July Newsletter 2022

Best Neighborhoods in Denver

For the record, we love all the neighborhoods that we visit our clients in.

But people love lists, so here we go. Courtesy of the fine folks at 5280 Magazine, who recently published the “25 Best Neighborhoods in Denver”.

The rankings are based on four weighted variables, including home prices, crime data, school rankings, and an X factor score. The X factor includes things like open space access, restaurants, shops, and the like.

They looked at 73 total neighborhoods and were able to narrow it down to the best 25. One of the more interesting things to be aware of is that areas like LoHi or RiNo will not be mentioned, as the rankings used the city of Denver’s official map.

So, what neighborhood is considered the most desirable? That would be Wellshire. Followed closely by Belcaro and Wash Park. Platt Park and City Park round out the top five in our fine city.

We found some interesting items of note on this list. We were quite shocked that Cherry Creek came in 19th! We have lots of clients there that will surely demand a recount. Also surprising to us was the Highlands Area, with West Highlands coming in 24th and the Highlands 25th.

I guess the good news is that all of those places made the list, as over 50 neighborhoods did not.

The entire piece from 5280 Magazine (along with their complete methodology) can be found here. 

Partners We Love

One of the major costs in any business is health care. Rates continue to rise and each year it becomes more difficult for many companies to balance affordability with the quality of the plan.

This is where our friend and partner Mike Shores at Rocky Mountain Insurance Consultants comes in.

Mike has been doing health care brokerage for 28 years and is the expert that we go to for all our health plan needs.

We asked Mike about the biggest changes in his industry, and he had the following to say:

“When the next annual renewal comes across the business owner’s desk, and they see their new group medical plan premiums for the coming year, they should be asking their broker what they are going to do about helping manage those costs.”

“What are the alternatives? Believe it or not, there are a couple of really good alternatives that can save substantial premiums, and they should be examined every year at renewal, and sometimes even during a mid-year review.  Level Funded health plans and an ICHRA are two options that need to be evaluated by the business owner every year.”

We don’t have the brain power (or the space here) to go into detail on ICHRA or level-funded plans.

However, Mike does, and he would love to have a discussion with anyone interested in more information on how to save on healthcare plans, or just to chat about the industry and where it is headed.

Mike can be reached directly via email here, or at 303-523-1690.

New Delivery Fees

July brought in the enaction of some impactful laws in our state.

In a quietly publicized law change, some new delivery fees went into effect in Colorado on July 1st.

Were you aware that every retail delivery that you now receive has now had 27 cents added to it?

We weren’t either until we ran across an article outlining this new law.

From the article:  “Colorado has implemented a new “retail delivery fee,” which is a tax of $0.27 per delivery of a taxable product. The fee, effective July 1, 2022, will be imposed on the buyer but will require retail sellers and marketplace facilitators to collect and remit the tax by filing a separate return.”

Yep, this means every DoorDash, Amazon, Instacart, and Uber Eats order that shows up on your doorstep has had this fee added to it, starting on July 1st.

Also, there was a $0.30 fee added to all rideshares, so if your Uber seems more expensive than last month it likely was.

On a happier note, driver’s license fees were frozen for this year after lawmakers came up with $4 million to avoid it.

Finally, the 2-cent per gallon gas tax that was set to go into effect was postponed due to an ongoing lawsuit filed by Advance Colorado Institute and Americans for Prosperity over the fees, arguing voters should have had a say before it went into effect.

Not the best news for an overheated economy. The complete article on these new fees can be found here.

Colorado & Illicit Drugs

We all know the story behind Colorado’s legalization of cannabis and all that has come with it.

It wouldn’t come as a huge surprise to hear that we use a lot of it here in our state.

However, it does seem that our drug use expands beyond the legal stuff and into the illicit, at a higher rate than you might imagine.

Wallethub did an exhaustive study of drug use in the United States and the information was very enlightening.

Colorado ranks 7th in illicit drug use. We are only behind West Virginia, DC, Arkansas, Missouri, New Mexico, and Nevada. Not a great list to be on.

We also ranked 14th in the share of teenagers who have used illicit drugs in the past month and 30th in drug overdoses.

The saddest stat we read was that Colorado ranked 2nd in the share of adults who could not receive treatment for their drug use in the past year.

The lowest illicit drug use in the United States? Minnesota, with Hawaii, Utah, Idaho, and Iowa rounding out the bottom five.

The full breakdown along with methodology, main findings, and full analysis can be found here.


Denver’s New Skyscraper

It’s a big one. In fact, it will be the largest built in Denver in more than 40 years.

Developers have broken ground on the project at 1900 Lawrence.

At 30 stories and boasting over 700,000 square feet of office space and 10,000 feet of ground-level retail, this building will reside in the heart of Denver’s business district.

From the article  on 9 News: “Riverside Investment & Development Company in partnership with Convexity Properties and Canyon Partners Real Estate, and represented by JLL, held a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, April 21.”

“1900 Lawrence will set new standards for the workplace environment, so as to empower businesses and their employees,” said Chris Payne, Vice President for Riverside. “As the premier office building in Denver, the project is designed to include next-generation innovations in sustainability, health and wellness, technology, and amenity programming. We are excited to deliver an industry-leading office building that promotes collaboration and creativity.”

The project is slated to be complete by the second quarter of 2024.

Complete details of the project can be found here if you would like more information.

The views should be pretty sweet.

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for June were Sandra Vidales, Brenda Garcia, Aurora Dominguez, Maria Zapata, and Josefina Quinonez.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Mayra Soto and Socorro Ibarra.

We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week.

We are also very appreciative to be a part of your lives and your homes. You provide the platform for our teams to perform, and for that we are grateful.

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of June.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

I would like to send out a reminder to please run all instructions for your team through me here at the office. Sometimes the ladies are unsure of the instructions given by the client but are too shy to ask them to explain.

In the same vein, our insurance company is very strict as far as what the ladies are allowed to clean in the houses, how they clean (e.g., no ladders higher than 3 steps), and what products can be used.  This is strictly for the safety of the employees, and my involvement adds another layer of assurance.

I meet with the teams each day before dispatch to give out instructions and convey any client concerns or compliments.

As always, the easiest way to get me special requests or instructions is via text at 303-588-6847.

Happy summer! Stay cool!


June Newsletter 2022

Happy Green 4th of July

Did you know that Denver Concierge was the very first certified green cleaning company in Colorado? Every year we get recertified with the Green Clean Institute and 2022 was no exception, as we have just been recertified for the year.

Back in 2007 we applied for certification and have proudly carried that with us through today.

What does that really mean for you? Simply it means that you are doing your part for the environment by using a certified company. Every product we use has been vetted as 100% green. Our people are trained in green cleaning practices and we take every step to ensure that we are taking care of the environment as we clean.

We do our best to stay humble over here, so we don’t really like to blow our horns too loudly. That said, we are very proud of this certification and what it means to our clients and the wonderful city we live in.

Also, this month we have a guest writer who covers the benefits of going green in your home. We hope you enjoy it.

We also want to wish you and your families a safe and happy 4th of July weekend. Denver Concierge will be closed on Monday the 4th so our folks can enjoy some time with their families as well.

Finally, some fun facts about the 4th. Did you know that 150,000,000 (yes million) hot dogs will be consumed in America on the 4th of July? “Enough to stretch from D.C. to L.A. more than five times,” according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council.

Fun facts like that and many more can be found here, thanks to Parade magazine.

We hope you have a fun 4th of July weekend, as always thanks for being part of the Denver Concierge family.

School Enrollment Plummeting

What exactly is going on with Denver area school enrollment?

Of course, it seems that COVID started all of this, but we didn’t expect it to stay this way.

Jefferson County, for example, has proposed a plan to close multiple elementary schools in the district due to low enrollment levels.

From the article on Fox News, “According to Jeffco, the district has the capacity to serve 96,000 students in their traditional schools and currently has 69,000 students enrolled. Jeffco expects the enrollment to continue declining to 66,000 by next year.”

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, online and at-home learning became the new norm for students in Colorado. When schools reopened to in-person learning, many failed to return to the traditional in-school education.”

The folks at Westword also did a piece on this, and they believe the declining population in Denver is also a factor.

Even as Colorado’s population grew (prior to 20-21), its public-school enrollment shrunk. Enrollment was generally increasing until 2020-2021, when it rapidly fell by a whopping 30,024 students, according to Colorado Department of Education data.

Most definitely a challenging time for education as funding is allocated on a per-pupil basis. Denver Public Schools predict another 6% enrollment decrease in the next 5 years and the plan is to establish criteria for permanently closing schools with low enrollment by 2024.

Finally, it seems we are not alone here in Denver. The New Y0rk Times recently published a piece on this topic and it can be found here.

Wages & Inflation

Before COVID, most of us were pretty happy with that good old 3% wage increase.

These days, it might not be enough.

One of the concepts few employees understand is effective purchasing power.

It is super easy to get intoxicated by a higher wage, but if all the goods and services around you are going up at a higher rate (see the chart above), then purchasing power is lost.

So even though wages have skyrocketed and are up 4.9%, inflation is up 6.2%, a net loss.

Closer to home, and from the DBJ article on this topic,  “In Denver, median weekly earnings rose 6.5% over the past year from $1,163.80 to $1,239.38. Meanwhile, the cost of living rose 12.9% since 2019.”

“That combination of factors means what would have been a traditional raise two or three years ago may not cut it for many employees — especially when it’s far from what they could fetch on the open market.”

It is certainly safe to say we are in trying times both as employees try to pay their bills, and companies do their best to retain talent with fair pay.

Sadly, the inevitable conclusion of all of this could likely be fewer jobs, as companies strive to automate and eliminate humans wherever possible.

Meanwhile, we will do everything in our power to keep a happy and well-paid workforce in your homes.

Navy Seals & Neuroscience

So, a Navy Seal and a neuroscientist walk into a bar…….

Just kidding, but it sounds like the beginning of a great joke.

In reality, it was a five-hour podcast between  Andrew Huberman, a neuroscientist and professor at Stanford School of Medicine, and Jocko Willink, an ex-Navy Seal officer.

This was a treasure trove of information about how the human mind and our nervous systems actually work. More importantly, how can we use them to our advantage.

For example, do you know what “optic flow” is? We didn’t either but it can relieve stress.

Also, if you are like us, we hit the coffee button right when we rise in the morning.

We learned that the timing of the first caffeine in your body is important and that you should wait 60-90 minutes after waking to ingest it.

This is due to a molecule called adenosine. We won’t bore you with the details, but it’s all in this wonderful article we found on Medium.

The title of the article is 15 Learnings From a Conversation Between a Neuroscientist & Navy SEAL Officer and we found it to be one of the most informative pieces we have seen in a long while.

So, if you want to learn about cool things like adenosine and dopamine, and how a simple sigh might lower your stress, this is the place for you.

The full article on Medium.com can be found here, we hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Going Green in Your Home

By Guest Writer Ethel Lair

Whether you’re looking to buy a new house or planning some home improvements on your existing property, think about the many benefits of having an eco-friendly home and garden. Going green isn’t just good for the planet, it can also save you money. So here are some things to consider when you’re looking for a house, or if you want to turn your existing abode into an eco-friendly haven:

Save Money on Your Energy Bill

To keep your home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, thus reducing your need for costly air conditioning, make sure it is well insulated, from attic to basement. When buying a home, look for one that has been outfitted with dual pane windows that keep the outside elements from affecting the temperature inside the house.

Solar panels have become increasingly popular over the years, and for good reason: they allow homeowners to harness the sun’s energy to power their house by turning it into electricity. Additionally, installing a solar energy system will increase the value of your home, and may even help it sell faster.

When making home improvements, make sure you take before-and-after pictures of your remodeling and energy-saving projects, and keep all receipts and invoices you’ve received, both for labor and for materials. This will allow you to quantify the increase in value of your home when you’re ready to put it on the market.

Reduce Your Consumption

If you have leaks and drips around your house, you are wasting precious water and increasing your utility bill. Check your appliances such as refrigerator, dishwasher, and washing machine regularly to detect such problems early on, and replace your older appliances with high-efficiency machines that use fewer resources.

Upgrading your bathroom fixtures will also help in reducing your water usage. Replace your showerheads, faucets, and toilets with low-flow, high-efficiency options that are as effective as their older counterparts but use a lot less water. It’s a low-cost home improvement that can lead to big savings over time.

In your backyard, install an irrigation system that will help you conserve water while keeping your landscape beautiful year-round. Smart sprinklers deliver a fine mist of water that covers an area more efficiently, and if you install weather or rain sensors, they will prevent the unnecessary watering of your lawn, helping you reduce water waste.

Another way to reduce consumption, especially if you have a business, is to find ways to go paperless. For example, you can rid yourself of the hassles of printing by switching to a digital scheduling tool or a cloud based accounting system. You even save time by having automated processes and using efficient workflows. Plus, you’ll only pay for what your business needs with software that can grow with your business.

Reuse and Recycle

Use less paper and plastic products by investing in reusable cloth bags to do your grocery shopping, and opt for permanent storage containers instead of disposable plastic bags to store leftover food and snacks. Avoid using plastic cutlery and paper plates that end up in landfills, and save on gift bags and wrapping paper by creatively recycling what you already have on hand.

Choose reusable cloth rags over paper towels to clean your windows and countertops, and reusable mop covers to clean your floors instead of disposable ones to keep your home sparkling clean. Avoid harsh cleaning products that contain unhealthy chemicals, and use the power of steam to clean and disinfect your floors and other surfaces naturally. For a certified green cleaning experience created to reduce indoor air pollution, call on the services of Denver Concierge.

Repair and refinish old furniture to give it a new life instead of buying new pieces. A fresh coat of paint and some new hardware will update an old desk or dresser for a fraction of the price of a new piece of furniture. If the item is beyond repair, try repurposing the wood by turning it into a tray, frame, or bookshelf.

An eco-friendly house will save you money over time and protect your environment. Whether you’re in the market for a new home or planning some renovations, consider the green alternatives currently available and invest wisely, both for yourself and for the planet.

Denver Concierge provides more than 15,000 certified-green house cleanings per year. To see what makes us different, please visit our website or contact us today!

Monthly Award Winners

Our monthly award winners for May were Patricia Rodriguez, Gabriela Barrancas, Maria Zapata, Maria Concepcion Reyes, and Guadalupe Caloca.

In the Team Leader ranks, it was Paz Jimenez and Mayra Soto

We are so proud of our winners, and of all the folks that are in and out of your homes each week.

We continue to be grateful to you for allowing us into your lives during these challenging times.

Please join me in congratulating our best performers for the month of May.

Queen Bee Corner

by Angela

I just completed 21 years with Denver Concierge. I have been working alongside the same two women in the office and several of our Team Leaders during the entire time. Pretty impressive.

However, I would be remiss to not include in my congratulatory mood, the many, and there are many, of our clients who came to Denver Concierge the same time I did.

Imagine 21 years of bi-weekly cleanings, given a holiday here and there. 21 years of births and marriages, celebrations and anniversaries, remodels and construction, leaky ceilings, and flooded floors. The good the bad and the ugly; we’ve been there for you through it all.

When I take on a new client it really does feel like I am welcoming them into the Denver Concierge family.  We are so proud that we have stood the test of time with our clients. It is no small feat. The service industry can be brutal.

As always, thank you!