December Newsletter 2021

Welcome 2022, Goodbye 2021

When 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 Resolution

We 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 Trends

I 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 Trends

How 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.

Guest Article

Get Tidy, Feel Mighty! Tips on Creating Tidiness Habits in Your Home

By Alice Robertson, Tidy Home

https://tidyhome.info

People encounter so many sources of daily stress. We worry about work deadlines, our health and whether or not we’re getting enough exercise, our children’s health or learning environment, money – you name it, stress has taken hold of us all at some point or another. The last thing we need is another source, yet if your home is disorganized and cluttered – or more succinctly put, messy – then you have unwittingly created yet another source of stress for yourself.

You will feel much better and more relaxed if you start to take control of the disorganization around you. While some people like to dive right in, you may find that integrating small steps each day creates longer-lasting habits that can more effectively ward off future disorder. To help you get started on your tidiness journey, the house cleaning experts from Denver Concierge share the following tips.

Reconcile that you can live without certain items

Have you ever unpacked a box that’s been in storage and recognized contents you haven’t seen for months – or even years – and come to the realization that your life functioned perfectly without them? Sure, it’s also nice to find that favorite shirt or a missing earring, but most of us, if we were truthful, would admit to stockpiling items that we don’t need and wouldn’t miss.

Ridding yourself of this extraneous clutter will energize you and help in creating your tidiness habits. Start with one goal. Don’t make it too ambitious; if you have to leave in an hour and you know cleaning your desk will take you two hours, you’re setting yourself up for an incomplete project and feelings of failure. Opt instead for tossing expired food out of the refrigerator or pantry or emptying your bookshelves of old paperbacks that you’ll never read but that might be better donated to a non-profit.

Start getting habitual

Once you’ve shed yourself of unnecessary items, ignite the tidying routine with one daily task that will be the start of your tidiness habit. For some people, it’s making the bed. It’s relatively easy to do, and this simple act can change the look and feel of your room. Or, if you spend more time in the kitchen, make sure that the dishes are done early each morning or in the evening. If you easily get overwhelmed by laundry, do a load a day instead of two or three over the weekend — and then be confronted with hours of folding and putting away.

While much of this is focusing on your home’s interior, don’t forget about your yard. Your outdoors should be a source of solace and relaxation, which is hard to achieve with overgrown weeds and grass or a complete lack of luster to your landscaping. If doing it yourself seems overwhelming, why not take advantage of your local landscape design services to help you out? You can hire an expert to help get your yard under control and add enhancements, like planting welcoming flower beds and additional greenery, and then you can take over. Or, if it’s in your budget and your thumb is more fuchsia than green, hire one to perform regular maintenance, like trimming hedges and mowing the lawn. It’s easy to check out reviews online and get a few quotes from local landscapers.

Finally, you’re not the only one who will benefit from the more relaxed ambiance of a tidy home, so get your family on board. They can all make their own beds each morning, and rinse their dishes after each meal. Have a discussion about what would work best with their schedules and your tidiness goals. For example, making them responsible for one room daily or one overall weekly task, like vacuuming or dusting.

Create your castle

Your home really should be your castle — and we’re not talking turrets and moats. It should be a welcoming place of warmth, security, and peace. Those feelings fight for their spot when they’re outmatched by an untidy room filled with dust and clutter. Of course, if you need extra help keeping your castle spotless, turn to the cleaning services of Denver Concierge, the Front Range’s premier house cleaners.

Monthly Award Winners

Our 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.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

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

November Newsletter 2021

Holiday Schedule & Message

We 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 Colorado

We 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 Age

We 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 $63,000? By 50 it nearly doubles to $117,000.

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.

Data Visualizations

Before we found this very cool article, we honestly had no idea what a “data visualization” really was.

Then we clicked and realized how much fun they are.

How about a moving chart that shows how COVID spread in the U.S.? So interesting to see.

How about our health and wealth history, in a minute, encapsulating 221 years of prosperity? You can see the effects of everything from the Vietnam War to the impact of COVID, all in one fast-moving chart.

Our favorite one is a 3D map of the entire fiber-optic network around the world. Who knew there were so many cables under the ocean?

We pulled those two from a fabulous piece on medium.com, which you can find here, entitled “The 10 Best Data Visualizations you of 2021”.

We love finding cool stuff for our readers and we are confident this will qualify!

Monthly Award Winners

Our 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.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

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

October Newsletter 2021

Happy Halloween Denver

Last 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 Reopening

After 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

What a long road for all of the restaurants in Denver.

We have discussed the labor shortage here at length, but beyond that what is new around Denver and our restaurant industry?

Well, for starters, outdoor dining has been approved permanently.

Mayor Michael Hancock recently announced the City and County of Denver will work to create a permanent outdoor dining program in 2022 that builds off the success of temporary patios and dining space expansions throughout the city.

Great news for our restaurants and for all of us who like to enjoy the cuisine of Denver for sure.

Also, there are some new (and very brave) restaurants that have opened recently, and 5280 Magazine did a piece on 12 new restaurants to try, it can be found here.

We also ran across the 45 best dishes to try in Denver these days, and those can be found here.

We continue to support our local restaurants and hope that we can all do our part to keep them going in these tough times.

Monthly Award Winners

Our 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.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

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

September Newsletter 2021

Labor and Wages

What 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 $36k

The 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 $36k 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 & Drinking

How 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

Welcome to fall, all you leaf peepers! Yes, we are right in the heart of the leaf-peeping season, and we wanted to give you some of the best places (and ways) to do it.

Fall in Colorado can be truly spectacular for the color changes and dramatic backgrounds of the mountains.

In fact, fall in Colorado has its own Twitter feed and Facebook page, #fallorado.

We found a great guide for you intrepid souls, courtesy of Our Community Now, and it can be found here.

For those of you that like to travel and view your leaves in style, 5280 Magazine put out a list of the five best train rides you can take to go see the colors, and it can be found here.

We hope you enjoy the changing of the seasons as much as we do, happy viewing!

 

Monthly Award Winners

Our 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.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

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

August Newsletter 2021

COVID Update

Here 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 2021

Ah 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 Festival

We 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 Home

Just 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

For the first time in a while, U.S. life expectancy has dropped. In fact, life expectancy in 2020 was down 1.5  years, the largest drop since WWII.

Fairly obvious why this happened, as COVID-19 contributed to 74% of the decline. Not surprisingly, drug overdoses are making their way up the list as well, with more than 93,000 people dying in 2020.

We found some interesting quirks in the data that we wanted to share with you here.

From the article: “The study found the U.S. decrease in life expectancy in 2020 was 8.5 times greater than the average decrease in peer countries.”

“And the U.S. declines were most pronounced among minority groups, specifically Black and Hispanic people.”

“U.S. Hispanics — who have a longer life expectancy than non-Hispanic Blacks or whites saw the largest decline in life expectancy during the pandemic, dropping three years from 81.8 years in 2019 to 78.8 years in 2020. Hispanic males saw the biggest decline, with a drop of 3.7 years. COVID-19 was responsible for 90% of the decline among Hispanics.”

The full article by NPR can be found here.

While we weren’t surprised by the decline, the demographic breakdown was more than a little disturbing to us.

We aren’t smart enough to know the solution to these heady problems, but we do have a strong feeling that we can all do better for each other going forward.

Monthly Award Winners

Our 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.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

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

July Newsletter 2021

Partners & Causes We Love

Have 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 Update

Now 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 $1.8B 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 City

In 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?

Most of us probably think we are. We aren’t sure about you, but we have been “overtipping” our service providers just because we are glad they are still there through all of this.

We saw a catchy headline about tipping and which generation is worst at it. We had to share.

The answer and from the article:

“The younger generation was found to be the worst culprit, specifically millennials, ages 25-40, and Gen Zers, ages 18-24, who were both found to be the worst tippers.”

“The study also found that there is a strong correlation between income and how much people tip. Almost 85% of higher-income households with an annual household income of over $80k, who go to sit-down restaurants, were found to always tip. On the other hand, only 77% of middle-income households, with an annual income between $40-80k, were found to tip, and only 65% of lower-income households, who make less than $40k annually, leave a tip.”

TD Ameritrade did a survey and found that 59 percent of baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are likely to tip 19 to 25 percent. Meanwhile, only a third of millennials – ages 23 to 39 – and Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980) do the same.

We loved the data in the TD “etiquette survey” report, so we are providing it here for your reading pleasure.

We hope you join us in making sure our restaurant staff and servers are still there when this is finally over.

Interesting data for sure! The full piece by Fox News can be found here.

Monthly Award Winners

Our 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.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

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

June Newsletter 2021

Queen Bee Anniversary

20 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 2021

We 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 Cut

You 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, $30,000 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?

Hopefully, it’s getting better as life is getting back to normal around us.

When we found a simple sleep assessment tool, we took the leap to see just how many bad bedtime habits we really have.

The answer? A lot.

The quiz took us only a minute or so to complete, and then gave us a score of 10 out of a possible 18 points.

Normally scoring a 10 is perfect, but in this case, it told us we have some work to do.

At the end of the survey, you can provide your email and you will get a five-part series on improving your sleep, along with exercises, videos, and the like.

If you aren’t sure about your sleep, the stats say it can probably be better. The most recent data shows that in America, 70% of adults report that they obtain insufficient sleep at least one night a month, and 11% report insufficient sleep every night.

With thanks to the folks at Better Humans, you can link to the quick sleep survey here.

For more data on sleep habits and the state of sleep in America, visit the American Sleep Apnea website here.

Good luck improving your sleep, we are surely working on ours!

Monthly Award Winners

Our 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.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

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

May Newsletter 2021

Memorial Day

Each 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 Denver

Have 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 Code

Hey, 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 $30,000 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 $30k.

Only two companies saw over 50% of its people choose the $30k, 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 $30,000 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

I am sure we have mentioned how happy we are to see this pandemic winding down.

As it does, we are keeping our eye out for fun things to get back out and do in Colorado.

In that spirit, we wanted to share some fun food and drink festivals for this summer, courtesy of 5280 Magazine.

For you beer lovers, there is the Vail Craft Beer Classic, from June 25-26.

Prefer wine? Lots of fun ones this summer, including the Telluride Wine Festival, Vail Wine Classic, and the Manitou Springs Colorado Wine Festival.

The big one is the Aspen Food and Wine Classic in September, but it is already sold out.

For those of you that prefer to stay close to home, Denver.Org published a good list of local events coming up this year as well and it can be found here.

So glad that we can get back out to do the things we love, especially eating and drinking!!!

Monthly Award Winners

Our 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.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

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

April Newsletter 2021

Judi’s House

One 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 Grown

Did 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 Venues  

Yes, 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 Life 

We 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 

We have trust issues with Facebook.

Truth is, we don’t use it much, but seeing reports about data breaches doesn’t exactly make us more comfortable.

In fact, Facebook has been under fire for its data management, and just exactly what they do with our personal information.

The most recent news really gave us pause.

It seems that details from more than 500 million Facebook users have been found available on a website for hackers.

While the information appears to be several years old, it’s another example of the vast amount of information collected by Facebook and other social media sites, and the limits to how secure that information is.

The most concerning part is that Facebook didn’t feel like it was important enough to notify its users.

Business Insider did a nice piece on this “breach” and why Facebook’s response should give us reason to pause. 

The moral of the story? Change your passwords regularly and make sure you protect your data as much as possible.

Also, maybe blindly trusting a massive company with a gold mine of valuable data is a risky proposition at best.

Monthly Award Winners

Our 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.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

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

March Newsletter 2021

One Year Ago

On 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 Renovation

What 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 $149M 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 Square

Did 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 Expectancy 

If 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

Nothing like debunking a good theory.

When COVID drove us all back home for work, there was a significant shift in our worlds.

It was also a shift for our employers and/or businesses that we run. In an instant, everything changed.

Almost immediately the call came that working from home would lead to increased productivity, a happier workforce, and would be very virtuous.

While both sides of this equation have learned to make do, we came across a fascinating article that flies in the face of the “increased productivity” narrative.

Stanford Grad School of Business economist Nicholas Bloom published an article recently titled “The Productivity Pitfalls of Working from Home in the Age of COVID-19”.

From the article, “We are home working alongside our kids, in unsuitable spaces, with no choice and no in-office days,” says Bloom, “This will create a productivity disaster for firms.”

“I fear an extended period of working from home will not only kill office productivity but is building a mental health crisis.”

Wow, it seems the “experts” aren’t so sure the way that it is currently working is the best.

We aren’t smart enough about this sort of thing to know the best solution but if you want to learn more, the complete article can be found here.

 

Monthly Award Winners

Our 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.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

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