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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.