Archive for September, 2009

The Seasonal Vultures of Retail Leasing

It is a fact universally acknowledged that any retail space left vacant for a sufficient length of time must be in want of a seasonal discount store. Where the co-op used to be, there bloomed the Boulder Democratic Headquarters last year. Where Ross used to be in Diagonal Plaza before it moved down to Walnut, there blossoms the annual (or biannual, or perennial) Sniagrab (“Bargains Spelled Backwards!”).

And in the former downtown location of Borders Books, we’ve got Spirit.

Spirit at the old Borders

Spirit at the old Borders

Notice the “Cafe Espresso” sign still on the wall. I’d make a Hamletonian lament along the lines of “funeral meats not yet cold,” except, of course, they are. They are so cold. And they’ve been reheated by the warm summer sun. And the flies and crows have long since had their way with them. They are compost.

Not to be outdone, Halloween USA has taken over the ex-Circuit City.

Halloween USA at the old Circuit City

Halloween USA at the old Circuit City

This has been your official warning that, yo, Halloween is coming. Get ready, y’all.

Oktoberfest Options!

It is that time of year – the leaves change and the beer flows! We have had the opportunity to try a couple this year and last and decided to pull it all together!

Vail Breckenride Larimer
Date 1 Sept 11,12,13 Sept 19,20 Sept 18,19,20
Date 2 Sept 25,26,27
Hours Friday 5pm-10pm

Saturday 12pm-10pm

Sunday 12pm-6pm

Saturday 11-6

Sunday 11-5

Friday 5pm-1am
Saturday 11am-1am

Sunday 11am-5pm

Ticket Price $1 $5 N/A
Tickets for Beer 5 1 N/A
Tickets for Food cash/tickets Cash Cash/Credit
Stein There are steins, but I didn’t see the price. $25 – 1/2 liter, plus 2 tickets Unknown
Ability to Get Beer Easier to reach the tents Waaaay too crowded, really long lines. Unkown
Parking Free bus around vail, free structure parking in the summer Gondola parking lot, fills up quickly Street parking or local lots
Stein There are steins, but I didn’t see the price. $25 – 1/2 liter, plus 2 tickets Unknown
Food Choices Lots of different choices Hot links, brauts, pretzels 2 tents worth
Websites Vail Breck Larimer
Beer Becks Paulaner, Breckenridge Brewery Paulaner

Table Tutorial

Three Cups of Tea and a Second Wind Walk

Today was a busy day.  Early this afternoon, my wife and I joined two of my colleagues – Maarit Kaaihue and Bill Fukui from Page 1 Solutions on a 5K walk in support of the Second Wind Foundation of Metro Denver – an organization dedicated to preventing teen suicide.  At Page 1, we have been supporting Second Wind for two or three years and were very pleased to see so many people turn out at the Jeffco Fairgrounds for the Walk/Run/Bike event.  Organizers said that there were 4,000 people this year – up from last year’s record of 3,000.  This year the walk seemed easier and shorter – probably because I have been doing so much hiking all summer.  It was a lot of fun.

This evening my wife and son went to the Journey of Hope Benefit Concert at Red Rocks.  The event featured several bands and the Colorado Childrens Chorale – along with Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea.  The event was inspiring.  In addition to Greg Mortenson, the stars of the show were his daughter and five other children who had started foundations help impoverished children in the US, Africa and South America.  The foundations included the Little Red Wagon Foundation, Peruvian Hearts, and Africaid, among others.   Pennies for Peace sponsored the event.

There were a number of messages throughout the evening, but the central theme seemed to be that each of us can make a difference.  Even if we only help one child learn to read, that is one more literate child who will grow up to make a difference.  Bottom line, if each of us acts, we can change the world.

Pirate: Contemporary Art Exhibit

From September 18th through October 4th, the 3-dimensional art of Lesa Alison-Hastings will be on display at the Pirate: Contemporary Art Gallery at 3655 Navajo Street in Denver.

Pirate is one of the longest running galleries in Denver and will be celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2010.  Pirate can be described as “edgy,” and features contemporary art.  Ms. Hastings work will be showing with a local artist named BUG.

Opening reception: September 18, 6:00-10:00 PM.

Ms. Hastings started collaging when she needed a break from writing her thesis, and it later became a default creative outlet during periods of writer’s block.  She began doing both writing and collaging simultaneously, and eventually started merging language into the art.  For the most part she takes found objects, many of which are vintage or even antique, and combines unlike things to re-contextualize them into what she describes as a visual narrative.

She uses various papers, metal objects and scraps (many of which beg a current tetanus shot), woods, drawers, wax, and anything she can get her hands on and glue together.

Ms. Hastings is a Senior Account Manager for Page 1 Solutions, a website design and marketing firm specializing in Internet marketing for attorneys, dentists and doctors.

Torreys Peak

Diane and I have done quite a bit of hiking over the last several months.  The idea was to get in shape to do our first 14er – after I turned 50.  I thought I was in pretty good shape – until I was put to the test by Torreys Peak.

Torreys is supposed to be one of the easier 14ers and many people summit both Torreys Peak and Grays Peak on the same day.  Now, maybe I am overreacting because we did hike about 10 miles the day before near Mount Evans on the Chicago Lakes Trail.  In retrospect, we probably overdid it and should have taken it easy the day before attempting Torreys Peak.  We probably should have gone to bed early and relaxed that evening, but we didn’t.  And did we pay….

Bill, Ben, Diane and Dan with Torreys Peak in the Background

Bill, Ben, Diane and Dan with Torreys Peak in the Background

Fortunately, we did make it to the top.  But it wasn’t easy.  My 17-year old son and his friend came with us and they scampered up the hill like mountain goats.  They were often waiting impatiently as we dragged our sorry butts up to their resting spot and then they just took off again like it was nothing.

Shortly before the summit we went through a short snow bank near the top and dealt with some pretty harsh winds as we crossed the saddle between Grays and Torreys.  The winds were so strong that our friend almost turned back because he was having trouble keeping his contacts in with the wind, but he hung in there.  Then a short climb to the summit and we were there.

Beautiful!  Love those 360 degree views.  I can see why so many people are enamored with climbing 14ers.

What a feeling!  What an accomplishment!

The climb down was fairly easy.  Your feet take a pounding, but your lungs and thighs have a well-deserved respite.

I plan to do it again, but I learned my lesson.  Next time, I will take it easy the day before!

Hiking In and Around Mount Evans

Lincoln Lake Trail

Yesterday, we went for an extended excursion on the trail from Echo Lake to Lincoln Lake.  The hike is about seven miles each way and took us about seven hours.  We stopped for lunch and for an extended break at Lincoln Lake.  It was worth every mile and every minute.  Lincoln Lake is beautiful.  It is nestled on the side of Mount Evans.  The water is crystal clear and the trout were jumping.

Lincoln Lake

Lincoln Lake

The trail starts with a brief climb up from the Echo Lake campground, followed by about a mile long drop.  The rest of the way is a slow steady climb up to Lincoln Lake.  Most of the way is through pine forest but just before the turnoff to Lincoln Lake, it opens up into an old burn area with lots of beautiful silvery-gray gnarled dead trees coming up out of a grassy meadow.  The grass and underbrush was starting to show some nice fall color.  In fact, the mountains in the distance looked almost orange below treeline from the combination of green and red grass and brush.  It was beautiful.

We left at about 11:00 and got back just after 6:00.  We saw a total of seven people on the trail.  One couple got to Lincoln Lake shortly after us.  We passed another couple and then a solo hiker who were returning about a mile before we got to the lake.  Then, on our way back, we passed a couple of backpackers who were heading out to camp for the night.  On the whole it was extremely quiet and we had the trail – and the forest – to ourselves.

Chicago Lakes Trail

About a month ago, we hiked the Chicago Lakes trail with a good friend who was visiting from Washington, D.C.  We estimated that hike to be about 10-11 miles (round trip) with about 1,700 feet in elevation gain (although with the initial down and then up, the number was probably closer to 2,000 total elevation gain.

The Chicago Lakes trail was one of the most beautiful hikes we have ever done in Colorado – and certainly the most impressive of the summer.  With all the rain we have been having, the fauna was still very green.

The First of the Chicago Lakes

The First of the Chicago Lakes

The initial climb of about a mile opened up to the Idaho Springs reservoir.  We stopped there for a little bit, but there were a lot of people coming and going, so we quickly moved on.  There were more people further on up the trail, but it definitely thinned out.

We thought about turning around about a mile before the first of the Chicago Lakes because we were planning to hike Torreys Peak the next day, but we pressed on.  When we finally made it to the Lakes the beauty of the scenery made it all worthwhile.  That is one hike that definitely want to do again.

Hells Hole

We do have one more hike in the Mount Evans area planned for later this fall when the aspen start to turn.  That is Hells Hole.  Good friends of ours have done it in previous years when the aspen  were peaking and rave about it.   Their pictures back up their story.  I can’t wait!

What are you doing for Labor Day in Denver?

There are so many things to do this weekend, i don’t even know where to start!

First Friday –

it’s every first friday – but why not go since you have an extra day off this weekend?

Santa Fe, RINO and Golden Triangle – I love first friday! A bunch of people get together and look at some really cool art!


The Taste of Colorado

So many restaurants, such good food, a wonderful time to spend an evening or a day!


Sniagrab –

going on

The World’s Largest Ski and Snowboard Sale – At Sports Authority! We have yet to get our buts there – but I hear the deals are phenominal!


Ski REx

Starts Saturday but has a VIP day today (Friday) – just sign up for their mailing list and you get a ticket to get in!

Ski Rex


Cirque de Soleil

– many deals –


Flobots bowling

They are bowling for Charity this Friday!!! You could bowl with them!

Where will you be this weekend?

Brief Update from MBHQ

You’ve no doubt by now noticed that the sites got a bit of a re-design and some things got changed around last week. We wanted to highlight two changes to make sure everyone knows what changed.

The first and biggest is COMMENTS! Registration is no longer required to post a comment on any post. Of course if you already have an account you can still login to ensure your comments are attributed to you, but those who don’t can now post a comment without any long term commitment. Also, on the right you can see some of the recent comments so you’ll always know what the active discussions are. This was the most requested thing we’ve heard from people since our last redesign and we’re excited to see where it leads.

The next change is also something that was heavily requested, and that is a change to the ADS on the sites. You’ll immediately notice fewer of them, but what might not be as obvious is those smaller square ones to the right are specific to this city only and are being sold for a flat rate for a period of time rather than a confusing CPM/traffic/network model. Depending on the city, these range from $7-$175 for a full week. If you purchase one, during that time your ad will be the only one in that spot and will show on every page. We set these up both to make it easier for smaller local businesses to get their ads on our site, and also to help us bring in ads that relate better to our local audiences. Also, keeping these sites online is expensive and every little bit helps.

There are a bunch of other things we changed but we’ll leave those to you to investigate and take advantage of. Hope you like it, and we look forward to seeing you in the comments!!

The folks at MBHQ

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