of stuff. Between the toys and crafting supplies, you may feel as though you are drowning in your children's belongings. Ideally, every household would have a playroom to store all of these items. However, this is not the reality for many families. Nevertheless, there are many convenient storage options available to help declutter homes. Ideas for organizing the kid chaos include cube storage bins, installing shelving in their bedrooms and common areas, and donating toys that are no longer used. Entertaining Regularly If you have the entertainment bug, you want your home to enhance your ability to host. Try developing natural pathways through your space when you have company. This will make guests feel welcome and steer them to the area you prefer. In an open concept dwelling, you can place the furniture to separate seating areas and dining areas. To make fragmented spaces feel airier, try opening drapes or blinds to allow as much light as possible to enter the home. Unwinding Comfortably A nice method to ensure you can relax in your home is to dedicate one room for relaxation. Decorate in calming colors and purchase furniture that you can rest comfortably on. Studies show that incorporating houseplants in your decor could help to reduce stress and anxiety, so try adding a few into your home. If you have a favorite couch or chair that has seen better days, check into having it reupholstered rather than purchasing a replacement piece. Read several reviews online before meeting with a company representative to get a quote. A large couch could cost between ,200 and ,500 to reupholster depending on size and the fabric you choose. Seeking a New Space If you have done all you can in your current space and it still does not meet your needs, it may be time to consider moving. Before making any plans, research the local housing market to determine if you can buy or need to find a larger rental. Homebuyers should look into mortgage pre-approval before officially beginning their search to ensure they qualify. Making your home a place you can enjoy and unwind with friends and family is essential to your well-being. Take the time to create an inviting atmosphere in your abode. If you cannot achieve this in your current space, consider relocating. Reach out to Denver Concierge for healthy and convenient housecleaning.
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for January were Patricia Rodriguez, Maria Reyes, Aurora Dominguez, Maria Zapata, and Gabriela Barrancas. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Paz Jimenez and Mayra Soto. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of January.
Just a short and sweet Queen Bee Corner this time. I want to extend our sincere sympathy to those clients who have lost pets this winter. The girls get quite close to our clients' pets, so they also feel the loss when they arrive and are not treated to the usual enthusiastic welcome. All pet owners have been there and it's heartbreaking. "Having a dog will bless you with many of the happiest days of your life, and one of the worst." On a more soothing note, the girls have recently been introduced to several new puppies and a few shelter dogs. A welcome addition to our cleaning experience; even those who are overly zealous in their eagerness to help and are subsequently sent to their room. We love them all and they make the world a better place. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Why Us?An odd heading for sure. But a valid question to ask. In these crazy times with COVID and the "great reset" we have expressed many times our desire to find people that will clean the way we always have. It has been a challenge to say the least. Many employees across all industries have left to do something else, or to go out and start their own business. This is true of housecleaners as well. We are quite sure most of you have had flyers on your door, or even some person knocking that wants to clean your house, typically for a very low price. So, why stay with a premium service like Denver Concierge? We have lots of reasons and wanted to share a few of them here. The primary driver of our business is quality. We expect your home to be spotless when we complete it. Each member of our team is specifically trained and evaluated on how clean your home is. Individual cleaners, while they might be detailed, don't have a senior person inspecting their work each and every time. Our people are evaluated each month and ranked, and we use that data to continuously improve what we do. Secondarily, we want you to have no liability when we are in your home. We carry a huge general liability policy, a service industry bond, and full Worker's Compensation insurance as required by the state of Colorado. This means if someone has an accident in your home, you have no liability, and our insurer would step in immediately. This is not the case with independent workers. Most of them carry no insurance, so when something accidentally gets broken (see Queen Bee this month) it may not be very easy to get things resolved. In the case of injury, the homeowner could be on the hook for a big claim if an injured worker was uninsured in their home. We have also heard of theft cases, where things disappear and shortly thereafter, the thieves disappear as well, back to their home countries. No insurance makes this a bad deal for the homeowner, with no recourse. We are also 100% green, the first certified cleaning company, all the way back to 2006. That is a whole different discussion, but with us, it's built-in. What's the old saying? "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten." We thank Benjamin Franklin for that one. We believe Denver Concierge has been in business for nearly 25 years because we do things the right way, and just as importantly we stand behind every single clean. When things go wrong, and Murphy says they inevitably will, we will always be the company to make things right again. A couple of years ago, we published a letter on our website about what makes us truly different from anyone else out there. It encapsulates what we do and how we do it differently. We encourage you to take a look, as all of those principles still apply today. That letter can be found here. Thank you for your support, kindness and loyalty to our locally owned small business. As always, if we can do something better, please let us know.
DIA Project UpdateLast time we flew, we thought "OK, DIA is coming together, when this is done it will be awesome." In fact, phase one of three is officially complete as of October 2021. What about the next two phases? See you in six years. We have updated this project a few times over the years, including the collapse of the project with the prior vendor in 2019. On January 10, the Denver City Council approved of .1 billion to complete the project, which will bring the total cost of the DIA project to just north of billion. Airport leadership says Phase 3 will be done in 2028. That will mean the Great Hall project will have lasted 10 years. From the Denver Business Journal article: “Phase 1 was a critical first step to create capacity for Level 6, where 74% to 75% of traffic is,” said Michael Sheehan, senior vice president at DIA. He points to Level 6 as a model of what the entire Jeppesen Terminal — the main terminal at the airport containing baggage claim, ticketing and security — will look like once the Great Hall project is complete. Phase 1 added new state-of-the-art ticketing counters and expanded United’s ticketing capacity to 44 positions. The United area now has a quick bag drop, where customers who have checked in online and have indicated they have a bag to check can walk up to a kiosk, scan their boarding pass, tag their own bag and be on their way." DIA airport traffic is expected to hit 100 million travelers by 2035, so the improvements are much needed. The full piece from DBJ can be found here. The airport authority also has its own updated project page (no paywall), and it can be found here.
What Does Crime Cost?If someone steals , the cost is , right? Well, not exactly. Leave it to MoneyGeek to come up with what crime actually costs us on a per capita basis. The methodology? "The direct economic costs of crime to individuals and society include medical and mental health care needs of victims, damage to and loss of property and police and corrections costs. Aside from the imminent danger of crime, people living in higher crime areas see depressed home values and pay higher prices for crucial needs, including home, renters and au
The Secret to HappinessIt s0unds so simple. There must be a secret, right? If you are anything like us, it comes and goes. We do know that it starts within and that external stuff tends to bring only limited happiness. So, what is it, at least for most of us? Well, we aren't really sure, but the folks at Harvard are. They have been running an 80-year study on human happiness. 80 years! It caught our eye for sure. From the article on Medium.com: "For over 80 years, Harvard’s Grant and Glueck study has tracked the well-being of two demographics: 268 graduates from the batches of 1939–1944 and 456 poor men growing up in Boston since 1939. Since pre-World War II, they’ve painstakingly scrutinized blood samples, performed brain scans, collated surveys, and actually interacted with these men.
In fact, the sheer length of the study demanded the dedication of multiple generations of researchers.And the windy and diverse +75-year life-paths of those 700 odd men led to a shockingly common and solid conclusion." It isn't money, fame or any of the other stuff we seem to endlessly chase. It's relationships. To quote psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development:
“The clearest message that we get from this 80-year study is this: Good relationships keep us happier and healthier. Period.”We could write a long piece on this but figured we would let you take it from here. The original article from Medium can be found here. The Harvard Gazette did a recap of the study a few years ago and it can be found here. Here's to being happier (and closer).
The U-Haul Index
Monthly & Annual Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for December were Patricia Rodriguez, Sandra Vidales, Maria Zapata, Maria Reyes, and Guadalupe Caloca. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Mayra Soto and Socorro Ibarra. Of course, it is the time of year when we announce our top associates in both the Cleaning Associate and Team Leader ranks. Our winner for top Cleaning Associates in 2021: 1st Place - Aurora Dominguez 2nd Place - Maria Zapata Our top Team Leaders: 1st Place - Isela Mendoza 2nd Place - Juana Olivas Please join me in congratulating our top performers for 2021. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times.
Just a quick word on breakages/damages that unfortunately can occur while cleaning. Working efficiently but carefully is the team's attitude while cleaning. It's a delicate balance and at times yes, we have accidentally broken things. Our Team Leaders are quick to report a breakage to me with a photo. If the client is home, apologies are made. Then I follow up with a text or phone call. The ladies always feel very badly if they break something, and we appreciate our clients treating our ladies so graciously in these situations. Even more so if I learn later from the client that the breakage involved a work of art, an object of sentimental value, or a family heirloom. On the other hand, I think it's important for me as manager to let the team know the extent of any damage, whether grave or trivial. It heightens awareness of their surroundings and serves as a reminder that a lighter touch is always preferable. We try to turn any negative into a learning tool. It is more effective than harsh reprimands. We thank you again for your appreciation of our work. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Welcome 2022, Goodbye 2021When we wrote our newsletter last December, we were hoping that in a year the majority of COVID would be behind us. Alas, that is not the case. Delta came this summer, and now we have Omicron. We don't know which variant will come next, but we certainly won't be surprised when it does. 2021 was a challenging year for us at Denver Concierge. We spent a good sum of money on safety protocols, equipment, and the like, trying to keep our workplace (and your home) as safe and sterile as possible. As a result, we ended up managing the situation very well, with only one COVID case in our ranks. We were able to avoid any outbreaks or disruptions due to the virus and we feel good about our safety protocols. We will continue our vigilance going forward. Your safety and the safety of our people are more important than a clean house, and we will always feel that way (even though we really like clean houses). The labor situation could be a lot better. We are struggling to find the people we need to do the work at a level that we are satisfied with. Like everyone, we have raised wages to remain competitive, but it remains our biggest challenge for 2022 and beyond. We thank you for your patience, kindness, and support. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable New Year's Eve, and we will see you on the other side. We appreciate you more than we can express. Happy New Year and here's to a prosperous 2022.
Our Healthy ResolutionWe don't love New Year's resolutions. Seems like most of the ones we have tried are over by February. However, with all the stress around us these days, we have found ourselves in need of better rest. In fact, good sleep is associated with boosting our immune systems, preventing weight gain, and strengthening our hearts, to name a few benefits. In our quest for better sleep, we found a couple of great pieces for you. In the 7 habits of exceptionally good sleepers, we learn that good sleepers go to bed when they are sleepy, not tired (nope, not the same thing). Finally, if you have ever said "I'll sleep when I am dead", you may be rushing towards that goal. Berkeley Psychology published a great article on this, and the highlight for us was: "Every disease that is killing us in developed nations has causal and significant links to a lack of sleep," he says. "So that classic maxim that you may [have] heard that you can sleep when you're dead, it's actually mortally unwise advice from a very serious standpoint." That was enough for us. We are off on our journey in 2022 to improve our health in one of the most underrated ways possible.
Denver Housing TrendsI bet you are thinking that Denver is one of the hottest real estate markets around. We were too until we realized we aren't. In fact, 9 News published an article that says we are only 48th out of the top 100 metro areas in terms of projected sale increases in 2022. From the article, "Denver's predicted increase is much less compared to other Western markets, like Salt Lake City, Boise, Idaho and Spokane, Washington, which are all expected to see a combined increase of more than 20%, according to the Realtor.com analysis." Shocking, considering at one time this year there were more realtors in Denver than properties available. As we researched this topic, we found another item that could drive down demand, higher interest rates. CPR news did an article on the impact of rates going up and it can be found here. Finally and longer-term, there are 180 million people that will be looking for homes in the coming years. Who are they? Millennials. We didn't realize they are the largest living adult generation (yep, we thought boomers too). Denver Business Journal did a nice piece on the impact of millennials and housing demand, it can be found here. Still looks like a seller's market to us.
U.S Consumer Spending TrendsHow COVID has changed our spending habits. We dove into this and were surprised by some of the trends. For example, only about 3 to 4% of grocery shopping in the U.S. was done online before COVID-19, according to research from Bain & Company. Fast forward to 2021, and the grocery delivery industry has drastically evolved due to the pandemic and emerging technology. In fact, a study by Coresight Research found that 60% of U.S. consumers are now buying their groceries online. Wow. Also, the three rounds of stimulus boosted overall spending in the U.S. by 15.3% OVER pre-pandemic levels. Surprising. Another interesting tidbit? It seems wealthy people "pulled back" the most, with the theory being the wealthy didn't need the stimulus for consumption, The best piece we found on this was done by Bloomberg News, and it can be found here. It ties in race, inflation, and other factors. Fascinating data and conclusions for sure. This chart clearly shows we have exceeded pre-pandemic levels of spending. Let's hope inflation doesn't knock the legs out of all of it.
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for November 2021 were Patricia Rodriguez, Maria Reyes, Luz Reza, Josefina Quinonez, and Maria Zapata. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Rosa Chavez and Socorro Ibarra. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. Our annual winners will be announced next month, we have some tight races so stay tuned! We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of November.
Happy New Year! Firstly, a big thank you to our clients for keeping our teams busy for another year, for the appreciation you have shown them, and for all of the year-end gifts. As a company we can only do so much to keep our employees happy; how our ladies are treated in the homes they clean is equally important to their day-to-day well-being. On another note, I would like to hear from you with recommendations for any work that you have had done in your home, to your satisfaction. Clients ask me frequently for references and I have added a few pros and cons myself. It isn't easy finding reliable, reasonably priced technicians or contractors who we actually feel good about letting in! Again. thank you for yet another year. Will text you in 2022! Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Holiday Schedule & MessageWe hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. With holidays upon us, we thought that we would publish our holiday schedule for this year. With Christmas falling on a Saturday this year, we will be working one day longer than normal. We will give our ladies Friday the 24th off for Christmas Eve. We will also be closed on Friday the 31st for New Year's Eve. For us, the holidays always bring out the desire to show the people we care about how we feel about them. Thanksgiving, of course, is the time to give thanks and we want to do that. 2021 has been nearly as challenging as 2020 for us as a company and we are grateful to still be here cleaning homes across the Front Range. Our clients are the best in Denver, and boy are we lucky to have you. Between all the issues that COVID has created and the subsequent labor issues, many days have been a challenge, to say the least. We want to thank you so much for your kindness, understanding, and patience in dealing with all the issues that have arisen during these challenging times. We couldn't ask for a better group of clients to have, and for you, we are grateful on the deepest levels. We wish you the best for a peaceful, quiet, and relaxing holiday season. Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanza, Boxing Day, or just the season, we join you in celebrating the ones you love, as we celebrate you here. Thank you for being part of our locally owned company. Angela, John, and Maria
Let it Snow. Please?Ok, this is getting ridiculous. As we compose this newsletter, we have gone 222 days without measurable snow. How does this stack up in history? Currently, it ranks 4th and counting. The longest we have ever gone without measurable snow is 235 days, dating back to the 1800s. If we make it two more days, our streak will move into the 3rd longest, and we are a scant two weeks or so from setting the all-time record for a lack of snow. The average snowfall in Denver is 56.4 inches. The lowest snowfall ever? 21.8 inches in 2016-2017. Oh, and we already set another record, the latest snowfall on record. The old record for the latest first Denver snowfall was set on Nov. 21, 1934. The full article including our annual snowfall totals for the last ten years can be found here. For those of you that have turned off your sprinklers or stopped watering for the year, it might be a good idea to water your trees, I am sure they are thirsty. Here's to some moisture soon!
Gift Ideas Made in ColoradoWe do our best here to support local and Colorado-owned businesses. As a local business, seeing our dollars stay in our local community and in our state is very important. Beyond the obvious stores and shops that we encounter on a given day, what are easy ways to support our economy and buy locally? We are glad you asked. For starters, we found a site called Created in Colorado, which is a consolidated list of all things Colorado. Also, the folks at 5280 Magazine published a great guide for Colorado-made goods and it can be found here. Finally, did you know that this past Saturday was "Small Business Saturday"? NBC News published a nice piece on how to support small businesses, including everything from gift buying to leaving positive reviews. We thank you for your support of our small, locally owned business. Happy Shopping!
Savings by AgeWe remember when we were young and starting our careers, we always tried to earn our age. Those were the days. Now we are thinking about things like IRA's, 401K's, and like you, how we will make it to the finish line with enough money to retire. So just how much should you have saved, by age, for retirement? The folks at Quicken wrote a great article about savings benchmarks and net worth by decades of age. Did you know that the median US savings for age 40 is ,000? By 50 it nearly doubles to 7,000. As far as net worth goes, the benchmark net worth for someone 40 years old is twice your annual salary. At 50 it should be four times your salary, and at 60, six times. Fascinating data, and even if you are personally set going forward, there are some great numbers for the younger people in our lives that may just be getting started. The complete article can be found here.
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for October were Aurora Dominguez, Patricia Rodriguez, Sandra Vidales, Josefina Quinonez, and Maria Zapata. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Juana Olivas and Natalia Olivas. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of October.
Denver was recently rated the Booziest City in the country, but one only must look back at our immigrant history to see that we have worked hard to merit this distinction. German immigrants in 1880 owned nearly a third of Denver's taverns. Patrons could sing and speak in German, read German newspapers, eat German food and drink German Bock. Basically to feel at home in a foreign city. The Irish immigrants came with the advent of the railroad and established bars between their homes and the tracks, where many had settled. By 1900 the Irish population of Denver was 3% but they owned 10% of the bars. Jewish immigrants also found the liquor business easy to enter. One of the first sources of Kosher food in Denver was in a Jewish delicatessen established next to a synagogue. Italian immigrants recruited to work on the railroad gradually moved into the north Denver area where they operated their Italian bars and restaurants. When prohibition came, rather than close, they moved operations to their basements. Other ethnicities soon immigrated to Denver. By 1920, the Russians were the largest immigrating group and the Slavs had already established their community in Globeville. Although few of the immigrant establishments remained after prohibition, they were the first of a grand tradition that we have proudly carried on to this day. Happy Holidays! Cheers! Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Happy Halloween DenverLast year was our first Halloween under the blanket of Covid. While we are a little old over here for trick or treating, we always worry about the little ones and how this crazy world we are in affects them. So, what has changed and where is trick or treating allowed this year? Of course, each neighborhood is different, but our friends at 5280 Magazine published a comprehensive list of all things Halloween around Denver, and it also includes the best 7 neighborhoods for trick or treating. 9 News also published a good list of events for the little ones, including a trick or treat parade at Union Station (it's called BOOnion Station, which we think is cute). It looks like we are back in business for places to take the kids, but what about adults? We do know people that like to dress up every year regardless of age, so we wanted to share some things for them as well. Denver.org put out a great list of fun things for all ages and that list can be found here. The weather on Sunday looks a little dicey but between now and then it should be beautiful. The Broncos also host a game on Halloween at 2:25 at Empower Field, which should be full of Halloween celebrating fans. All in all, we are inching back towards normalcy and it looks like a pretty nice weekend to be out and about. Whatever you decide to do, please do it safely and have a Happy Halloween 2021.
Denver Performing Arts ReopeningAfter a long 18-month hiatus, the Denver Performing Arts Center (DCPA) has reopened as of October 5th. With a holiday slate planned for the winter, they are currently building up to the Lion King, which opens on December 2, The big event? Hamilton, which opens February 16 and will run until March 27, 2022. So what do you need to know? There are new requirements for both vaccines and masks, including children under twelve needing a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours. All adults will need to be vaccinated to attend the DCPA. Masks are required for all audience members, and food and beverages will not be allowed inside the theater, instead offering designated areas for food and drink consumption. The complete lowdown on the DCPA reopening and all of its requirements can be found here.
Winter Heating Bills up 54%Yes, you read that correctly, 54%, which is a crazy number. That is the average increase that is being projected around home heating bills this winter. It seems the inflationary economy is impacting us all, and according to the article: "With prices surging worldwide for heating oil, natural gas, and other fuels, the US government said Wednesday it expects households to see their heating bills jump as much as 54% compared with last winter." About half the people in our country use natural gas, with electricity running second, making up 41% of usage. Those of you heating with electricity can expect a more modest increase of 6%. Natural gas is up to its highest price since 2014 and is up 90% over last year's levels. Crazy indeed. The complete article on energy costs and what to expect this winter can be found here.
Small Talk"How are you"? "What about this crazy weather?" "Come here often?" We all do this version of small talk, and studies have shown that we all hate it. So why do we do it? How can we avoid inane conversations that add no value to either party? Medium posted a great piece on this phenomenon that we felt compelled to share. Evidently, most of us believe that strangers simply don't care that much about us. From the article and the study: "People kept conversations light-hearted because they each believed that's what the other party wanted. They expected to "be met with blank stares and silence" if they revealed something personal. As it turned out, both parties felt the same way but held back for fear of awkwardness." We love stuff like this, as we hate small talk as well. For some pointers on how to get out of this trap and engage others in a more meaningful dialogue, check out the full piece here. We also found a nice article by business insider on tips to get past this awkward habit and it can be found here. Here's to trying new things with the next stranger we meet. Maybe they won't be strangers for long.
Denver Restaurant Update
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for September were Guadalupe Caloca, Sandra Vidales, Aurora Dominguez, Josefina Quinonez, and Maria Reyes. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Isela Mendoza and Juana Olivas. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of September.
Of all the diverse celebrations in Denver throughout the year one of my favorites is Dia de los Muertos, not surprising, as it has a Mexican history. The ritual of Dia de los Muertos, November 2nd, also known as All Souls Day, was started 3,000 years ago by the Aztecs. When the Spaniards landed in Mexico in the 16th century they viewed it of course, as sacrilegious. Nevertheless, it has prevailed to the present day as a religious festival in parts of rural Mexico. Celebrated now much more widely as a secular and popularized part of the Hispanic culture, Dia de los Muertos has taken on political aspects, spawned impressive literature and poetry, art, and tales of fantasy. In Denver for instance, there is a yearly celebration at the Botanic Gardens and two days of festivities on Santa Fe Drive, appropriately. There are many other venues. As Denver grows, we are celebrating more traditions from other countries and from our heritage and history, and this can only be advantageous to the vibrancy of our city. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Labor and WagesWhat a crazy world we are living in. No one can find qualified help, yet wages are going up. In fact, according to Forbes, wages have grown at the fastest rate in 35 years in the U.S. Yet 48% of companies are looking to hire (including Denver Concierge). As you know, our people are what make us who we are. Many of our staff have been with us for nearly 20 years, and it's safe to say they know how to clean houses better than anyone around. We don't want to lose those people. So, in the spirit of transparency, we offered our folks a very significant wage increase in August. We did this because they deserve it and also because external wage pressure is higher than we can remember. Along with this wage increase comes a price increase. Our regular readers know that we take great pride in being open and honest about our company, and the truth is we could not absorb 100% of this increase and still run our company the way that you love. Angela will be reaching out to each of our clients to discuss the increase and answer any questions you may have. While we hate ever having to raise prices, this crazy economy has really left us with no choice. As always, we appreciate every client we have and we hope that you understand what we (and most other businesses) are going through to keep our staff and our service levels. Thank you for your loyalty and kindness during these challenging times.
Home Costs Going Up kThe perfect storm. Wonder why housing costs are going up? Well, besides crazy demand, there are other hidden reasons tied to the pandemic. Our friends at Designer Premier published a great article about the "perfect storm" of events that are adding to housing costs. From the article: "Framing lumber prices have declined in recent weeks, but the overall prices of wood products, steel mill, copper, drywall, and gypsum used in home building continue to soar." "Supply chain problems delay projects and raise costs even more. Lumber cannot come down from Canada anymore, and builders have to wait for equipment to show up." The bottom line? Supply and demand for materials and labor are completely out of whack. On average, this is adding k to the cost of every home sold, which is a big number. The full article from Designer Premier, which includes strategies to keep home constructioon costs down, can be found here.
What is "Meow Wolf"?So, we weren't sure what a "Meow Wolf" actually was, but we have heard so much about it we figured we better investigate and pass it along to our readers. Based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Meow Wolf is now open in Las Vegas, and most recently, Denver. Great, you say, now what is it? From their website: "We create immersive and interactive experiences that transport audiences of all ages into fantastic realms of story and exploration." By collaborating with hundreds of local artists, Meow Wolf has created an immersive, artistic space, where visitors are encouraged to interact and touch everything inside what is known as Convergence Station. The Denver Post did a complete article on the opening of Meow Wolf and it can be found here (might be paywalled). More details of this very unique concept can be found here, on Meow Wolf's website. Economically, city leaders hope this will draw visitors much like Santa Fe, where the attraction has seen two million visitors since it opened in 2016.
Coloradans & DrinkingHow many years of your life would you give up for the ability to have a drink? The average Coloradan says THREE. Yes, you read that right, the average Coloradan would give up three years of their life to maintain the ability to drink. Tops in the U.S.? Nevada, Idaho and South Carolina residents would all give up five years of their lives to keep drinking. Also from the study and article: "Alcohol.org surveyed 3,700 people and also found one-third of respondents would also give up caffeine for life if they could keep drinking booze. The research goes on to show 30% of people admit they ignore studies warning about alcohol health risks." The full study, titled "Life vs. Liquor" can be found here. Wow, I guess we are serious about our drinking here in the Rockies. The complete article from Fox Denver can be found here.
Fall in Colorado
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for August were Maria Zapata, Aurora Dominguez, Yesica Censo, Katherine Crespin, and Enedina Mendoza. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Laura Varela and Isela Mendoza. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of August.
While most companies rely on feedback through client surveys or emailed questionnaires, we find ourselves in the enviable position of having our clients' feedback unsolicited. It seems that every interaction I have with a client ends with some form of compliment or praise for our ladies, regardless of the initial subject of our conversation. I repeatedly thank our clients for their feedback, and I also continually thank our ladies for their hard work. We have been fortunate in that our management style over the years has meshed well with our employee base to form not only a great company but a stellar company, with employees that truly care. Without further ado, let me say thank you again for supporting our company and remind you that we know how lucky we are to have you. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
COVID UpdateHere we are, 18 months or so into a global pandemic. Lots of things have changed here at Denver Concierge, and we are sure it is the same in your world. It has been a while since we communicated our COVID protocols, so we wanted to refresh everyone on what we are doing to stay on top of the situation. In short, not much has changed here. In the time since COVID, we have yet to have any issues in your homes with COVID transmission. We have certainly had a few cases (unrelated to our workplace), but all of those folks have been cleared to return to work. We currently have zero cases of COVID at Denver Concierge. Our ladies will still be wearing masks and all other required personal protective equipment. We are also still taking all precautions to make sure our workforce is healthy before we send them out to you. Anyone not feeling well or exhibiting a fever is asked to stay home. The best advice we can give to 100% ensure there are no issues going forward is to simply keep your distance from our teams. This is for the safety of both parties, as there is no 100% effective way to know if either of us might be contagious for whatever reason. Any instructions should be given to Angela in our office and those will be relayed directly to our Team Leader in the field. Finally, we do try to keep our website updated with any news on this front, and our current protocols can be found here. We remain very confident in our ability to clean your home safely and without incident. If you have any questions about this or need further clarificati0n, please contact us at your convenience. Thank you for helping us clean your homes safely and efficiently!
Top of the Town 2021Ah yes, the best stuff in Denver. Back to our friends at 5280 Magazine who annually publish the best places in our fair city. From culture and nightlife to dining and shopping, 82 categories in total are covered. In fact, over 26,000 votes were cast, so this is truly a list of what "we" love in Denver. The best burger? Well Cherry Cricket, of course! Santiago's chimes in with the best breakfast burrito and GQue Barbeque won their category as well. We still think it's a bummer that they don't list housecleaning companies in their poll, but we hope to get that changed sometime soon! We certainly hope we would get your vote! The complete 5280 2021 Top of the Town list can be found here.
Cherry Creek Arts FestivalWe are so happy that the Cherry Creek Arts Festival has returned this year, celebrating its 30th. It will be held over Labor Day weekend, ending on Monday evening the 6th at 6 PM. As we crawl back to normalcy, it is nice to see a Denver "staple" back in business. There are some changes for this year to be aware of, however. For starters, the festival has been moved from downtown Cherry Creek to the creekside area of the Cherry Creek Shopping Center. More importantly, the festival is using a timed entry approach, which requires free registration via Eventbrite. Beyond those changes, the festival will still be providing fabulous art and entertainment. The music and entertainment schedule can be found here. For registration information and to get your free timed entry spot, visit CCAF here. We hope to see you there!
A Smarter HomeJust how smart is your home? We aren't sure about ours, some days it is smarter than others. Seriously, though, we know many of you have Amazon Alexa. Did you know that Alexa can control smart lights, switches, and plugs? Even crazier, there are wi-fi-enabled light bulbs that can connect to your home network, with or without Alexa or the Google Assistant. Of course, there are easy-to-use things like the Ring doorbell and Nest, but what about next-level tech? We have saved a lot of money in water by using Rachio, for example, which is a system that controls your sprinklers via an app, saving you water. From smart lighting outside your home to carbon monoxide detectors, nearly every device in your home can be remotely controlled. How fun to come home and have the lighting and temperature right where you want it, with your favorite music playing. Not sure we can get something to have the wine ready, but that is another discussion. PC Magazine did a fabulous piece on the best tech of '21 room by room and it can be found here. We also found a short article by TechHive that gives more insight, and it is here. Lots of really cool stuff out there, pretty soon we will have flying cars like the Jetsons!
U.S. Life Expectancy
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for July were Aurora Dominguez, Paz Jimenez, Maria Zapata, Maria Salazar, and Josefina Quinonez. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Juana Olivas and Isela Mendoza. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of July.
Almost from the beginning of the company, our image has been somewhat retro; proudly old school. With technology leaping ahead to make lives easier we have been reluctant to partake in certain aspects of this new world. We believe in customer contact in real-time with a real person. No bots or answering services here. We also believe in letting the teams clean the way they have always cleaned; a full-on deep clean; you never have to worry about robotic vacuums here either. Sometimes a little nostalgia can act as a soothing balm for the stresses of the world. We hope we are that to you. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Partners & Causes We LoveHave you ever heard of TAPS? It stands for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. They provide assistance to families of service members killed in action. One of our favorite people in Denver, Realtor Edie Marks, is highly involved with TAPS and made us aware of a very cool benefit event that is taking place to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11. The event, known as the Colorado Celebrity Classic, will feature four excellent Nashville artists and the event proceeds will directly benefit TAPS. Details of that September event can be found here. Our friend Edie is also one of the best realtors around, representing Kentwood in and around Denver. Their website says she is #27 in the United States, which is very impressive. We can only imagine where that ranks her in Denver. Suffice it to say, she knows her stuff. One of the other things we love about Edie is her passion for wonderful causes such as TAPS. She has also been heavily involved with the Cancer League of Colorado, another great cause that she is very passionate about. So, if you need a world-class realtor, we highly recommend Edie. Beyond that, if you want to learn more about her causes, you may click on the links above, or you can contact Edie directly here. We thank you, our clients, for your ongoing support. We love to give back to causes such as these and without you, we wouldn't be able to. Thank you!
DIA Great Hall UpdateNow that travel seems to be back in style, we figured it might be time to look at our beloved airport to see when all the construction might be done. If you have been to DIA lately it seems patently obvious to us that this will take a while. We have discussed this debacle in past newsletters. This project has been plagued by issues from the start, including a snafu with the original vendor. Back in 2017, DIA started a .8B project (yes billions) to renovate the Great Hall. The agreement with the original contractor fell apart and Greeley-based Hansel Phelps picked it up and started work again in March of 2020. From the article: "The project is meant to increase passenger capacity, improve the experience of people passing through the airport, and reduce security vulnerabilities, outgoing DIA CEO Kim Day previously told Denver City Council members. It's also creating more ticketing and baggage drop-off space to accommodate the airport's two biggest carriers, United Airlines and Southwest." We wish we had good news, like the project will be done soon. It won't. It appears this project will take at least two more years to complete, and a potential phase three is being contemplated, so this could drag on for a bit. How will this impact us as travelers? In August, the airport will close four of the 12 security lanes at the north end of Level 5 to allow work to proceed on the new checkpoint at the northwest corner of Level 6. As they say, forewarned is forearmed, so we can at least plan for some disruption going forward. For the complete piece by the Denver Business Journal, visit them here.
Selling Your Home?Guest Writer Suzie Wilson at happierhome.net Looking to Sell Your Home Quickly? Start With These Projects If you need to sell your home quickly, you’ll need to make sure your home is looking its best. You can get your home in top shape and encourage more offers by focusing on some key home improvement projects. Wondering where you should begin? Start your upgrades with these basic home tips. Give Everything a Deep Cleaning The most important project you can complete before you list your home is a good, deep cleaning. Buyers love to walk into a home that looks, feels and smells fresh and clean, so take a day or two to go through and tidy up your home. Put away any clutter or get rid of it, even in storage areas. Then, clean everything from top to bottom, including ceiling fans, vents, curtains, countertops, and of course...the floors and carpets. If you’re working with faulty equipment, this difficult task will be that much harder. Do a quick assessment of your cleaning appliances before starting. If you need to upgrade your vacuum, be prepared for a dizzying array of options. Do your research to figure out what vacuum best suits your needs. Need your home professionally cleaned before selling? The premier house cleaning service in the area, Denver Concierge has the expertise to deliver exceptional results. For a quote, reach out to us today! Freshen Up the Front When potential buyers take a look at your home, they pay attention to the exterior first, so you should pay attention to your curb appeal. Tidy up your yard and make sure your lawn is neat. Then, look at the exterior to see if you need to make improvements there as well. If you have siding, brick, or stone in need of repair or an update, take care of those upgrades before you begin showing your home. Now is also a good time to address more hidden elements around your home like having your gutters and downspouts cleaned. This could even make a difference in your inspection. Use an online search like “gutter cleaning services near me” to connect with seasoned professionals who can remove debris and even alert you to necessary repairs. Update Your Kitchen Kitchens are king when it comes to showing a home. Buyers look for well-maintained, updated kitchens. If you’re only going to renovate a few things around your home, put your kitchen at the top of that list. A major overhaul will cost the most, but even smaller upgrades can make a difference. You can switch out fixtures or invest in some new appliances. Need to update kitchen cabinets? Try painting them a different color, adding some new hardware, or even replacing wood panels with glass for a more boutique feel. Freshen Up Your Bathroom Another room that buyers always pay extra attention to is your bathroom(s), so add it to your list of home renovations if it’s in need of repairs or updates. If you have multiple bathrooms in your home, seriously upgrading one may be enough to boost your home sale, but bathroom improvements can be inexpensive and easier than you think. You can change out faucets for different colors or materials, or change up your mirror. Even switching out lighting fixtures can make your bathrooms seem brand new. Play up special features, like a deep soaking tub or large windows, with some effortless bathroom staging. Replace the Roof If your roof is getting old, replacing it may be a good move before you try to sell your home. Depending on the material and composition of your roof, it should be replaced every 15-20 years. A new roof can also make your home appear cleaner and more appealing from the outside. This is also a home project that adds value to your home. If your roof is fairly new, still make time to check it over for issues that may need repair. Clear off any leaves or junk that has accumulated there over time. Patch up any holes and replace any damaged or missing shingles. Ensuring your roof is in good shape can help sell your home more quickly. Making improvements around your home and property is the best way to help your home sell quickly. By focusing on the areas buyers care about the most, you can be sure to attract more attention and get an offer on your home much sooner. Before you know it, you’ll be closing on your home and enjoying the profits of all of your hard work!
Our Dangerous CityIn the first six months of 2021, a person was shot in Denver every 36 hours. Yes, you read that correctly. In fact, violence in Denver is set to surpass 2020, which was the worst year on record since 1981. It seems the easing of the pandemic restrictions is not our only issue. The Denver Post did an informative article on this and covered many key statistics. From the article: "In the first six months of this year, 43 people were killed in Denver homicides — a few more than the 39 people killed in Denver in the same period last year. Denver police Chief Paul Pazen said in January that he didn’t want the 95 homicides recorded in 2020 — a 51% increase from the prior year — to become the norm. But the violence hasn’t abated. “We’re trending even above where we were last year, and last year we had too many people who lost their lives in our city,” Pazen said in a June interview." “The city looks great from the outside with all the development, but it has internal bleeding,” said Gerardo Lopez, executive director of violence prevention organization Homies Unidos. “We didn’t develop youth programs and mental health programs at the same pace.” We find this very concerning as our once safe city seems to be getting a little edgier. Certainly, as we grow we will have more "big city" problems, but we all want to feel safe when we go out downtown. The complete piece from the Denver Post can be found here. For Denver violent crime statistics, check-in here.
Are you a Good Tipper?
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for June were Maria Zapata, Fidelia Bautista, Sandra Vidales, Aurora Dominguez and Josefina Quinonez. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Isela Mendoza and Simona Estrada. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of June.
This month as we welcome new clients into the Denver Concierge fold we realized that each one had come to us through recommendations from current clients. This is a huge compliment for our teams and a huge compliment to the way we do business as a company. Even more so when taking into account that several of the new clients actually preferred to wait for an opening with us rather than go to another service. As an aside, we are very careful in our hiring and sometimes there is a short wait to get on our schedule. We don't hire to fill an urgent need. Over the years we have tried to create a niche in the market that has served us well. We treat our clients like family and are always upfront and candid in our dealings. Most importantly, we listen. We are always just a text away. This approach has brought us some truly great clients. Thank you to those who recommended us. It was a kind gesture and much appreciated. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Queen Bee Anniversary20 years. Yes, you read that right, our very own Queen Bee, Angela Danessi, has been with the company for 20 years this week. It is also her birthday today, July 1st, which is why we waited just a little longer than normal to send our "June" newsletter. We are grateful and so incredibly lucky to have her on our team as our client liaison. Many of you know Angela very well through years of speaking with her, but here are some fun facts you may not know about her. She speaks five languages! You can talk with her in English, Spanish, Italian, French, and most recently Hindi. In fact, she actually taught herself Hindi without ever having gone to a class. She's a natural linguist. While she grew up in the Midwest, she spent many of her early years in Europe, having lived in London, Paris, and Ibiza. She moved to Denver from Taos, New Mexico where she worked at the Taos Ski Valley. She has been in the hospitality space for some time now, including a stint at what is now the Ritz Carlton in Denver before she came to us here (a great day for our company). She has the coolest protective dog, a feisty Corgi also known as Frank. Sometimes known as Rishi, but that is a story for you to ask her about directly. In short, she is one of the most unique people on the planet and we want to take this opportunity to recognize her for her loyalty, consistency, and for being the main person in our company for so long. While we aren't sure we will be able to convince her to stay another 20 years, we are thankful for whatever she will give us. Please join us in wishing Angela both a happy birthday and a hearty congratulations for her 20 years of making clients happy.
Guide to Summer 2021We made it to Summer. Sadly, no one seemed to tell Spring, which evidently took a wrong turn and never made it here. But that's ok because the nice people at 5280 Magazine came out with a bunch of fun and interesting things to do in our wonderful state. They covered nearly everything, from road trip gear to the best rooftop patios in Denver. We didn't know that Le Meridien hotel actually has the highest open-air rooftop deck in Denver, the 54thirty lounge. We also love to eat so seeing the best BBQ joints in Colorado made our mouths water. From the best bike rides to try to improving grilling skills, they did a great job of encapsulating all that is Colorado in one place, and that can be found here. We hope you have a wonderful Summer!
Colorado Income Tax CutYou read that right, income taxes are going down in our state. Amazingly and despite COVID, Colorado now is expected to exceed the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights revenue cap for both this fiscal year, which ended on June 30, and for the next two years as well. From the article in the Denver Business Journal: "Colorado will have to employ all three of its methods for giving back excess revenues — reimbursing local governments for Homestead property-tax exemptions, reducing the state income tax rate from 4.55% to 4.5%, and offering sales-tax refunds directly to state residents." Great news for all of us, and the article also goes into Colorado's unemployment numbers and why we are still slightly behind the national average. The full piece from the Denver Business Journal can be f0und here.
Is Working from Home Here to Stay?Last month we asked how much working from home was worth. In many cases, ,000 wasn't enough. We wanted to dive into this issue further, more specifically what are most companies planning as they move forward? What are the pros and cons for both employee and company? In a great article, Stanford Business published a piece on how the pandemic "Blew up the American Office, for Better and Worse." As the graphic in our header shows, working from home increased eightfold in 2020 from 2017. Where will it go from here and how will it impact business going forward? What are the takeaways? For starters, it seems that a consensus is emerging about a hybrid approach where employees would work both from home and at the office in a split. More fascinating to us was the belief that innovation would be impacted by working from home in the long run, due to the creative collaboration that it requires. Finally, this shift has harmed cities' downtown areas in many ways, as people remain at home in the suburbs and not spending money downtown. Very informative piece and it made us think about this tricky issue. You can find the entire article here.
How's Your Sleep?
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for May were Simona Estrada, Rosario De La Rosa, Maria Zapata, Aurora Dominguez and Patricia Rodriguez. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Laura Varela and Isela Mendoza. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of May.
This month I celebrate 20 years with Denver Concierge. 20 years!! Yikes! I doubt many people can say that their job is so closely aligned to their personality that the two actually mesh and the word ‘work’ ceases to apply. It’s a tough business we’re in and can be stressful if not handled with care, respect, and endurance. A sense of the absurd is always handy; a sense of humor is essential. I applaud our clients for offering me all of the above. As I accept this gold statue of a giant bee, I’d just like to say that I have been inordinately lucky to work with the best in the business and for the best in the business. Bar none. I love you all! Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Memorial DayEach year on the final Monday of May, we celebrate those that have given their lives for our country. Did you know that Memorial Day used to be called Decoration Day? It was originally meant to honor the Union and Confederate soldiers that died during the American Civil War. By the 1900's it became a day to celebrate all Americans that have died in service around the world. It was renamed in 1967 and became a federal holiday in 1971. This year it falls on Monday the 31st, and of course, Denver Concierge will be closed. Meanwhile, a few facts that you may not know about Memorial Day: 1. Congress passed a law in 2000 that requires all Americans to stop what they are doing at 3 PM on Memorial Day to remember and honor those who have died in action. 2. The flag is supposed to be flown at half-mast until noon, then raised to full mast until sunset on Memorial Day. 3. There were more American lives lost during the Civil War than the two World Wars combined. Approximately 620,000 died during the Civil War while approximately 116,516 died in World War I and approximately 405,399 died in World War II. 4. There are more than 400,000 fallen soldiers buried at Arlington Cemetery. On average, there are 25 burials there each day. We take this time to honor the fallen and show our gratitude for the freedoms we have in our great country. We hope you get to enjoy the three-day weekend with friends and family, and with as few masks as possible!!!
Crime in DenverHave you ever heard of the 80/20 rule? Basically, it states that most of the outcomes tend to result from a small portion of the causes. When it comes to crime in Denver, it certainly applies. In fact, 40% of Denver's violent crimes happened in only 10 of our neighborhoods. Sadly, 2020 was one of the most violent ever. Our murder rate spiked by 29% along with property crimes spiking even further, and 2021 is shaping up to be a similar year. The most shocking number to us was Denver experiences about 8 violent crimes per day. Montbello, Five Points, Central Business District, Capitol Hill, Westwood, East Colfax, Green Valley Ranch, Union Station, Central Park, and North Capitol Hill have the highest amounts of aggravated assaults and murders so far this year. Click here for a complete map, along with the DPD plans to combat this ugly spike in violence in our fine city.
Denver's New Area CodeHey, all you cool kids with 303 or 720 area codes.....hang on to them! Denver is out of space with those area codes and will be rolling out area code 983 early next year. Did you know that the 303 area code was implemented in 1947? How about 720? It came about in 1998. From the article on 9 News, "Colorado PUC said the current 303/720 area codes are projected to run out of available phone numbers by the fourth quarter of 2022. The new 983 code will not be assigned until the current numbers are exhausted, said PUC." The new area code is projected to last approximately 25 years, but with all the people moving to Colorado, that may be optimistic. As always, you can contact us at 303-975-2808 for the best clean around. We are old school here and proud of it! The full article from 9 News can be found here.
What is Working from Home Worth?How does ,000 sound? Well for some, that just isn't enough to go back to the office. In fact, in a blind survey of 3,000 employees of 45 companies, 64% chose the work from home option instead of the k. Only two companies saw over 50% of its people choose the k, JP Morgan and Qualcomm. From the article, "About 64% of Amazon workers who answered the question preferred permanent work from home, as well as 62% of Microsoft employees and 67% of Google employees. Apple employees would rather take permanent work from home over ,000 more at 69%, and Salesforce employees at 76%." Interesting data for sure, although Blind did another survey about productivity and 48% of the respondents said that working from home has led to a decrease in productivity. To see the full article from Business Journals, click here.
Summer Food and Drink Festivals
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for April were Maria Zapata, Josefina Quinonez, Aurora Dominguez, Yesica Censo, and Vanessa Perez. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Rosa Chavez and Isela Mendoza. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of April.
The most frequently asked question I get from the clients is what time will the team arrive? Years ago, before we offered partial cleans, all rooms were included whether they were used or not. Back then, we were able to put a very specific clean time to a house. However, as we gradually acquired larger and larger homes it seemed a bit unfair to clean guest quarters that only saw guests once a year, or children's rooms of empty nesters. To be more client-friendly, we changed from full cleans to client-specific instructions. This makes it difficult to project arrival times, and I thank you for bearing with us on this issue. We do also have a work order that goes out with the team along with instructions that do not change from clean to clean, such as those pertaining to access or pets. Immediate instructions can always be given to me when I text the clean confirmation the day before. As always thank you for being our clients and for all the compliments you consistently send. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Judi's HouseOne thing we have learned after the nearly 20 years we have been serving Denver is that who you associate with matters. It goes without saying that our clients are the best in town. We have some wonderful partners as well, many of whom get mentioned here on a regular basis. We also have a few charities that we support, but none more important to us than Judi's House. Founded by Brian Griese, former Broncos QB, Judi's House provides grief counseling and support for young people and families that have suffered loss. Brian lost his mother Judi at a young age and founded this amazing venture to honor her and to help others that are going through tragic events. We support this touching and important cause by donating cleaning services every week to make sure their environment is spotless and welcoming to all. Last week was National Volunteer Week, and Judi's House was kind enough to recognize us for our efforts in supporting them. They put out a very kind piece recognizing our efforts on their Facebook page and we wanted to share it with you here. If you read on, you will realize we have an intensely personal connection to what Judi's House does, and we are certainly grateful for the recognition, but the recognition is not what drives us. So, thank you to each and every one of our clients that indirectly supports such a great cause with every clean we provide. We love giving back and being part of such a wonderful cause, and the wonderful city that is Denver. To learn more or to donate to Judi's House, you can visit them here.
My How We Have GrownDid all of you participate in the 2020 Census? We did too. It doesn't take a census report to tell us that lots of people are moving to Colorado. In fact, we were one of the few states that gained a new congressional district, our 8th. Overall, new data shows the state added nearly 745,000 new residents since 2010, a 14.8% increase. The biggest gain? Texas, which gained just under four million people in the last 10 years. Three states showed a population decline over the last decade: Illinois, Mississippi, and West Virginia. West Virginia had the largest percentage loss of any state at 3.2%. California is the most populous state with more than 39.5 million residents. Wyoming is the least populous state with just over 500,000 residents. This means that Colorado gained more residents in the last 10 years than Wyoming has in total. Crazy. Full 2020 Census results can be found here.
Reopening Denver VenuesYes, that is a photo of Red Rocks. Remember Red Rocks!? It's reopening. Along with many other venues and attractions across the Front Range and we wanted to share some of those dates and events with you. In fact, Red Rocks reopened on April 22. Only 2,500 attendees will be allowed for the time being. Elitch Gardens is also reopening to the general public on May 1. Our museums are using timed ticketing and they are open as well. Denver Botanic Gardens is also using this system and they are now open for visits. The big bummer in all of this is the DCPA postponing most of their shows until early 2022 but will be featuring the Lion King in December. 5280 Magazine did a nice recap of many of the venues around Denver and their piece can be found here. We love going to concerts and shows, so even a small return to normalcy is welcomed. We hope to see you out there Denver!
10 Small Things to Improve Your LifeWe can never resist sharing "life hacks" or anything that we find compelling regarding self-improvement. So we visit again the helpful and informative site that is Medium.com. They published a quite simple list of little things that can make life better. Not the big sweeping changes that we always try to make, but subtle ones that can be very impactful. For example, did you know the average person spends 2 hours and 25 minutes on social media every day? Tell me that isn't stressful! Also, over half of Americans say the news causes stress, and studies have shown that constantly seeing negative stories can make us feel more negative. So, what to do? The article has some obvious but underutilized techniques such as using airplane mode on our phones from time to time, as well as utilizing the timer features on our phones to parse out tasks. It's a simple list, but sometimes in life, it's the simple things that make life better. The full article can be found here, enjoy!
Facebook Data Breach
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for March were Aurora Dominguez, Josefina Quinonez, Sandra Vidales, Yesica Censo, and Juana Luna. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Juana Olivas and Natalia Olivas. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of March.
The hot ticket lately is the plant-based diet, no meat, no dairy. As a lure to the lifestyle there are suddenly videos and photos everywhere of animals accomplishing amazing feats, or bonding with other species, or just being darn cute. Whether these efforts have the desired effect remains to be seen. In any case, as a possible reflection of the sudden surge in animals to the forefront of our consciousness, or simply a reaction to being cooped up for a year, our clients have adopted some unusual pets. We have two miniature pigs, a very large rabbit (not our first), and a pair of brilliantly colored birds. There may be more in the offing. Rest assured we are up for it. It brings much-needed cheer and a bit of frivolity we could all use a dose of. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
One Year AgoOn March 24, 2020, the state was closed and Denver was told to "stay home". All non-essential businesses, including ours, were closed. It made us wonder just how this new world changed us here in Denver over the past year? Let's dive in. For starters, did you know that on March 20, 2020, Denver County only had 67 Covid cases? That number is now just north of 60,000. DIA passengers dropped by 50%, and that included a Thanksgiving spike. Bankruptcy filings were down, dropping 25% to only 8,300 over the period. This one surprised us. How about housing? Active inventory according to the Denver Metro Area Realtors, dropped by 60%. Back in March of '20, there were nearly 6,000 homes in inventory for sale across Denver. Today, that number is around 2,000. Hotels have been hit hard as well, with occupancy rates currently at about 33%. It bottomed out at about 16% last April. Normal rates would be about 65% occupancy. Lots of fascinating data, and we thank the Denver Business Journal for publishing it. The full piece can be found here. They also look at job posting data (down), restaurant reservations (down), and crude oil pricing (up). Kind of a cool review, although most of the data is hard to look at, knowing the real impact of what we went through, and all the pain businesses and families everywhere have had to endure. For the infographic showing the numbers we mentioned above, plus a few more, check it out here. I think we can all agree that the last year has been one of the more challenging ones we have ever faced. It has tested our resilience and resolve, but through it all we are still here, serving our wonderful clients. We thank you for your loyalty and for sticking it out with us!
16th Street Mall RenovationWhat was once a bustling and iconic part of Denver is getting a facelift. Our 16th Street Mall has been under fire for the past few years due to problems with homelessness, drug use, panhandling, and other unsavory behaviors. According to the Downtown Denver Partnership, the original life span for the mall was 30 years. We now sit at nearly 40 years and most would agree the area is in need of a makeover. Enter PCL Construction Services, the winning bidder in earning the right to design and build the "new mall". Costs are estimated at 9M and construction won't likely begin until the end of '21 at the earliest. The full description of the project by the Downtown Denver Partnership can be found here. We aren't sure about you, but we hope this project restores this once-proud area of our city back to its roots. Of course, we aren't 100% sure what a redesign and upgrade have to do with our homelessness and safety issues, but we will leave that in the hands of our elected leaders to sort out. Meanwhile, it will be interesting to see how they tackle this massive three-year project and if it truly delivers on its intentions.
Rockies and McGregor SquareDid you realize that Opening Day is tomorrow? This is not an April Fool's joke, we promise. We were surprised as well, it sneaked up on us. So, baseball is back, and with it comes Spring, and the hope that our beloved Rockies will be contenders this year. What will baseball look like in the mile-high city this year? For starters, Coors Field will be allowing 21,000 fans in for each game. This is up from the original plan of 12,000 and hopefully will increase as COVID settles down. The biggest news is the opening of McGregor Square, across the street from the ballpark. Named for former Rockies exec Keli McGregor, the mixed-use development will contain everything from residences to restaurants and bars. You can even find Top Golf hitting bays. In short, it looks like a wonderful entertainment venue for those of us heading down to the ballpark this year. 5280 Magazine did a very comprehensive view of McGregor Square here and all that it entails. Now if we could only get over the trade of future Hall of Fame player Nolan Arenado to the Cards. That one might take some time to recover from. Enjoy the festivities!
Life ExpectancyIf you are a regular reader of our newsletter, you know we love to see where we rank as a region in various categories. When we saw life expectancy by state, we had to share. Colorado is used to being in the top-ranked places in most categories, and life expectancy is no different. Overall, we came in 8th. Male life expectancy in our fine state is just under 78 years. Women actually rated just a bit higher, coming in 7th at an 82.3 average. Even more fascinating are the ends of the spectrum. Hawaii, for example, where men live until 81, and women until 84, both rank first. The other end? West Virginia. Both men and women ranked 51st, with men averaging 74.4 and women 77.3. We aren't drawing any inferences about what that all means, only that we are fairly healthy here in the Rockies. Finally, in a rare occurrence, life expectancy in total dropped by a full year, largely due to COVID. The article from CNN can be found here, and the full table from the CDC (for you stat geeks) can be found here.
Productivity and Working from Home
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for February were Guadalupe Caloca, Josefina Quinonez, Maria Zapata, Paz Jimenez, and Simona Estrada. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Juana Olivas and Isela Mendoza. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of February.
Peeps! After a 9-month hiatus, they're back just in time for Spring. In their 1953 debut, a Peeps chick was a handmade specialty item that took 27 hours to sculpt. Currently, they have a daily production run of 5.5 million. You can't escape them, and you can't buy just one. They come in a joined row like cutout paper dolls. The original yellow and white chicks have morphed into other colors, animal shapes, and other flavors. They have found their way into literature, art, theater, and dioramas. PEEPS are a cheery addition to our Spring this year. Thankfully they bounced back from the pandemic just when we needed cheering the most. Happy Spring! Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Connect With UsAre you on Facebook? Well so are we. How about Twitter? Us too. Tik Tok? Sorry, that is where we draw the line. We are sure that our dynamic way of cleaning homes while fascinating to us, might not make the best short video. Plus, our dancing and singing talents are fairly limited, but we digress. Seriously though, we want to connect with you. We don't tweet a lot, but on days like today with lots of snow, it's a great resource to see if we are open or not. Answer....no, too much snow. Hoping for Friday, love Colorado winters, apologies to our clients for the interruption. We also don't put a lot of content on Facebook, but we will be posting our newsletter there each month, along with a list of our monthly award winners and anything else that we feel may add value to your lives. We realize that you are inundated with social media, texting, emails, and the like, and we most definitely want to be unobtrusive in our communication with you. That said, if you are interested in following our Twitter feed, we can be found at @bestmaidsdenver here. Our Facebook page can be found here as well, feel free to give us a shout (or even a like) there if you get bored. As you know, we are old school in so many ways. We actually answer the phone when you call, and we always want you to feel like our service is very personal. We also like to think that we clean in an old-fashioned way and hopefully that will never change. It is 2021, however, and we want to connect with you in the way that makes you most comfortable. As many of you know and use frequently, we also use text to communicate real-time with you on weather, clean status, etc. If you are not on our text system, please shoot us a quick note and we will make it happen. We appreciate your ongoing support of our local business and will do everything we can to remain a great partner to you and your family.
Best Performing US CitiesThe Milken Institute annually ranks all major cities in their "best-performing" rankings. We came in 11th. Not quite top 10 material evidently, but we still love it here. The ranking system historically includes cities’ job and wage growth and strength in high-tech sectors. This year they added broadband access and housing affordability in an effort to highlight how much infrastructure improvements and other metrics reflect the inclusiveness of local economies. Did you know that 92.5% of Denver households have access to broadband internet? We also ended 2020 with a median price for a single-family home at 7,000. The best performing city? Provo, Utah. In fact, there were three Utah cities in the top 10. The good news is the list was dominated by areas in the west, so we will take that. The complete article, including methodology and a PDF can be found here. Top 10 next year for sure!
2021's Well Designed HomeIf COVID has done anything, it has changed us forever in some ways. From Zoom calls to no more handshakes, we aren't sure what will stick and what will fade away when this crummy pandemic finally leaves us. One thing is for sure, our relationship with our homes has changed dramatically. One of the leading interior designers in Denver offered her perspective on this in January's 5280 Magazine. “The way we interact with our homes is never going to be the same after 2020,” says Sari Mina Ross, who moved her residential interior design firm from New York City to Denver just a few months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. She offers at least four new trends that will be hitting in 2021. Starting with high-performance kitchens, and ending with circadian lighting systems, we found the information to be very solid, and it spurred many ideas! The complete article on 2021 home design trends can be found here.
What's Your Net Worth?What is your net worth? Just kidding, we don't want to know. We remember being in college, hoping we could "earn our age". Those were the days. Yep, we are old and k doesn't go very far these days. We ran across an interesting article about net worth by age. Of course, we went right down the rabbit h0le to see how we stacked up. Some data for you. The average net worth for someone aged 35-44 is 6,000. From 45-54, it rises to 3,000. The highest average net worth belongs, as you might figure, to the 65-74-year age group, averaging a cool .2MM. At 75+ it drops a bit, probably due to health care costs and fixed income, coming in just under a million bucks. Kind of interesting and the full article by CNBC can be found here.
Sense of Humor
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for January were Maria Zapata, Fidelia Bautista, Martha Garcia, and Patricia Rodriguez. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Laura Varela and Mayra Soto. We are very proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of January.
Like many of you, for many months now I have been working from home. I am mostly texting our clients, but when I receive or place a phone call you can hear my assistant in the background. His name is Frank, my protective Corgi. He feels it is his job to be part of an incoming or outgoing call and he’s pretty hard to ignore. His barks can be momentarily disconcerting to the uninitiated. Happily, his persistent presence has prompted clients to send me photos of their "assistants" also. I have built up quite a portfolio of cute images. If there is a bright spot in this dreary time it comes from our animals. They keep us smiling and keep us sane. Love to them all. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
2021 Labor Law Changes2021 is starting with a bang. Lots of labor law changes are now in effect and they will impact both employees and employers going forward. For those of you that haven't dug into these yet, we wanted to encapsulate them here. First off, on January 1, Denver implemented a new minimum wage of .77. Mandated in 2019 by the Denver City Council, it will rise to .87 beginning next year. This is out of phase with the state minimum wage which is lagging behind at .32. Any employee of the city or one that works in Denver will be subject to the city minimum. Also, starting in 2021, the Healthy Families and Workplaces Act or HFWA will require that Colorado employers with more than 16 employees provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work, up to a minimum of 48 hours. Those hours are immediately available once earned and can be taken in one-hour increments. Finally, the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act has been implemented and the new law prohibits paying different wages for similar work on the basis of sex, beefing up existing federal rules on the topic. There are also new provisions protecting whistleblowers primarily related to workplace safety and health. We do our best at Denver Concierge to take great care of our people and support their safety, families, well-being, and ability to make good wages. We hope this shows through in the quality of work we do in your homes. We will continue to do so, along with fully supporting all the city and state requirements to benefit our associates. A full recap of the 2021 labor law changes can be found here.
Restaurant UpdateWe may have mentioned we have quite a few clients and partners in the restaurant space and they have been hit particularly hard by COVID. You also may have heard about the new "5 Star" program that is allowing restaurants and other businesses to gradually move towards normalcy. The basics are as follows: The 5 Star State Certification Program enables businesses that meet enhanced safety guidelines in qualifying counties and municipalities to open at a greater capacity. The voluntary program recognizes businesses that have gone above and beyond to keep their communities safe. Further, each county or municipality can decide whether to implement the 5 Star State Certification program. So how is it calculated? Well, it depends firstly on the dial level of the area the business operates in. Ranging from Green (good) to Purple (Very Bad), each area has a rating. Establishments can then apply for variances based on where they currently operate and the "dial level" around them. They are expected to exceed normal COVID requirements, hopefully making them much safer to visit. We are excited to see the state helping small businesses get back up and running. While we haven't been able to find a certified list of 5 star approved restaurants yet, we hope one is coming soon. Meanwhile to learn more about the program click here.
Better Peace of MindYes, 2020 was a bear. There were many days when we struggled with the uncertainty, chaos, and disruption caused by COVID. We like to think that we are mentally tough over here at Denver Concierge, but we are human and are always looking for better ways to cope. Along that journey, we ran across a solid piece by the folks at Medium.com (one of our favorite self-help sites) about how we might obtain better peace of mind during these tough times. One of the great concepts from the article is to focus on the stressors, not the stress. Our minds are hard-wired to outrun animals that might be chasing us, looking for their next meal. While those were real concerns for our ancestors, they really aren't anymore (at least for most of us hopefully). Yet our brains are hardwired to react with "fight or flight" reactions to things that truly are not life-threatening. We found the article informative and helpful and we sure hope you do as well. The complete piece on psychological habits for better peace of mind can be found here. We wish you much peace of mind in 2021.
2020 Words of the YearWant to take a guess at the word of the year in 2020? If you guessed PANDEMIC, you are correct. Words fascinate us and the ones that come to the forefront each year are an interesting cross-section of what is going on in our world in a given year. We were extremely interested to read Merriam Webster's top 12 words of the year in 2020. Based on search history they list the most-searched-for words How about "Kraken"? "Schadenfreude"? Those were two words that were very popular, mainly thanks to the Seattle hockey team calling themselves the former and for people delighting in other people's failure for the latter. Our guess is our tumultuous political climate pushed schadenfreude into that spotlight. Plus, as the article says, it's a fun word to say. In respect to Kobe Bryant (rest in peace), the word "Mamba" was the most searched word shortly after his tragic helicopter crash. It's a quick read but gives great insight into our culture and the words we use in our daily lives. The full article can be found here, and we are sure hoping that words like "vaccine" and "normalcy" are popular this year!
101 Ways to Enjoy 2021 in Colorado
Annual Award WinnersWe are super excited to announce our annual winners for Team Leader and Cleaning Associate of the year. First, our monthly award winners for December were Rosario De La Rosa, Paz Jimenez, Martha Garcia, Simona Estrada, and Juana Luna. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Laura Varela and Rosa Chavez. Now, drum roll please..... Our winner for best Cleaning Associate in 2020 is Maria Zapata. Runner up goes to Aurora Dominguez. Our top Team Leader for 2020 goes to Socorro Ibarra. Our runner up is Juana Olivas. It was a close race and one that was determined over only 9 months (thanks COVID) rather than the usual 12. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for 2020, the year of COVID.
Denver Concierge is a Green Certified Company. This makes us a bit old fashioned, as we don't use harsh chemicals or cleaning methods. Our cleaning is meant to be thorough and yet preserve what we clean, whether furniture, carpets, keepsakes, or collectibles. We are not alone with our preservation mantra. There is a local contractor who has bought several rundown houses in one area of the city and surprisingly renovated them, rather than razing them, preserving history with a touch of progress. His current endeavor is a hundred-year-old church which he has somehow managed to convert to inconspicuous condos without changing the street view. Preservation teamed with artistry and imagination. A good roadmap to the future.
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Here's to a Better Year in '21Hopefully having a better year next year will be easy. We want to wrap up the year on a positive note and hopefully springboard into a more normal 2021. First of all, our holiday schedule. We will be closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day this year, which is Thursday and Friday of this week. We will, however, be open on New Year's Eve but will be closed on Friday the 1st to celebrate the new year. In this month's newsletter, we give you some ideas on ways to enjoy the holiday season and plan for some fun and exciting things in '21. Of course, this starts with the hope of vaccination for each of us, and we think you will find the tool further down highly informative. We also have a guest writer this month, who provides some good ideas on making your home healthy and safe. Beyond that, we hope you have a calm and relaxing holiday season this year. As Charles Swindoll famously said, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” In talking with our clients, partners, and friends, we get the sense that most of you are already approaching things this way, but if you need a reminder about adversity and some of the ways people have dealt with difficult things in life, we found a good refresher here. Finally, we say thank you again to our wonderful clients. Your patience, resolve, and kindness have known no bounds this year. We wish you peace, prosperity, and above all, good health as we move into 2021. Thanks for including us in your lives.
The Best of the WestIn the spirit of a better 2021, we are starting to think about all the fun things we can do! 5280 Magazine published their "Best of the Mountain West" piece this month and we found it very interesting. They celebrate 26 captivating people, beautiful places, and irresistible things from the West. It made us feel good about where we live, and the culture that surrounds us. Beyond the places to visit, which are cool, like Polebridge Mercantile (see below photo) in Montana, the article is a celebration of style, culture, and the people of the West. We found it uplifting and makes us happy to be part of it. The complete piece can be found here.
Vaccination ScheduleThankfully, vaccines are arriving in cities everywhere, including Denver. So just how long will we have to wait to get ours? Well, that depends. Healthcare workers will be first. Folks in nursing homes, first responders, and those with health risks will go next. Other essential workers, teachers, and even some prisoners (yes, you read that right) will go before healthy folks do. The New York Times came up with a calculator that will show you roughly how long it will take before you are vaccinated depending on the category you fall into. It even depicts where you would be in a virtual line, which is sort of cool as well. The full calculator can be found here. You should be able to view and operate the calculator without signing up for the Times, which is a relief. If you don't have the patience to look at the calculator, the rough numbers put a healthy person living in Denver County behind about 500,000 people. The bottom line? Be patient for sure. The WHO published a full list of Q&A about the vaccine, timing etc. and that can be found here. Stay safe Denver, we will see most of you in line in early to mid-2021!
Best Home Light ShowsOne of our favorite things to do during the holidays is to load up everyone in the car, get some hot cocoa, and drive around looking at the light displays. This year it's also one of the few things we can do that is socially distanced and somewhat normal. So many neighborhoods have beautiful holiday light displays in and around Denver, we have many options to explore. From downtown Denver to Cheesman Park, Arvada, and many of the suburbs, there are some very creative and special people that take the time to make their homes special. So you don't' wander around aimlessly, we have provided the best info we can find on where to go to see these wonderful displays. We found a good article from Trips to Discover, that gives some good neighborhoods to take a peek in and that information can be found here. Of course, our friends at 5280 Magazine also published their list as well, with specific homes and addresses listed. The list includes the Gingerbread House, "which features 10,000-plus lights meticulously outlining nearly every edge of Walter Hazard’s home, and is beloved by those near (neighborhood kids were the ones who named it “The Gingerbread House”) and far (German magazine Der Spiegel featured it in a roundup of the best holiday displays in America). " The complete article from 5280 can be found here. Finally, we found one more resource from milehighonthecheap.com that lists many places in and around the Front Range to view holiday light displays. See below for a preview of some of our favorites. Here's to making the best of this most different holiday season!!!
A Healthier Home
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for November were Josefina Quinonez, Aurora Dominguez, Guadalupe Caloca, Maria Zapata, and Rosario De La Rosa. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Socorro Ibarra and Natalia Olivas. We are very proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of November. Our annual award winners will be announced in January 2021.
2020. What’s to say that hasn’t been said? Still, soldiering on, I would like to offer my deepest thanks to our clients, this year especially. You stood by us when the pandemic forced us to close for weeks, when it necessitated last-minute schedule and team changes, cancellations, and even shortened cleans. You all made it work. I spoke to each of you many times over the past months. Your kindness and easy acceptance were universal and overwhelming despite the hardships you all undoubtedly had in your own lives due to this beastly pandemic. We end the year grateful to have such amazing clients. May 2021 usher in a healthy and happy time for all. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Giving ThanksWhat a strange and memorable year. We know it may seem a bit counterintuitive, but we are very thankful. We are thankful for our wonderful clients. Our people. Our health. We know so many of you have been impacted by COVID, some of you worse than others and for that, you have our sympathy and love. We are thankful to be open during this time, doing our jobs. So many people aren't able to do this currently, especially our friends in the restaurant and gym business. Not to mention schools and the extra work many of you are putting in as "part-time" teachers at home. Crazy. We genuinely want to use this space to express our gratitude for all of you, our readers and friends. Without you, we have no company, no employees, and no business to be thankful for. We will continue to operate as safely as possible and try to bring you the peace of mind you need to keep your homes germ-free. We wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving tomorrow, although we know it will be different from all the others. If you are deciding to get together, we have an interesting resource below that may ease your mind (or may not). Either way, please know that we appreciate you and wish you a safe and happy holiday and weekend.
Just How Risky is Thanksgiving?Ah, the tradition. We love getting together for Thanksgiving (and any other holiday where we can eat). So much controversy this year about Thanksgiving being "cancelled" and everyone being discouraged from getting together. That said, nearly 40% of people say they will likely attend a Thanksgiving gathering with 10 or more people despite the risk of catching COVID-19, according to a recent survey by Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center. Another survey of parents nationwide found nearly a third say the benefits of gathering with extended family for the holidays are worth the risk of spreading or getting the coronavirus. The survey, conducted by the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in partnership with the University of Michigan, says almost 3-in-5 plan to see extended family in person. We get it. Should you decide to expand the guest list, we wanted to provide a resource that will help guide you regarding exposure risk. Denver 7 published an interesting, interactive map created by professors at the Georgia Institute of Technology, that shows the likelihood that at least one person would test positive for COVID-19 when gathering with a group of 10 or more people in a given area. For example, under current case rates, a gathering of 10 people in Denver would have a 38% chance that one person there would be infected. Fascinating data and you can look anywhere in the US to determine the risk. The source interactive map and planning tool can be found here.
Upsizing Your Home?By Guest Writer Bob Shannon, Seniors Meet.org. Downsizing has become an incredibly popular retirement trend in the past few years. While many benefits come with sizing down into a smaller home—lower costs, less maintenance, and simpler living—there are also many good reasons to go against the grain. Depending on your retirement goals, upsizing to a larger home and property might be the better choice! Keep reading to learn more about upsizing in your senior years and how to make it happen. If you’re selling your existing home to help pay for a larger one, use a site like Redfin to learn how much comparable properties in the Denver area are selling for. If you’ll be taking out a mortgage for your new space, increase your borrowing power by paying off debt and boosting your credit score. Having a larger home in retirement comes with many perks for seniors. For example, you can set up a hobby farm your grandchildren will love visiting, and you can rent out the basement for some side income. Once you’ve made your move, unpack strategically by setting up your living room and bedroom first. You can dive into bigger projects later, like setting up a sewing room, so you’re not overwhelmed with laying out your new home. Downsizing isn’t for everyone. If your dream is to spend your golden years on a big, beautiful property and you have the financial means to make it happen, go for it! As long as you take your time to plan your big purchase and prepare for your move, your transition to a larger space will be smooth, stress-free, and, most of all, exciting!
How Expensive is Denver?Last month we were happy to report that Colorado fared very well in the annual Best Places to Live survey. With all that excitement, we thought we would take a look at just what it takes to survive in our fair city. For example, if you are a renter and want to live in Denver, you need north of 0k annually to do it. Wow. In Albuquerque, NM, in comparison, you would "only" need k annually. Interesting data and a fun list to pore over. The complete listing of 50 metropolitan areas and what it takes to live comfortably was published by GOBankingrates.com and Yahoo Finance and can be found here. Oh, what is the most expensive metro area to live in? San Francisco, where one would need 4K annually just to rent. Plus, it's foggy there and they have no mountains. Just sayin'.
Things to (safely) Do this Holiday Season
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for October were Josefina Quinonez, Aurora Dominguez, Martha Garcia, Cecilia Reyes, and Paz Jimenez. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Rosa Chavez and Juana Olivas. We are very proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your homes. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of October.
According to a recently published book, hunter-gatherer societies worked less than people in other modes of subsistence, while not only providing for their needs but also enjoying a substantial amount of leisure time. This has raised some questions and opened discussions about our current work hours, which driven by the increase in what our society considers basic needs, has resulted in chaining us to extremely long work hours with minimal leisure time. Theories abound. With Thanksgiving upon us, however, let's put the theories aside, and pause to be grateful for the benefits of our labors, as is fitting. Happy Thanksgiving! Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Business & Service UpdateWhile we try to make our monthly newsletter well-rounded and informative, we also want to share company information as we go. We figured this was a good time to give an update on how we are doing during the pandemic. With the recent announcement that Denver is at "Safer at Home" level 3, we wanted to let you know we are still operating. As a reminder, we are using every safety protocol that we know of to ensure that you and your family are safe when we clean your home. Full PPE, health and welfare monitoring along with a dose of Theraworx Protect ensures that our ladies are safe, and that you are as well. We are germ-killing experts and are glad we can help disinfect your homes during this challenging time. Our best advice to ensure everyone's safety is to simply socially distance from our teams when they are in your homes. Our ladies love to see you, but we also want to be as safe as possible. We promise we will wave from a distance. 🙂 We have been open and running since we were allowed to return, and to date have no issues with any client infections or problems. In short, we believe we are very safe and can provide a valuable service to you keeping your home germ-free. As always, we appreciate your trust and faith in us. We will continue to do all we can to earn it every day.
COVID Exposure AlertsSome of you may have received an alert this week about contact tracing embedded in your phone. The technology is fairly straightforward, and iPhone and Android makers are ensuring us that this is anonymous and that our information won't be used. Of course, as we have outlined in past newsletters, our phones are watching where we go anyway, unless you have that function disabled. From the article, "The technology uses non-identifiable Bluetooth tokens sent to user’s phones, when someone tests positive for COVID-19 anyone who has been in close proximity in the last 14 days is notified of exposure." "The identity of anyone using the system will never be revealed. The service does not collect, store or transmit any personal information, according to the CDPHE." As always, we must balance the public good versus our rights to privacy, so we will let you sort that one out yourself. Stay safe!
Denver's Record Housing MarketWe aren't sure anyone would have predicted this one. Right in the middle of a global pandemic, people on lockdown and the economy sputtering along, Denver's housing market has reached historic levels. In September, the typical home in the Denver area went under contract after six days, a 63% year-over-year decrease in days on market. Denver's housing market has been riding an unprecedented hot streak since the early summer, following a short-lived slowdown in March and April. September was also the most difficult month in Denver's history to buy a home. The inventory of homes for sale was down to 3,041 homes, and single family detached homes spent a median of just 6 days on the market. From the DBJ article. "New listings for all residential properties (both attached and detached) totaled 6,456, up 6.71% from the same month a year ago. But buyers put 6,376 homes under contract, leaving few properties to chip away at the current supply deficit." "The number of closings in September reached 5,850, a 16.51% year-over-year increase." Not what we expected either! The good news is if you are selling this should be a fun time to do so. The full article from the Denver Business Journal can be found here.
Colorado Leads the WayDovetailing on the housing market piece from above, it seems that everyone wants to live in Colorado. U.S. News and World Report recently published their list of best places to live. In fact, Colorado dominates the rankings, with Boulder coming in number one, and Denver number two. While we found that interesting, we were more surprised by the rest of the top five. Colorado Springs comes in at fourth and Fort Collins at fifth. If you are scoring at home, that gives Colorado 4 of the to 5 places to live in the entire U.S. Amazing stuff. They use data such as job market, housing affordability, quality of life index and desirability to come up with the rankings. The complete ranking of all the places to live, the methodology used, and how they rank can be found here. We feel fortunate to live in such a wonderful place.
Halloween Trick or Treating Rules
- Line up individually wrapped treats at the end of the driveway or yard’s edge. Watch the fun and enjoy the costumes from a distance.
- Use a plastic slide, cardboard tubes, or plastic pipes to deliver candy from a distance.
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for September were Paz Jimenez, Sandra Vidales, Maria Hernandez, Josefina Quinonez and Maria Zapata. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Laura Varela and Natalia Olivas. We are very proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your homes. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of September.
An interesting theory to ponder. Over the years I have seen a good deal of our clients' furnishings and treasured objects, heard where they originated and what memories they hold for the family. There is a theory that by the year 2030 anything we want we will rent instead of own. I wonder if it would go so far as to negate our natural instinct to collect and own beautiful pieces of art or artifacts or hold onto family heirlooms. Maybe there will be more museums so the beauty can be shared, but if our furnishings are not our own, collected and cared for and loved over the years, how does that change the essence of our homes? Will they just be houses? On the other hand, it's just a theory. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
We've Been Here BeforeCheck out the following quotes and tell us if they look familiar: "Wearing a mask violates my rights, I refuse to do it" "Businesses need to be reopened, it's illegal to force us to close" "They can't close the schools; our kids need socialization" If those seem to be quotes from today, they are not. They are examples of common complaints being levied against governmental pressure during....the Spanish Flu of 1918. The more things change, the more they stay the same it seems. The point is, we have been here before. The lessons we learned in 1918 and through other pandemics in history are still there for the taking if we pay attention and show some empathy for our fellow men and women. One of the big takeaways that we found is that non-pharmaceutical interventions work. Simple, but true. Masking and distancing have a greater effect than we all care to admit, but the truth is they work. The photo below shows Seattle policemen during the epidemic in 1918, so yes, we have indeed been here before.
Move Over...New Traffic LawAs usual, when we see an item that we think might help our readers, we share it. How many of you know that when an emergency vehicle is stopped on the side of the freeway that you are supposed to move over and/or slow down? Yes, it seems like common sense, but very few people do this. Last year five state troopers were killed by careless drivers, so the legislature passed changes to Colorado's "Move Over Law". The new law not only requires that you move over a lane if possible, but that you slow your speed to 20 MPH below what is posted. While it doesn't sound like much, if you get caught violating this law, it is considered a Class 2 misdemeanor traffic offense and comes with 10 to 90 days in jail along with fines of 0-300. It's also a 4-point violation on your license. Definitely not worth it. A recap of the law including a link to the CSP podcast about it can be found here.
Best 'Hoods in DenverDo you live in the best neighborhood in Denver? Well, if you live in South Park Hill, 5280 magazine says you do. That locale was followed by Wash Park, Congress Park, West Highland and Cherry Creek. They published their annual list of the best neighborhoods in Denver and we wanted to share. The ranking system utilized four variables as follows: home prices, crime data, school rankings, and an X factor score that accounts for things that can’t be easily quantified, such as access to open space, nearby public transportation, and the prevalence of restaurants and shops. They weighted each one and came up with a firm ranking. Of course, there is always some subjectivity in these sorts of things, but we found it interesting. The complete article from 5280 Magazine can be found here.
750 Million Years Ago.....Ok, we did it again. Found a cool, time-wasting website to distract you from the chaos around us all. Ever wonder what earth was like say 750 million years ago? We did and went down the proverbial rabbit hole to learn more. In doing so, we learned about the continental drift theory and how it was upended by plate tectonics. I'm sure you are saying "get to the point", so we will. In short, a California paleontologist has created an interactive map that allows people to see how far their hometowns have moved over 750 million years of continental drift. So, if you are curious as to where your hometown was millions of years ago, the map will show you. Our spot on the planet has changed dramatically over the years. In fact, 540 million years ago, Denver was a beach town it seems. Kind of a cool thing to check out, we hope you enjoy playing with it as much as we did!!!
Can Air Conditioning Spread Covid?
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for August were Rosario De La Rosa, Josefina Quinonez, Aurora Dominguez, Cecilia Reyes, and Maria Zapata. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Socorro Ibarra and Juana Olivas. We are very proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your homes. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of August.
The Autumnal Equinox last week brought a feeling of closure to this extraordinary summer, and we are pleased to have come through it with our health, our optimism and most of our wits. However, we can't let up. We will continue with all precautions and ask that the clients continue to keep us informed of any changes to their home situations. It is commendable that we have been able to seamlessly work together to keep both team members and clients safe and happy for these past months. As always, you can reach me for any changes, questions, comments, or really anything house related. Just a text or a call away. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Staying Sane During COVIDIt seems like we are all getting just a bit stir crazy. As this was all beginning, very few of us thought about the mental and emotional toll that being locked down could cause. Now, it's coming home to roost. Domestic violence is up. Substance abuse is up, and in a more benign category, the "COVID-15" weight gain seems to be a real thing. So, what do we do to stay sane in this crazy environment? We tried to do some heavy lifting for you and came up with some great suggestions and resources. For starters, organizing your life can lower your stress and give a sense of control over our environment. That's why we are offering some great organization tips in this month's newsletter. We have a wonderful partner that can assist as well....read on for details. The ADAA has published a list of solid ideas to cope with the isolation and frustration that this quarantine brings on. It includes organizing for sure, but also some tools that we can all use during this time. Their thoughts can be found here. Our favorite (and less clinical) list comes from the folks at Blue Zones. They came up with 50 ways to stay sane and we love it. It adds an element of structure, as well as some new ideas to cope with all of this. You can find their creative article here. In short, you aren't alone if you are feeling angry, frustrated, and/or helpless during these crazy times. As always, we are here to make your lives easier, at least as far as having a clean home goes. We continue to operate safely and efficiently, so if you haven't started your service back up with us yet, we are standing by when you are ready. Thanks to all of you for being great clients and partners, stay safe, and know we are here for you when you need us.
Colorado Labor StatsWith all the data we are constantly being fed, sometimes it's hard to understand what is real and what is not. Colorado unemployment and our labor situation is no exception. We recently wrote about Colorado running ahead of the rest of the country in terms of recovery from the pandemic. At face value the numbers look good. July unemployment dropped to 7.4%, good enough for the 15th lowest in the nation. This is a nice drop from the 10.6% we were showing in June. Where it gets dicey is in how we are adding jobs back. From the DBJ article: "While Colorado’s unemployment rate sits well below the national July average of 10.2%, however, it is not replacing jobs lost from the pandemic at the same rate. With the state having so far gained back just 134,200 of the 342,300 nonfarm payroll jobs it lost between February and April, its recovery rate sits at 39.2%, below the nation’s 41.9% average." "Part of the mismatch in unemployment and job-recovery statistics stems from the fact that Colorado had so many jobs and such a low unemployment rate before the pandemic struck." The full DBJ article can be found here. The Colorado Sun also did a good article dissecting what is going on in our labor market and that can be found here. Let's hope for a speedy continued recovery.
Is it Hot in Here?We are on fire, literally and figuratively. With wildfires burning and creating haze, we also get to endure what is shaping up to be the second hottest summer on record, at least in terms of days over 90. This week, we topped that number for the 15th straight day (good for the 8th longest streak ever), and the 65th day over 90. Those 65 days represent the second highest number of days ever, trailing only 2012 with 73 days over that mark. The longest streak of 90-degree days is 24, set in 2008 and 2012. On top of it all, we are now officially in drought conditions, with fire bans in effect and very little precipitation. So yes, it is EXTREMELY hot "in here" these days. We hope you are staying cool during these times. The good news is that there may be a little rain coming as we inch into September. A full recap of our crazy summer weather can be found here, courtesy of the folks at Denver 7. For those of you looking ahead to a cooler time, the old reliable Farmer's Almanac seems to think we will have a cold and snowy winter. Something to look forward to!
Saving Our RestaurantsThey aren't dead yet, but they are not faring well during COVID. The Independent Restaurant Coalition has determined that 85% of independent restaurants could be closed in six months. And while take-out and delivery are helping, fine and casual dining establishments are down 85% and 65% respectively. That is a staggering number and one that gave us pause. It appears there may be relief in sight. 5280 Magazine ran a piece on the RESTAURANT act, which we had never heard of. The program provides 0B in grants to independent restaurants, and specifically targets businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans. The first 14 days of funding would be available only to the smallest establishments, those with less than 1.5MM in annual revenue. The bipartisan bill has not yet been passed and the industry is asking our support. So, if you are passionate about the Denver dining scene and your local watering holes, now is a great time to get involved. You can contact your congressperson here to make your case.
Monthly Award WinnersOur monthly award winners for July were Sandra Vidales, Aurora Dominguez, Cecilia Reyes, Josefina Quinonez and Maria Zapata. In the Team Leader ranks, it was Socorro Ibarra and Laura Varela. We are very proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your homes. Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of July.
These days being constantly informed of current events is a downer. But there is optimism. I hear it when I text daily schedule confirmations to our clients. Bravo to those of you who are parents suddenly coping with homeschooling and home offices, added to a schedule and house already at capacity on a good day. How you keep your sense of humor intact is nothing short of amazing. From other clients I hear about a cooking mania revisited, books long unread being opened, new movies discovered, a new language, new family connections. There is mention of never before online opportunities like art shows, concerts, museum and city tours. We are nothing if not resilient and resourceful as a society. Just keep repeating, we will get through this. Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela
Our "Real" Fearless LeaderWho are we referring to, you might ask? If you thought we were talking about our owner, you are wrong. We are talking about our General Manager, Maria Herrera. Way back in 2000 she joined Denver Concierge as a housekeeper. It didn't take long for the company to realize that we had a star performer on our hands. We are sure you know Angela as the "client" piece of the operation and the author of the monthly "Queen Bee" feature at the bottom of our newsletter. However, if you have wondered how we organize our teams, handle payroll, safety, and all the other operational stuff behind the scenes....the answer is Maria Herrera, our General Manager. She doesn't like the limelight much, but she has done an exemplary job for 20 years!!!!! We are so thankful to have her leading our field operations and making sure your house is spotless. Sadly, with COVID, we haven't really been able to celebrate the way we normally do, but we have recognized Maria internally with her service award and our undying gratitude.
The New "Work/Life" RealityIt's hard to believe but for the first time in our history, for most of us, the three major facets of our lives are occurring in our homes. Work, school, and family life have all converged on us in the place where we live. From an employer perspective, things like productivity in the face of monumental stress at home is becoming harder and harder to measure. Many companies have suspended performance reviews as they re-work what it all looks like in the "new normal". Not to mention the change in remote working that for some of us may be permanent, as companies figure out that the need to have everyone in an office may not be all that we thought it was. The smart folks at the Stanford Graduate School of business wrote a great piece on this and how it impacts equality and inclusion. We wanted to share it, the full article can be found here. Stay balanced Denver.
Denver's Drinking ProblemDo we have a drinking problem in Denver? We certainly know more alcohol is being consumed as a result of COVID. The most recent stats show that 27% of Denverites binge drink regularly. From the 5280 magazine article: "The standout statistic: More than one in four Denver adults reported binge drinking in the previous 30 days. That puts our penchant for quaffing ahead of residents in every other comparable Western city, including Seattle, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and Austin, Texas." Liver disease is also up in Denver, with the death rate up 35% between 1999 and 2017. Fascinating stats, and we are surprised by what we read. The entire piece can be found here, and it is very comprehensive. Here is to staying healthy and being keenly aware of the effects of too much alcohol!
Failure vs. SuccessIt sure feels nice when things go well. There are fewer greater feelings than when we nail a project at home or at work. What about when things don't go as planned? For us, we always seem to learn more when things go wrong than when they go right. We found a very cool article from Association Universe that confirms this feeling. From the article: "The moments where things are hard, where you’ve made a colossal mistake, are likely the most valuable times in life. These moments are filled with lessons that guide us toward success. This is something many people have heard before: We learn from our mistakes, right? So why do we feel so terrible about making them?" We loved the brain science behind failure and how we are wired to evolve and learn. The full article can be found here.
Healthy Home Lifestyle Products
Monthly Award WinnersWe can finally provide a list of winners over a complete month of work (thank you all for that). Our monthly award winners for June were Sandra Vidales, Aurora Dominguez, Maria Zapata, Simona Estrada, and Patricia Rodriguez. In the Team Leader Ranks, it was Martha Anchondo and Natalia Olivas. We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week. Special congrats to all our hard-working associates who are risking their own safety to make sure your home is clean. Thanks again to you, our clients, for allowing us to do what we do best.
Quick update on our COVID-19 ongoing procedures: We continue to have the ladies' temperatures taken in the morning before dispatch and duly noted. We also make sure we converse directly with each employee re how they look, feel, their family health etc. We have ordered what seems like mountains of disinfectants in many forms; towelettes, liquid, foam, cream, and spray. Masks are mandatory as are gloves. Disinfecting interiors of the vehicles and equipment between houses continues and we are issuing a much larger supply of vacuum bags and rags to each team. So far, we have been truly fortunate as our ladies and clients have remained healthy. There will be no letup in our procedures in the foreseeable future. Be safe, stay sane, Queen Bee
Queen Bee Cornerby Angela