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Gradual Reopening Continues for the City and County of Denver

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DENVER – With Safer at Home underway and the phased loosening of state restrictions, business and leisure activities are continuing to resume in the City and County of Denver.

Denver Parks

Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR) today announced the return of certain activities in Denver Parks, in alignment with new personal recreation guidance issued yesterday by the state.

DPR is setting up nets in preparation to open all outdoor athletic courts (basketball, tennis, pickleball, futsal) beginning this weekend. The use of shared recreational equipment in parks will be allowed. Recreation activity must be conducted in groups of 10 or fewer, participants spaced at least six feet apart, face coverings worn if feasible, and appropriate sanitation and hygiene practices must be observed. These new activities follow the reopening of all bike and skate parks that took place last week.  

DPR is working on a phased reopening approach to allow other outdoor programming and activities (summer camps, permitted and organized sports, league play) and the reopening of recreational amenities, such as playgrounds and dog parks. Preparation is needed to meet the requirements of the new state guidance that includes public gathering limitations, physical distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting requirements associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Outdoor Dining Expansion

Now that the state’s public health orders allow restaurants to resume limited sit-down service, Denver’s Temporary Outdoor Expansion Program for restaurants and bars is taking shape, with 23 establishments currently approved to expand. The city will have updated data every Tuesday for how many proposals have been approved. More information about the program can be found on this website.

Under the program, eligible restaurants and bars can submit a proposal to expand into adjacent parking lots, streets and sidewalks, in order to use these spaces for socially distant outdoor dining through September 7, 2020.

Expanded Road Closures

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure is closing additional stretches of roadway to thru-traffic early next week to create more space for Denverites to walk, bike and enjoy the outdoors amid COVID-19 and the need to social distance. The new stretches add about 2.5 miles of roadway being opened for social distancing for a total of eight (8) miles year to date. 

  • Curtis Park: 30th Street from Welton Street to Larimer Street
  • Congress Park: 11th Avenue from Race Street to Colorado Boulevard (with Josephine and York Streets remaining open to thru-traffic across 11th Avenue)
  • Cole: Franklin Street from 28th Avenue to 37th Avenue

The full list of roads closed to thru-traffic for social distancing can be found in the COVID-19 section of the city’s website.

Short-Term Rentals

In accordance with new state orders issued earlier this week, the operation of short-term rentals in Denver is now allowed. To ensure public safety, strict rules are required.

Small Business Relief

Denver’s Small Business Emergency Relief Fund program, developed and delivered in record time through Denver Economic Development & Opportunity (DEDO) in partnership with Mile High United Way, has announced a total of 500 grants that have been made to local businesses since the crisis began. The grants are capped at $7,500 and the average grant is $6,454. 

  • 75 percent of grants went to businesses with less than 500K in annual revenue last year 
  • 65 percent of the grants went to either women and/or minority-owned businesses 
  • More than half of grantees are sole proprietors or micro businesses with five or fewer employees

Applications continue to be accepted as the program continues to expand with a mix of local and federal funds. Pending City Council approval, DEDO is launching a similar relief program for local registered nonprofit organizations. Grants will be capped at $15,000 and details/applications will be available soon. 

For up-to-date information on the city’s recovery and relief plan and actions, visit Denvergov. org/Covid19.