Building our center city.

Making our place.

A letter from the Downtown Denver Partnership

At the Downtown Denver Partnership, we implement a place-based economic development strategy, guided by the 2007 Downtown Area Plan, for building an economically resilient, vibrant, and inclusive Downtown Denver. We remain committed to a sustained effort in each of the five elements established in the Plan: Prosperous, Walkable, Diverse, Distinctive and Green.

 

We are conveners, collaborators, and citybuilders and, together with our 750+ Member organizations, Boards of Directors, civic leaders and community partners who believe in a strong economic future for our center city, we are continuing to make progress possible for all. 

 

Though many aspects of this year were not part of a strategic plan or our vision for our downtown, our city’s culture of collaboration and spirit of innovation has never been more evident than it is today. In the face of challenges, we have seen selflessness from people and business; willingness to not just have difficult conversations, but act on them; and we have seen an outpouring of support for Downtown Denver, a place that means so much to so many.

 

As we reflect on the year behind us, we are grateful for your continued support for the future our center city. 

- Sincerely

What We Do & How We Do It: 

Vibrant copy.jpg

Vibrant Spaces and Dynamic Events

We’re connecting you to more: memorable dynamic events, vibrant spaces that excite and inspire, and a partnership that makes shaping our place possible.

 

2019

July

Vibrant Spaces and Dynamic Events

Skyline Beer Garden

Activated Skyline Park with the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District (BID) and Denver Parks and Recreation for five months, serving over 80,000 beers and hosting over 40,000 patrons for fun, food and games.

August 

Creating an Active Network of Engaged CityBuilders

CollaborEAT Takes Over Upper Downtown

CityBuild’s CollaborEAT transformed a surface parking lot at 18th and Glenarm to host an urban dining experience for over 250 citybuilders. Attendees engaged in discussion and innovative thinking around the opportunities and challenges
in Upper Downtown.

September

A Taste of Colorado

Hosted the region's largest free food and music festival highlighting Colorado’s brightest restaurants, unique local music and marketplace vendors. In 2019, A Taste of Colorado supported numerous small businesses, including 50 local restaurants and 180 marketplace vendors, in addition to supporting over 34 nonprofit service groups. This event is a celebration of cultures, united through the enjoyment of food, drink and dance in the heart of Downtown Denver.

Vibrant Spaces and Dynamic Events

Innovation through Entrepreneurship

Denver Startup Week

Over 20,500 people came together to celebrate Denver’s thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem, learn from the best and brightest, and build our city’s culture of innovation for a week-long event, the largest free entrepreneurial event of its kind. The nationally recognized event provided 359 free events hosted for the community, by the community.

Powerful Placemaking

Urban Forest Initiative

Launched the Urban Forest Initiative, a 5 year, $7.5 million initiative, to more than double the urban tree canopy. This partnership with City Parks and Recreation is accepting applications on an ongoing bases.

October

Transformative Planning and Public Policy

15th and 17th Street Transit Lanes

Successfully advocated in favor of dedicated transit lanes on 15th and 17th Streets downtown, allowing people to travel by bus more efficiently on two of downtown’s most highly-trafficked throughways to reduce congestion and increase transit efficiency.

Innovation through Entrepreneurship

The Commons Entrepreneurial Journey Program

The Commons launched two new mentorship programs and realigned programming into the Entrepreneurial Journey to meet every entrepreneur where they are in their business lifecycle. Also, doubled connections between entrepreneurs and financial, technical and industry providers in
the community.

Transformative Planning and Public Policy

Ensuring a Well-educated Community of Voters

Produced a Fall 2019 Election Guide, offering Members and the community a straight-forward, comprehensive resource for navigating
ballot questions.

November

Powerful Placemaking

The Between Us:
Downtown Denver Alleyways Project

Added eight female-created, internationally-themed art installations to alleyways in Upper Downtown through the Between Us: Downtown Denver Alleyways Project. Increased the total number of activated alleys in Downtown Denver to 14.

Fueling Economic Prosperity & Resiliency

Upper Downtown Plan

Launched this strategic plan identifying opportunities to revitalize Upper Downtown with strengthened connections and walkability, increased retail and restaurant options for workers and residents alike, and public realm enhancements that add 24/7 vibrancy to the neighborhood. The Plan was formulated over the course of one year and engaged over 1,000 community members in its development.

Creating an Active Network of Engaged CityBuilders

Downtown Denver Leadership Program

The 1,000th participant in the Downtown Denver Leadership Program graduated from the 2019/2020 class.  Launched in 2004 with 45 participants, the Leadership Program accommodates approximately 90 individuals every year, fulfilling the Program’s mission of educating Denver’s future leaders about the unique challenges of taking a leadership role in a dense, urban environment.

Powerful Placemaking

Night Lights Denver

Launched a projection mapping display that features animated, inclusive works by local artists on the Daniels & Fisher Tower. This program is in partnership with the Denver Theater District and brings “the people’s projector” to Denver.

Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park

For the 9th season, The Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park offered family-friendly fun and to over 30,000 skaters who received free skate rentals. We also partnered with the Colorado Avalanche to host 4 weekends of “Try Hockey for Free” clinics for kids. The rink was home to a record number of on-ice marriage proposals, future NHL all-stars and

Olympic athletes.

Vibrant Spaces and Dynamic Events

December

Transformative Planning and Public Policy

Advocating in Favor of Sustainability

Supported an ordinance that places a $0.10 fee on single-use plastic and paper bags, a fee meant to encourage sustainable behavior. The ordinance passed and will go into effect on July 1, 2021.

Parade of Lights

Produced this beloved Denver tradition that has united the community for 45 years. This free
two-mile parade is the heart of family traditions, new and old memories, and a vibrant downtown celebrating the kickoff to the holiday season. The 2019 Parade brought together 300 community volunteers and celebrated eight diverse cultural groups, including:

Vibrant Spaces and Dynamic Events

  • Colorado Black Arts Festival
  • Colorado Mestizo Dancers
  • Denver Taiko
  • Flamenco Denver
  • Kalama Polynesian Dancers
  • Qhaswa Peru USA
  • Sambos Illimani
  • Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu
 

2020

January

New Year’s Eve Fireworks

Filled the New Year’s Eve sky with two fireworks shows to mark the end of the decade with over 500,000 people on the streets of Downtown Denver.

Vibrant Spaces and Dynamic Events

February

Transformative Planning and Public Policy

Business Coalition on Homelessnes

Launched the Business Coalition on Homelessness which convenes 75 C-level downtown business leaders charged with understanding how the business community can best support people experiencing homelessness.

March

Powerful Placemaking

5280 Trail Final Design

Working with the City and County of Denver, we selected Stantec and Gehl to lead the final design for the Five Points segment of the Trail. A robust community engagement process will begin in the fall and will bring this transformative project a major step forward toward completion.

 

COVID-19

The world seemingly came to a halt in March of 2020 as we grappled with the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our mission of creating an economically vibrant and resilient center city never faltered. At the onset of the pandemic, we charged forward with our previously set goals and mission, while also honing a focus on providing COVID-19 related information and resources to our members and community—advocating for economic relief for small business, connecting health and city leaders with the community, sharing member resources, as well as donating and finding ways to support volunteer efforts to help sustain Downtown Denver through the new, changing world. Alongside our Members and public and private partners,
we stood tall together and took action. 

Cross Collaboration for People and Business to Foster Resilience

Fueling Economic Prosperity & Resiliency

Increased Support for Small Business Relief Fund

The Downtown Denver Partnership collaborated with the City’s Denver Economic Development and Opportunity (DEDO) office to support small businesses during this economic crisis. We raised more than $400,000 to fund a microloan/grant program, allowing more small businesses the opportunity to bridge this economic downturn.

Weekly Member Briefings 

Produced 14 weekly Member Briefing webinars on topics ranging from the Payroll Protection Program to corporate security, to legal and human resource issues surrounding returning to the workplace to updates from the Mayor’s Office.  These webinars became an important resource for our member companies in their efforts to stay informed about the rapidly-changing work environment.

Creating an Active Network of Engaged CityBuilders

April

16th Street Mall Reconstruction Moving Forward

Following completion of a multi-year federal environmental review process, the project is moving forward as three contractors were short-listed to respond to a comprehensive design-build RFP, with proposals due in 3Q 2020.  Construction is expected to begin in Q3 2021.  Community input continues to inform the public-life elements of the project.

Fueling Economic Prosperity & Resiliency

Innovative Approaches to Reopening with Health and Safety Prioritized

Successfully advocated in favor of an expedited permitting process to allow businesses to expand into adjacent outdoor space (including streets, sidewalks and alleys) to allow businesses to open successfully while offering customers space for social distancing.

Transformative Planning and Public Policy

Urban Forest Initiative

Announced first grant awards to downtown property owners, supporting nearly 150 trees toward the 5 year goal of 500.

Powerful Placemaking

Transformative Planning and Public Policy

Restarting the Economy:

National Expert Webinar Series

Offered a four-week webinar series driven by expert conversation on reopening our cities. National industry experts guided deep-dive conversations on what the future holds for our economy, and what we need to consider to keep our communities healthy and safe in preparation.

Fueling Economic Prosperity & Resiliency

Connecting Nonprofit Service Providers to Business Resources

Raised $25,000 and leveraged supply chain and business resources to facilitate the donation of important supplies to Denver’s homeless service providers during the height of the pandemic.

May

Skyline Park Redesign Process

Working with the City and County of Denver, we launched a comprehensive process to re-envision Skyline Park in the heart of downtown. Funded in part by the Elevate Denver Bond process, a community engagement process is underway to inform design that will begin in 2021.

Powerful Placemaking

Fueling Economic Prosperity & Resiliency

June

Transformative Planning and Public Policy

Annual State of Downtown Denver Report

Produced with a special addendum that outlined the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to monitor the data and economic indicators to help tell the impact of this historic pandemic on Downtown Denver, our businesses, and

our community.

Convening the Community for Good

Brought over 4,000 community members together to clean and add artwork to downtown’s public realm following large-scale demonstrations that caused damage in Downtown Denver.

Downtown Lighting Plan

Launched the exploratory phase of a comprehensive, first-of-its-kind plan to create unique light and projection mapping art installations throughout downtown.

Powerful Placemaking

 

Year to Date

Hosted Diversity and Inclusion round table discussions with over 100 local leaders and began work to identify areas of opportunity for the Downtown Denver Partnership and our members to better their workplace, by making them welcoming spaces for all. The Partnership encourages engagement across cultures, race and ethnicity, age, gender, and sexual orientation/identification while respecting and seeking diverse viewpoints, and works intentionally to encourage diverse participation as stakeholders in our work to build this city. We are committed to supporting the Downtown Denver community and working to ensure it is a place where all are welcome to live, work, and visit.

CULTIVATING

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION

  Transformative Planning and Public Policy  

Produced numerous reports -- including the State of Downtown Denver, the Downtown Denver Commuter Survey Report, company-specific Mobility Reports, 16th Street Mall Pedestrian Count study, the Downtown Denver Development Map, all produced annually -- providing Members and stakeholders with robust data on key economic indicators.

  Fueling Economic Prosperity & Resiliency  

TRACKING THE

CENTER CITY'S

GROWTH THROUGH

REPORTS & PLANS

Worked with public and private sector partners to recruit and welcome key relocations of companies such as Facebook, Lyft, Propeller, Robinhood, Salesforce, and Silicon Valley Bank.

COMPANY RECRUITMENT

  Fueling Economic Prosperity & Resiliency  

Secured private funding for a U.S.-first study of downtown bicyclist behavior and cycling conditions

MOBILTY

  Fueling Economic Prosperity & Resiliency  

Assisted 1,764 small businesses through programming that helped them start, grow and scale their companies. 100% reported they would recommend The Commons to a friend, over 70% of entrepreneurs served represent low-to-moderate income from vulnerable populations, recruited 400 underrepresented founders, and served 17,500 people through The Commons hub.

  Innovation through Entrepreneurship  

The 141st entrepreneur  graduated from the 10-week CO.STARTERS at The Commons business accelerator program. To date, Commons CO.STARTERS alumni have launched over 100 businesses secured funding, contracts and downtown business locations to grow their businesses.

  Innovation through Entrepreneurship  

939 entrepreneurial women participated in inspiring and empowering events through this year-long  program specifically focused on convening and providing meaningful connections for entrepreneurial women in Denver.

Recruited a record number of Corporate Sponsors to support
year-round citybuilding efforts.

  Innovation through Entrepreneurship  

  Creating an Active Network of Engaged CityBuilders  

WOMEN ON

THE RISE

THE COMMONS ON CHAMPA

CO.STARTERS

AT THE COMMONS

RECORD SUPPORT

FROM LOCAL COMPANIES

Hosted five tours, taking members behind the scenes for an in-depth look at various development projects transforming the City. This year, the tours visited a wide-ranging set of projects in various stages of planning and construction in Golden Triangle, LoDo, Sun Valley, RiNo, and Upper Downtown.

  Creating an Active Network of Engaged CityBuilders  

Convening over 1,000 people annually, CityBuild creates a diverse and comprehensive community of citybuilders, educates that community on city building techniques and provides them with the platform and resources to act on those techniques and create positive change within the community.

  Creating an Active Network 

  of Engaged CityBuilders        

Represented the downtown business community on key task forces, such as the Climate Action Task Force, Mayor Hancock’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Council, Reimagine RTD, and Denver’s Department of Housing Stability Homelessness Resolution Strategic
Planning Committee.

Raised $200,000 and committed  $800,000 additional funds to support the work of Denver’s Department of Housing Stability to invest in shelter and services for people experiencing homeless in our community, including adding bridge housing vouchers, improving shelter conditions, and increasing access to
day shelters.

A VOICE FOR THE

BUSINESS COMMUNITY
IN THE FACE OF A PANDEMIC 

SUPPORT FOR

PEOPLE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS

   Responding to the Pandemic:

  Cross Collaboration for People and Business to Foster Resilience  

DEVELOPMENT

INSIDER TOURS

CITY BUILD

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