2020 State of Downtown Denver Outlines a City Built to Thrive

May 28, 2020

On Wednesday, May 27, the Downtown Denver Partnership released its 2020 State of Downtown Denver Report to over 500 attendees at the annual State of Downtown forum, which this year went virtual and featured a panel discussion among five community leaders moderated by 9News anchor, Tom Green. The Partnership releases the State of Downtown Denver annually, providing is the most comprehensive statistical look at the stories and statistics behind an economically healthy Downtown Denver.

This year’s report – which takes a deep dive into economic indicators from the 2019 calendar year – highlights decades of building Downtown Denver with intentionality necessary for resiliency following times of crisis and includes an addendum that outlines the economic impact of COVID-19.

Read highlights and download year’s report.

The Report highlights the impact of place-based economic development efforts to meet the vision outlined in the 2007 Downtown Area Plan, the long-term strategy for downtown.

“This year’s State of Downtown report tells the story of a downtown that – for decades – has worked with grit, determination, and unmatched collaboration to build strength and resiliency,” said Tami Door, President and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, “We are reminded that we have never experienced highs without lows, and that economic prosperity has never been born without challenges. The State of Downtown Report helps us to better understand the foundation we’ve built and to identify further opportunities for a thriving downtown.”

Joined by Door for the State of Downtown Denver forum was Andrea Fulton, Chief Marketing Officer and Deputy Director of the Denver Art Museum representing cultural assets; Sagar Onta, Director of Engineering at Toole Design Group representing mobility; Mark Sidell, Principal at Gart Properties representing retail and tourism; Raj Dani, Chief Financial Officer at Ping Identity representing the jobs and talent; and Laura Aldrete, Executive Director of Denver Community Planning and Development, representing the public realm. With the help of moderator Tom Green, the panelists offered their unique perspectives on the State of Downtown report and discussed the impact of COVID-19 on each of their respective industries and areas of expertise.

Key takeaways from the panel discussion include:

  • “Core fundamentals for Downtown Denver remain absolutely intact,” said Raj Dani, Ping Identity, “Growing talent base will lead to further innovation. [The downtown tech community has] a lot of confidence in our downtown and city leaders to continue to invest in our entire ecosystem.”
  • Denver is a world-class creator – and consumer – of culture,” said Andrea Fulton, Denver Art Museum, “Denver’s entrepreneurial spirit will continue to invest the talent , the residents and the visitors
  • “We must make transit feel as safe as possible – and repurpose and transform more streets…to reduce congestion,” said Sagar Onta, Toole Design, “The challenge isn’t whether we survive as a city, it’s whether we have imagination and vision to transform streets.”
  • “We must focus on creating complete neighborhoods citywide, including downtown, with quality-of-life amenities and a healthy mix of uses,” said Laura Aldrete, Denver Community Planning and Development, “I have an optimistic view of how our Downtown Village will come back in a few months.”
  • “[Key to returning to economic vibrancy] is instilling consumer confidence,” said Mark Sidell, Gart Properties, “Let’s give people a reason to come. Ensure spaces are welcoming and safe as they can be.”

The 2020 State of Downtown Denver is sponsored by Holland & Hart. A special thank you Tom Green and 9News for their support of the event.