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Piano man tickles ivories at Pepsi Center return

January 30, 2015

After a five-year hiatus, piano man Billy Joel makes his return to Denver Sept. 16 at the Pepsi Center. The show starts at 8 p.m. Joel’s last performance at Pepsi Center was in February 2010.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome back Rock and Roll Hall of Fame legend, Billy Joel, to the Pepsi Center in Denver,” said Jim Martin, president and CEO, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment.  “It is a true honor to host one of music’s most storied performers for what will be a memorable evening for his fans in Denver and throughout Colorado.”

Having sold 150 million records over the past quarter century, Joel ranks as one of most popular recording artists and respected entertainers in history. The singer/songwriter/composer is the sixth best-selling recording artist of all time, the third best-selling solo artist and is one of the highest grossing touring artists in the world.

In November 2014, Joel received both The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song which honors living musical artists’ lifetime achievement in promoting the genre of song as a vehicle of cultural understanding, entertaining and informing audiences, and inspiring new generations, and the once-in-a-century ASCAP Centennial Award, which is presented to American music icons in recognition of their incomparable accomplishments in their respective music genres.

In December 2013, Joel received The Kennedy Center Honors, one of the United States’ top cultural awards. He is also the recipient of six Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Legend Award.  Joel has been inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has received numerous industry awards.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Feb. 6 at www.AltitudeTickets.com. American Express Card Members can purchase tickets before the general public beginning at 10 a.m. Monday through 10 p.m. Thursday.

(Photo courtesy of billyjoel.com)

(Photo courtesy of billyjoel.com)


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Cherry Creek North project adds more eateries to its plate

January 30, 2015

Western Development Group, the developer of the $100 million 250 Columbine mixed-use development in Cherry Creek North, has leased two new restaurant concepts – SOL Cocina and Blue Island Oyster Bar – to the project. Both eateries are scheduled to open this summer.

Additional tenants will be Arc’Teryx, a global design and manufacturing company specializing in technical high-performance outerwear and equipment, and a new Starbucks location.

“We’ve had very strong interest in our retail space at 250 Columbine and will be announcing several more tenants soon,” said Roy Kline, a partner at Western Development Group.  “SOL Cocina and Blue Island Oyster Bar are exciting new concepts to the Denver area and will be great additions to our project and the neighborhood.  The addition of these fantastic restaurants reinforces Cherry Creek North’s position as the ultimate dining destination.  Arc’Teryx will provide outdoor enthusiasts with some of the best outerwear gear in the world, and Starbucks is a wonderful addition to any project.”

SOL Cocina features Executive Chef Deborah Schneider’s bold, modern interpretations of traditional Coastal Mexican cuisine with a focus on fresh sustainable ingredients. Designed to echo the expansive sea, sky, and desert of the Baja peninsula, SOL features an open exhibition kitchen with counter seating for guests who like to see the bustling kitchen that mimics the Baja taco bar. To complement the dining experience, SOL’s bar creates hand-crafted-to order fresh fruit margaritas and cocktails inspired by the authentic seasonal flavors of the menu. The restaurant offers more than 70 artisan, premium and ultra premium tequilas and mescals.  More information is at www.SOLCocina.com

Blue Island Oyster Bar, developed by the same team of designers, builders and chefs that created Humboldt, Rialto Café, Spruce and Stout Street Social will deliver a “dock to dish” experience through an ever-changing list of seven to 10 oysters that will be offered daily, including their very own farmed and wild-diver caught oysters as well as a selection from both the East and West Coasts.

Based in North Vancouver, BC, Arc’teryx is a global design and manufacturing company specializing in technical high-performance outerwear and equipment.  The company began manufacturing harnesses under the name of “Rock Solid”. By 1998, the company had changed the name to Arc’teryx.  More information www.press.arcteryx.com.

Construction of 250 Columbine began in August of 2013 (with Denver-based OZ Architecture serving as the architect, and PCL Construction of Denver serving as the general contractor), and will be completed by May 2015.

More information about 250 Columbine at www.250columbine.com or by, contacting Western Development Group at 303-321-5700.

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Parsons named chair of Visit Denver Board

January 30, 2015

Cindy Parsons, regional vice president of public relations for Comcast, will serve as the 2015 chair of Visit Denver, the Convention and Visitors Bureau. She replaces Joe Ellis, president and CEO of the Denver Broncos, who served as 2014 chair. Parsons has long been active in Denver communications and public relations and has served on the Visit Denver Board since 2009.

In her current position, Parsons is responsible for Comcast’s external affairs, including media relations, communications, community outreach and Comcast Foundation programs across the region. Prior to that, she led communications for Comcast’s West Division, developing media relations strategies and tactics for product roll-outs and community outreach. Prior to Comcast, she held a variety of public relations and community investment roles for AT&T Wireless in the western part of the U.S.

“I look forward to continuing the legacy of strong, committed leadership at the Bureau and following up on the record-breaking years that Denver’s tourism industry has enjoyed since 2005,” Parsons said. She noted that since 2005, Denver’s tourism has increased 48 percent, versus national tourism which increased only 15 percent over the same time period. “Denver had its strongest convention year ever in 2014, and we will be working on many cooperative marketing programs with the City and our members throughout the year to continue to grow tourism to Denver.”

Special emphasis in 2015 will be on following up on 2014’s feasibility study, which recommended improvements for the National Western Stock Show facilities and the Colorado Convention Center, and on continuing to work with Denver International Airport and others to increase international tourism and nonstop flights to Denver.

Joining Parsons on the Bureau Board’s 2014 executive committee as chair-elect is Navin C. Dimond, president and CEO of Stonebridge Companies; as secretary is Bruce A. James, shareholder, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and as treasurer is Dan Scherer, general manager, Outfront Media.

Parsons attended the University of Northern Colorado and Metro State University of Denver and serves on the Downtown Denver Partnership – Denver Civic Ventures, Inc. Board, Metro State University Foundation Board, Children’s Hospital Colorado Development Committee and is the past chair of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation Board.

Three new members have joined the 39-member Board of Directors of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Joining the Board for the first time are: Shannon Block, president and CEO of the Denver Zoological Foundation; Christopher Kozina, president of Coors Distributing Company and Timothy Wolfe, area managing director with Pyramid Hotel Group.


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Jewish Film Festival brings 28 cinematic pieces to Denver

January 30, 2015

The best of Jewish cinema comes to Denver Wednesday through Feb. 15 during the 19th Annual Denver Jewish Film Festival.

Festival highlights include opening night celebration on Wednesday celebrating honoree Kathy Neustadt and a special screening of the Jewish family comedy “It Happened In Saint-Tropez” by Danièle Thompson; Executive Producer Nancy Spielberg’s documentary “Above and Beyond” on Thursday; the black horror comedy “Big Bad Wolves”on Feb. 9, of which renowned director Quentin Tarantino declared “the best film of the year” in 2013; Executive Producer Chelsea Clinton’s documentary short “Of Many” on Feb. 11 and “Zero Motivation” on Feb. 15, which was honored at the Tribeca Film Festival and received six Ophir Awards.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 303-316-6360 or by visiting www.maccjcc.org/film.

For a detailed film festival schedule, go to http://bit.ly/1HPEt23.

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Take a twist on Valentine’s Day with Queerbots improv

January 30, 2015

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with “The Queerbots,” as they present a fully improvised Ode To Amore.  Using only audience suggestions, the team of troupers explore gay first dates, lesbian honeymoons and the joys of queer parenthood. There might even be a musical tribute to Tinder, or a scene based on your first true love.

Queerbots will heighten the laughs with videotaped commentary from ‘N Sync alum Lance Bass, actor Johnny Depp, and a tribute to Cinema’s most iconic romances re-edited with a twist.

The Queerbots will play at Hamburger Mary’s “Club M”, 700 E. 17th Ave., at 8 p.m. Feb. 14; doors open at 7. Tickets are $10, and available for advance purchase at www.queerbots.com.

“We’ve been thrilled with Denver audiences.  Our two prior shows have both sold out, and I think it proves there’s a real place for gay and lesbian comedy,” said Sarah Kirwin, Queerbots Artistic Director.  “Even more exciting, our crowds are mostly straight.  I think one of the best ways to build understanding and breakdown stereotypes, is through laughter. It’s hard to judge someone when you’re sharing a great time.”

The Queerbots Comedy Improv Troupe was founded by six performers who have been entertaining Denver audiences for years: Kirwin, Michelle Marlowe, Britt Swenson, Jon Jon Lannen, Ashley Scroggins and Chris Parente.  Together, they bring more than 100 collective years of Improv experience, and their full biographies  can be found at www.queerbots.com.

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Laugh line: Today’s eavesdropping

January 30, 2015

Eavesdropping on two unemployed people: “What did you do today?”

“I took a shower.”

“I made the bed.”

“High five!”

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Please support this column

January 30, 2015

Want to see this column continue? Want to advertise your business here? Call Trisha today at 720-985-6947 or e-mail her at trilind@hotmail.com.


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Sage Hospitality expands hotel portfolio

January 28, 2015

Denver-based Sage Hospitality, one of the nation’s top hotel management, development and investment companies, has begun 2015 with a rapidly expanding portfolio in key markets in the United States.  Including the announcement of a new management contract for the Denver Marriott Tech Center, with a planned large scale renovation for the south Denver convention venue.

Sage’s growth in development began last year with the opening of the newly built SpringHill Suites Downtown Oceanside in California, followed by the renovated Westin Cleveland Downtown hotel in Ohio.  Also in Cleveland was the opening of Sage Restaurant Group’s second location of Urban Farmer, beginning an expansion of its restaurant concepts which will continue in 2015.

July 2014 marked the opening of Denver Union Station and the launch of The Crawford Hotel, ranked one of the Top 11 Business Hotels by CNN and Top 101 Best New Hotels in the world by Condé Nast Traveler.  Other Denver announcements for Sage in 2014 included a 150-room independent hotel on 245 Columbine in the former Post Office building in Denver’s high-end shopping district, Cherry Creek.  The luxury boutique hotel, developed in partnership with BMC Investments, will include Sage Restaurant Group’s second location for its highly acclaimed Departure Restaurant.

Expanding on a relationship that began with Denver Union Station, Sage has partnered with Colorado real estate developer, McWhinney, on two new projects.  The historic Windsor Dairy Block, in the LoDo District of Denver, will include another independent Sage hotel.  This duo also has plans to develop a two-acre block in Old Town, Fort Collins, which will include retail, a restaurant and a 165-room hotel associated with an undisclosed brand, set to open in 2017.

Outside of Colorado, Sage has expanded its Premier & Lifestyle division with a new management contract in another historic train station, the Union Station Hotel in Nashville, Tenn.  The Union Station Hotel is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection with 137 rooms and owned by Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, who also owns the Nines – a Luxury Collection hotel in Portland, Oregon.

Going further east, in December the Four Seasons Philadelphia announced that it would be removing the Four Seasons flag in June 2015.  Sage Hospitality has been hired by Host Hotels & Resorts to rebrand, renovate and reopen the location on One Logan Square in late 2015 with its own branding, new spa and a Sage Restaurant Group concept.  Host is also the owners of the Marriott Denver Tech Center hotel.

Kicking off the New Year, Sage also opened their first New York City hotel in Downtown Manhattan with the Residence Inn New York Manhattan/World Trade Center Area.  The hotel is a historic renovation in the famed William Barthman Jewelers building on Broadway and Marion, featuring all-suites with a look that reflects the jeweler’s history in the building.

“We’ve been going after more independent hotels coupled with unique locally inspired restaurants, in exciting urban markets, because that’s where our sweet spot is,” said Michael Everett, chief investment officer for Sage.  “We’ve seen amazing results in renovations and repositioning, and we look forward to operating these new hotels and restaurants and expanding our portfolio as both operator and owners.”

To learn more about Sage Hospitality and their expanding portfolio of hotels, visit www.sagehospitality.com.

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More Super Bowl specials on local menus

January 28, 2015

Still making Super Bowl plans? Here are a few more spots featuring Super Bowl specials on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 1.

Lucky Strike, the bowling and entertainment center in the Denver Pavilions, offers 12 state-of-the-art bowling lanes, a 100 square-foot video wall, four tournament-quality billiards tables, an outdoor patio and a private party lounge with four lanes of its own. Big game specials from 11 a.m. to midnight at Lucky Strike Denver include one-dollar shoe rentals, three-dollar bowling, three-dollar Fireball shots, four-dollar Bloody Mary bar and eight-dollar Mimosa carafes.

* At Hard Rock Cafe in the Denver Pavilions, guests can enjoy a special menu with limited-edition, shareable offerings from now through Feb. 1.

The menu includes new Triple Threat Sliders, a trio including: brie and fontina macaroni and cheese burger on a Bavarian pretzel roll; double pork burger, an Angus beef burger glazed with sweet and spicy barbecue sauce, hand pulled pork, smoked bacon aged cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese on a Bavarian pretzel roll and a Tangy Buffalo Burger, Angus beef burger topped with tangy buffalo wing sauce, blue cheese and Monterey Jack cheese on a Bavarian pretzel roll.

And during the big game only for $21.95 per person, guests can also enjoy their choice of Hard Rock Cafe Local Legendary Burger (including the Legendary Burgers from Denver, as well as New England and Seattle); a craft beer; and an all-you-can-eat wing bar.

* During the Big Game, Randolph’s, in the Warwick Hotel at 1776 Grant St., is serving bottomless Super Bowl baskets such as chips and salsa, a seven-layer-dip bar, wings with three sauces or bottomless French fries for $25 or $12.50 for children. Additionally, Randolph’s will offer draft beers for two dollars; house wine for six dollars and house cocktails for four dollars, as well as football-friendly specials on burgers, flat breads, brats, ribs and more. The game will be shown on the restaurant’s two televisions, with an additional 50-inch flat screen.

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