Downtown Denver Business Improvement District Frequently Asked Questions

Learn why the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District is critical to creating a vibrant and thriving center city.

What is a BID?

A Business Improvement District (BID) is formed by private-sector commercial property owners who petition the City for its formation.  Property owners within the BID pay special assessments which cover expenses beyond what the local government is able to provide.  This is the case for the Downtown Denver BID.  The services provided by the include supplemental security, maintenance, landscaping, event support and programming, as well as economic development and marketing to support the vitality of downtown’s economy.  Property owners, businesses, employees, visitors, and residents all benefit from these enhancements and programs.

Who makes up the BID Board?

The Board of Directors are appointed by the Mayor, representing large office, small property, large property, unimproved property, retail, lower downtown Denver, and upper downtown Denver ownership. The board meets monthly, and all meetings are open to the public.

Commercial property owners or designee(s), which can include property managers or business owners, are eligible to serve and may serve up to two, three-year terms. 

Meet the BID Board of Directors

What services does the Downtown Denver BID provide?


  • Maintenance – sidewalk sweeping; power washing; snow removal; trash-picking; trash removal; alley cleaning; graffiti removal; tree trimming; flower planting; and other landscape services.
  • Safety – Walk the Beat police patrols; better alley and public space lighting; non-police security personnel; outreach/control of antisocial behavior as well as help for those experiencing homelessness.
  • Marketing/Promotion – brochures; flyers; maps; directories; special promotions; other district advertising; and media outreach.
  • Social Programs – connect those experiencing homelessness to assistance and services, as well as partner with maintenance contractor to provide employment and training programs to people who are seeking second-chance employment.
  • Capital Improvements – public art; monuments; street furniture; landscaping; pedestrian and alley lighting; signage; tree-planting; and kiosks.
  • Entertainment/Events – activation and special events along 16th Street Mall and across the District.
  • Holiday Activities – lighting the Daniels & Fisher Tower and the trees on 16th St. Mall, Curtis, California and Larimer, as well as create visitor/family-friendly activities.
  • Economic Development – office and retail retention and support, as well as market analysis.

How is a BID Funded? How are assessments calculated?

The Downtown Denver Business Improvement District (DDBID) is funded by special assessments paid by commercial property owners as part of their city tax bill.

Assessment calculations reflect a separation of BID activities into 16th Street Mall-related activity and District-wide activity. Assessments are allocated to 12 benefit zones based on benefits received from both types of activity. Benefits received from Mall-related activity decrease as distance from the Mall increases.  Properties right on the Mall pay the highest level assessments, and the level decreases the further the property is from the Mall (see zone map).  District-wide activity is constant across the District. The sum of these two factors is represented by the Price Per Assessable Square Foot by zone listed below. 

 Each benefit zone is responsible for a percentage of the total budget.  Assessments rates are determined by dividing the budget per zone by the total assessable square feet per zone.  Assessable area is calculated using land square footage and 15% of the gross building square footage minus any special zoning discounts. Special zoning discounts apply to properties zoned  D-LD (33% discount) and C-MX-12 or C-MX-16(60% discount).

Download the latest BID Assessment Methodology

Will assessments increase?

The BID Board is only authorized to increase assessments per TABOR by the local growth factor of downtown property added to CPI, maximum.  

Over the past 10 years, the average annual increase was 3.5%, with 6.3% being the highest and 0%, the lowest. The BID Board voted to not increase 2021 assessments in recognition of the challenges provided by the pandemic.

Property Owners may vote to increase assessments over TABOR limits at a regular election (November).

How does the BID work with other organizations?

The BID partners with multiple public and private organizations, including the Downtown Denver Partnership, the Regional Transportation District (RTD), the City and County of Denver, Denver Police Department, Visit Denver, and more. The BID believes in the power of collaboration to help foster a thriving downtown environment where everyone can have a seat at the table.

What is the role of businesses in ensuring the BID is successful?

Aside from financial contributions, businesses can stay support the BID by engaging through monthly BID Board Meetings, using this as a platform to voice ideas, concerns, ask questions, share their vision for downtown, and collaborate with other downtown business leaders. Property owners, managers, and businesses are also encouraged to connect with the Downtown Environment team directly to help bring ideas to fruition and move the District forward.


Who is the team in purple?

The team in purple are the maintenance technicians charged with pan and brooming, power washing the sidewalks and amenities located in the public realm in addition to trash and recycling removal in the 120-block BID boundary. The BID Clean Team offers an additional services menu for some services that are above and beyond what is provided through property assessments. Contact the Senior Manager of Downtown Operations, Vince Martinez at 303.571.8210 for information on services and rates.

What are area-specific programs?

On the 16th Street Mall:  

  • Daily pan and brooming
  • Spot power-washing
  • Daily trash removal
  • April-October weekly power-washing of the sidewalks and Mall transit lanes
  • November-May, snow removal from the Mall sidewalks and transit lanes
  • Flower pots on the Mall
  • Tree Health Care
  • Banners
  • Special event programming and activation
  • Management of restaurant sidewalk cafe and Mall vending program
  • Graffiti removal from public amenities
  • BID Security patrols


  • Daily pan and brooming
  • Daily trash removal
  • Off-Mall flower planter program
  • Twice annually – power-washing sidewalks
  • Tree Health Care 
  • Graffiti removal from public amenities
  • Spot power-washing
  • BID Security patrols

What other services does the BID provide on 16th Street Mall?

The BID manages the 16th Street Mall on behalf of the City and County of Denver. This includes oversight of the sidewalk cafes, the vending program, and special events. In addition, the BID cleans, maintains, and removes snow from the sidewalks and transit lanes. The BID also manages the horse carriage program during the holiday season, helping to make the downtown experience memorable and special.

Learn more about 16th Street Mall

I also pay property taxes to the City – where is my money going?

Great question! The BID assessment rate equivalent is less than 3 mills*, compared to the general property tax rate of 77 mills.  This BID assessment is used to keep the district safe, clean, and welcoming, which provides a strong foundation to encourage economic investment and growth in the city center. 

*a mill is 1$ per every $1000.

What does the City do versus the BID?

The City takes care of the public right of way from curb to curb, and the BID takes care of the public realm from curb to building face. Additionally, the BID partners with other organizations, such as the Downtown Denver Partnership, to activate the public realm through special events, public art, and more.

How are residents involved in the BID?

Although residents do not directly pay into the BID, they support the businesses within the BID through their patronage. Residents provide additional activation to the district during off-peak hours, attend BID-sponsored events, as well as participate in the activities that help vitalize Downtown. Downtown residents can get more involved downtown and the work of the BID by joining CityLive, an initiative of the Downtown Denver Partnership that engages center city residents with the projects, initiatives, people, and current events that impact those who live in and around Downtown Denver.

What are we doing to attract and retain business downtown?

At the very core, the District provides a healthy, safe and welcoming environment. Clean sidewalks, colorful flower pots and public art all soften the edges of the urban environment to make it feel welcoming and safe.  Providing a place where people want to spend time attracts businesses and amenities to support those people, in turn helping to build a powerful economy.

Who do I contact if I need to request maintenance?

Sr. Manager of Downtown Operations, Vince Martinez at (303) 571-8210.

Who do I call for BID security?

  • For general inquiries, please contact the BID’s Security Supervisor: (303) 704-5369
  • For non-emergency quality-of-life issues:  (720) 913-2000.
  • For life safety emergencies: Dial 911
  • To leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers: (720) 913-7867

What is the BID’s role in safety and security downtown?

Provision of a clean and safe environment sets up the downtown public realm as a place where people want to spend their time – attracting business interests and amenities that vitalize downtown and strengthen the economy.

Renewing the BID in 2021

Why is the Downtown Denver BID looking for a renewal in 2021?

Revewing the BID in 2021 would allow the BID to continue important efforts to create a vibrant downtown into a fourth decade.  So many positive outcomes have been achieved since creation 30 years ago – the BID Board, downtown stakeholders, and businesses do not want to lose momentum, especially during these challenging times.

What would happen if the BID isn’t renewed in 2021?

If the BID were not renewed the consistent provision of maintenance and safety services throughout downtown would disappear. There would be no trash removal, no sidewalk cleaning, no flower pots, and no management of the 16th Street Mall.  There would no longer be the BID private security entity  to educate and inform people about City ordinances, provide wayfinding, or outreach efforts for those struggling.  The BID team’s eyes on the street and patrols would stop. Every property would be responsible for the care and security of their own property. While some properties are able to maintain, others lack the ability. The consistency of service would go away, creating a less predictable environment in which to conduct business. Marketing, communications, research, and economic development initiatives would no longer occur.