Square State's Top of the Town List

The Problem with the 5280 Top of the Town List And What 5280 Could do Better

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It’s clear that people aren’t really aware of all of the cool new restaurants, spaces and happenings going on in town. That’s clearly because of COVID and maybe some apathy on the part of respondents

I feel like it’s deja vu all over again. 5280 does a fantastic job of sharing new places, etc. so it baffles me to see a list where people are clearly not going to the unique spaces and places that automatically stand out to me. I find myself asking how we can encourage reader action to support the businesses and organizations shared throughout the year

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Lack of diversity specific to companies of color and other marginalized communities. This is unfortunate because the publicity from that list=new clientele and publicity

Easiest way to address this issue? Create a couple of new categories that address this issue. “Top New POC Owned Business” “Top LGBTQ Business or Space” “Most Inclusive Spot in Denver” “Most unique new art space” (obvious winner next year-Meow Wolf”)

How this list and bracket is announced. Perhaps do cross posting with different businesses PRIOR to the announcement of this list to drum up enthusiasm and awareness.

I challenge the staff to become tourists in the towns and cities we live in.

Reexperience Colorado-it has changed during the past 2 years dramatically. I love 5280 but I think in a post COVID world where the impact on the economy and small businesses has been so significant I would love the 5280 team to take a step back and reevaluate the process for this list. Just like everything that’s happening now, there’s a deeper meaning than just “our favorite” This is an opportunity to rethink this list and do something fresh.The challenges of this moment are also an opportunity.

This list also highlights how we experience a place differently. If you’re listening to the show I encourage you to support the businesses shared on both lists. I took some liberties with the list that I created and shared in below. A few of these spaces opened after the Top of the Town List was curated so I do want to be candid about that.

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Are you a Colorado local business or organization looking to tell your brand story? Become a sponsor of the Square State Podcast. Why would a Square State podcast sponsorship be a great way to advertise your business?Listeners are from Colorado or looking to visit. The shows are “live” for years giving you incredible bang for your buck over time. Podcast listeners pod binge. Basically, if they are new listeners to the show they will binge on previously released episodes. 

Podcast listeners are a captive audience who are  much more likely to take a suggested action than random flyering or one off advertisements in digital magazines.

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The Digital Green Book is an incredible resource developed here in Denver. If you’re looking to insure that you’re in safe spaces whether you’re a person of color, have a physical imparement or are a part of the LGBTQ community. My guests Charnelle and Parker tell me all about it in Square State episode 41. I’ve included a link in the show notes.

Square State Colorado’s Top of the Town 2021 List

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