She says excitement is building in the area.
“I think there’s a lot of pent-up energy that people have because they’ve been locked away for so long,” Chirafisi said.
Crowds, optimism on the rise
Most businesses plan to be up and running before summer.
The Tattered Cover bookstore is moving to McGregor Square after leaving its long-time home on Wazee Street. CEO Kwame Spearman says he’s feeling optimistic as vaccinations ramp up.
“Around June 1, I think we’re going to feel totally different … I don’t want to go as far as to say it’s going to feel pre-COVID — because I don’t know that it’s ever going to feel pre-COVID — but I think there’s an opportunity for a lot of foot traffic,” Spearman said.
He says the new location’s proximity to Coors Field and other recreational options is key.
“Every retailer has just been surviving for the past 14 months, so for us to have an opportunity to hit summer and for people to be vaccinated and wanting to be with another again is something we’re trying to take advantage of,” he said.
Hospitality business waits for signs of life
At the Rally Hotel, Menekse says they’re working on finishing touches. Not all the rooms are ready for guests yet. And they’re still waiting for some furniture to be delivered.
The entire launch — down to the ribbon cutting ceremony — was more subdued compared to a typical hotel opening, Menekse says.
“It would have been more of a wow-factor type of event,” he said.
The hospitality business is among the hardest hit by COVID-19. In Denver, hotels suffered from the lack of tourists – and the lack of business travel. Revenues were down more than 60 percent last year, according to CBRE, a real estate services company.