is back in the discussion River North Kala District, Businessmen and artists say, and they want to turn up the volume with a three-day event this week to attract even more people to the area.
Canadian performance clothing company DUER opened its first US store in RiNo in 2020. The company is leading a “shop hop” on July 23-25 to encourage shoppers to come back to the area and raise funds for it. Rino Art Park.
So far, six retailers have signed up to participate and will offer in-store discounts over three days. DUER will offer one free pair of jeans every day to the first 10 people in the store.
“A lot of our businesses in the district were absolutely slammed by COVID. We have lots of great restaurants and small retailers. We were really lucky that so many of them managed to move on,” said Marion Pulford, development director for the Arts District.
Pulford said that with restrictions lifted, businesses are seeing more activity.
“In the last two months, things are looking really good again. People are out. People are vaccinated,” Pulford said. “People are going to eat indoors and shop indoors. Our There were also some incredible new businesses open in the district during near COVID, which we are really proud of.”
Pulford and others hope Shop Hop will get more people out. There will be orange balloons outside the front doors of participating businesses.
“They’re doing it as a way to shop local, support local, build the economy where they live instead of getting things online from everywhere,” Pulford said.
DUER, based in Vancouver, BC, opened its doors in RiNo in October 2020. Company co-founder Gary Lenet said DUER decided to open its first store in the US, despite the pandemic. The company settled on Denver when Lenet visited Reno, which is part of the Five Points neighborhood.
“I was out of the car for five minutes and someone said, ‘You got it, right.’ And I said ‘yes.’ It just has that spirit, it fits our brand and it feels really community-based,” Lennett said.
Nadia Gillies, director of brand marketing, said the pandemic didn’t stop DUER’s plans, but it did delay the company’s introduction to the region.
“Normally, when we enter these markets, it is not in the middle of a pandemic. We’ll be looking for different ways to be a great neighbor,” Gillies said.
The company sees Shop Hop as a way to do just that and thank customers. Lenet said DUER has a strong online customer base in the Denver area.
“Another great aspect of this initiative is that as we arrived in Denver and the Reno district in particular, we quickly realized the role of the arts in that community and that neighborhood and how integrated it is,” Gillies said.
“It was a natural fit to include the Reno Art Park,” Gillies said.
A percentage of the proceeds from the three-day event will be donated to the park. Individual businesses will decide what kind of discount to offer.
The first phase of the Rino Art Park is expected to be completed around the beginning of August. A grand opening is scheduled for September 24-26. The first phase includes the Denver Public Library’s newest location, the Focus Point Family Resource Center and the second location of the Redline Contemporary Arts Center.
The second phase of the project will focus on the performing arts. The Arts District is responsible for the renovation and management of the two buildings that will organize the activities. The buildings are in a city park that opened last summer.
Overall, the cost of Rino Art Park is expected to be $4.1 million. Some of the money is coming from two particular districts of the region. But Pulford said most of the money would come from donations. He said that events like Shop Hop are necessary for the capital campaign.
“We have really great partners through all the local businesses and artists. We are always looking to increase our support base.”