The Downtown Denver Partnership recognized the impact of its place-based economic development strategy...
An Economically Powerful
A look at key facts and rankings behind our thriving center city, detailing increasing investment, strong office market fundamentals, a growing and highly-educated workforce and vibrant residential population.
- 1st Best place for business and careers – Forbes
- 2nd Best place to live – U.S. News and World Report
- 2nd Best city for job seekers in 2017 – NerdWallet
- 2nd Best city to start a career – WalletHub
- 3rd Best city to start a tech career – ComputerTrainingSchools.com
- 3rd Hottest food city – Zagat
- 4th Largest increase in workers – LinkedIn
- 4th Best city for millenials – SmartAsset
- 4th Fastest growing large city – WalletHub
Development and Investment
With a vision for the future, developers are responding to increased demand for residential, office and hotel product propelled by strong population and job growth. 42 total projects are under construction or planned, representing $2.8 billion in investment that will add more than 1,000 hotel rooms, 5,000 residential units and 2.5 million square feet of office space. This development translates to capacity for 6,300 residents, 8,800 employees and nearly 310,000 new visitor nights.
Office Market and Employers
An increasing number of companies are locating in Downtown Denver, indicative of its reputation as one of the best places in the country to start and grow a business. 23 companies relocated or opened a new office in the center city over the past 24 months, including seven corporate headquarter relocations. As a growing hub of technology and innovation, most of these relocations and expansions were in the technology sector, which also saw 160 tech startups founded over the past year.
Downtown Denver’s highly educated and in-demand workforce is growing to support the center city as an epicenter of business and innovation. Downtown Denver’s workforce of 130,227 people grew at a rate of 17 percent since 2010, outpacing the national rate of 11 percent. Employment growth is led by new and growing private-sector businesses, where employment is up 21 percent.
Attracted to vibrant walkable districts and high-quality residential amenities, more and more people – nearly 80,000 – are choosing to live in Downtown Denver and its center city neighborhoods. Population in the Downtown core has tripled since 2000. More than 66 percent of Downtown residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher and nearly one quarter of Downtown households don’t own a car.
Retail and Restaurants
Downtown’s residential renaissance, alongside its growing employee base, is encouraging new retail development, including first-to-market and new-to-Downtown options that create a diverse retail scene. Retail sales tax collections in Downtown Denver have increased almost 60 percent since 2010 to total $52 million in 2016, outpacing the City and County of Denver as a whole. Retail sales tax collection is anchored by restaurants, which make up 44 percent of the revenue.
A robust mobility network enhances options for all Downtown users, connecting to surrounding neighborhoods and strengthening economic development opportunities. Downtown has the highest number, and most variety, of transportation options in the region, including two new rail lines opening in the last year. In 2016, 40 percent of commuters drove alone, with the same number using transit, and an increasing number are walking or biking to work.
Tourism and Attractions
Premier hotels, award-winning restaurants and unique experiences, alongside a new direct rail connection to Denver International Airport, make Downtown Denver a world-class destination at the center of the metro area’s record-setting tourism industry which welcomed an all-time high of 16.4 million overnight visitors who spent $5 billion in 2016. Downtown’s 35 hotels with 9,500 rooms and more than 500,000 square feet of meeting space have seen strong growth, with Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) up 26 percent, Average Daily Room Rate up 20 percent, and occupancy up 5 percent over the past five years.
Public Space and Activation
Through energizing public spaces and districts, tens of millions of people enjoy and engage with Downtown each year. Signature events produced by the Partnership and Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, including summer programs like the Skyline Beer Garden and A Taste of Colorado, bring more than 1.2 million people Downtown each year.
Students and Universities
A diverse array of educational opportunities, from traditional universities to coding schools, help build the workforce of the future and ensure Downtown businesses have access to top talent. 58,000 students are being educated right here in the center city at a variety of educational institutions.