RADIANCE BLOG

Category: Denver Metro

Colorado Media Project

If you’d like to learn more about how Coloradans access arts and culture, and how the news media interacts with the arts, we’ve got some good news for you.  The Colorado Media Project has been working Colorado Public Radio, Denver, and Rocky Mountain Public Media to study these issues (with support from the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation and Gates Family Foundation), and Corona Insights was part of the team. 

We conducted a large statewide public survey that’s chock full of interesting information.  You can go here to learn more and to read our report on the topic, as well as the results of a community listening project conducted by Hearken, a firm that develops engagement strategies for newsrooms.


Arts & culture: What do Coloradans want to know? [Event]

On November 8th, come to the Colorado History Center and hear Corona Insights and our friends at the Colorado Media Project talk about the intersection of arts and information:  how people participate in the arts, how they find out about things to do, and other interesting things about the news media as it relates to arts and culture.

Speakers will include:

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Taking a Leap Together: Knowledge Leads to Bold Action and Dramatic Results

We sat down recently with Mike Yankovich, Gretchen Kerr, and Amy Burt of the Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus to reflect on our work together.  We asked them to take us back to the beginning.  

Twelve years ago, our hero’s journey began, as many do, with a quest for knowledge. Feeling a bit like the cartoon character “Underdog,” the Museum knew they had potential to make a more notable impact on the community yet weren’t quite sure how to get there. The facility was a bit too crowded—a theme that would emerge again in later years. Their search for answers led them to Corona Insights, as the Museum endeavored to gather customer insights to determine how to make the most of the available space, enhance quality, and solidify their reputation.

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Community Challenges Recap

This quarter, we spent some time thinking and writing about some of the key issues that our local communities are facing and offered some suggestions on how some communities are facing those challenges. 

We explored the rapid population growth Colorado is experiencing, including an analysis that shows how one Colorado county has experienced 9,900% growth in the past century.  That population growth has forced communities to seek creative solutions to the country’s housing affordability crisis

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9,900% Growth

Many of our clients throughout Colorado are experiencing and planning for population growth. Looking at the skyline around the Denver Metro area, you might see more than a dozen construction cranes from one viewpoint. Near my home, formerly vacant land is being and plotted for new houses. According to the Colorado State Demographer, Colorado’s population is expected to grow by 76,000 people in 2019 alone (for reference, the City of Loveland has a population of about 76,000).

Downtown Denver (photo by Henry Desro on Unsplash)
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Lyfts and Transit and Bicycles (Oh My!)

Ah, traffic.  There’s almost nothing people love to hate as much.  It seems like such a simple problem, but there are rarely any easy solutions.  While cities across the U.S. regularly struggle with how to most effectively move people around, Colorado (and Denver in particular) has found itself far behind these days due to rapid population growth.  Our transportation planners do their best to make improvements to our roads and highways on a regular basis, but the fact of the matter is that infrastructure improvements take lots of time and lots of money, and we seem to be starved for both these days.

Photo by Ashwini Chaudhary on Unsplash
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The Challenging Landscape of Public Education

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

While Denver Public Schools has managed to limit its first teacher strike in 25 years to three days, the reality that it had to come to that is an indicator of a fact that has become common knowledge around the country: public education is hard.  While most agree that teachers are chronically underpaid in many areas of the country, few agree on what can be done about it.  In Colorado, there is an unending debate about how to pay for education, roads, and healthcare, and most of the ballot initiatives aimed at raising taxes to support these priorities fail.  While we at Corona won’t be solving all these problems in this blog, we wanted to highlight a few of our clients who have made moves to improve the educational landscape in recent years.

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Communities Seek Creative Solutions to the Country’s Housing Affordability Crisis

While working on a recent project assessing the housing market for the City of Fort Collins, we were struck by how communities across the state and the country were pursuing diverse strategies to the current housing affordability crisis. The fourth quarter of 2018 saw national home affordability drop to a 10-year low. Residents in our hometown of Denver are all too familiar with this dynamic. A recent report identified the city as hosting the most competitive housing market in the nation. Members of the country’s middle class are increasingly viewing home ownership as unfeasible. The vast majority of Americans find themselves in markets where home prices are rising faster than wages. It should not be surprising that renting is more affordable than owning in 59% of the nation’s counties. That number jumps to 93% of the country’s most populated areas (those with more than 1 million people).

Photo by Breno Assis on Unsplash
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How the (now ended) Government Shutdown is Affecting Colorado Communities

Beginning on December 22, 2018, parts of the federal government were shut down due to insufficient funding. After 35 days, the longest government shutdown in United States history came to an end on the afternoon of January 25, 2019. Although the shutdown has now ended, the effects of it will continue to reverberate in Colorado.

One agency affected by the shutdown was the Department of the Interior, which oversees the National Park system, including Colorado’s own Rocky Mountain National Park. According to the National Parks Conservation Association, “on an average day in January, 425,000 park visitors spend $20 million in nearby communities.” Rocky Mountain National Park technically remained open during the shutdown. However, without federal workers to maintain the park, trashcans cans were deluged with trash and roads remained unplowed, creating hazardous conditions for visitors. In communities near Rocky Mountain National Park, such as Estes Park, business owners noted they experienced a decrease in sales and business in general as tourists and locals alike were unable to safely fully experience the national park. While the winter season may not be the most lucrative time of year, the decrease in revenue will undoubtedly leave some business owners with a financial burden.

Quinn Nietfeld via unsplash.com
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The issues facing our communities

Though we at Corona serve clients of all shapes and sizes, we particularly love helping local governments and nonprofits to improve the lives of people in the communities in which we live, work, and play.  This quarter, we will be focusing on some of the issues that local communities are facing this year. While the specific topics may shift as the quarter goes on, you can likely expect to hear from us about topics such as:

  • How the impacts of government shutdown might linger long after the shutdown ends
  • The challenges with providing housing for an ever-changing population
  • Trends in population growth and where we expect things to go in the future
  • The rapidly shifting landscape of public education and the impacts that Governor Polis might have in Colorado

Stay tuned this quarter for discussions on many other topics.  We hope to shed some light on not only what some of these challenges are, but also how some communities can get ahead of these trends to positively impact their communities, so we hope you will enjoy the conversation!