1 0 Tag Archives: John Hickenlooper

There’s beer here in Denver, too, this weekend

All the talk may be about the 4/20 marijuana events this weekend, but there’s plenty of stuff to do for beer lovers, too.

Thanks to Westword for the head’s-up to beer-drinking events around the Denver area, including:

Friday, April 18: At Novo Coffee on Glenarm Street from 5 to 10 p.m. get the first taste of Kurt’s Mile High Malt, a German-style lager from the Wynkoop Brewing Company that was made with Ethiopian Anyetsu coffee from Novo. The beer is based on a family recipe late author Kurt Vonnegut gave to Wynkoop co-founder John Hickenlooper in the 1990s.

Saturday, April 19: John Turk‘s Colorado Craft Beer Show, broadcasting on AM 760, will celebrate its third anniversary today with a special show from noon to 2 p.m. at Lone Tree Brewing. … Trinity Brewing in Colorado Springs will host its annual Saison Farmhouse Rendezvous t noon. Tickets are $45 … BeerAdvocate’s Todd and Candice Alstrom will host their monthly get-together today at Avery Brewing in Boulder from 1 to 5 p.m. … The first BrüFrou beer and food pairing event will take place 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum in Lowry.

Read more at www.blogs.westword.com/cafesociety/2014/04/new_beers_from_wynkoop_station_26_and_copper_kettle.php.


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Jimmy Fallon takes a ‘pot’ shot at Colorado’s new legalized marijuana law

February 28, 2014

Spanking new “Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon took a “pot” shot at our own Gov. John Hickenlooper Tuesday night by making jest of Colorado’s legal retail marijuana law.

“Colorado expects to make $100 million from taxing legalized marijuana,” the comedian said. “Governor John Hickenlooper (big audience laugh at the name) says he will use a lot of that money to build new schools.

Suggested names? “U. Holden Academy, Hot Pocket Prep and St. Mary Jane’s.”

New 'Tonight Show' host Jimmy Fallon took a shot at Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. (NBC photo)

New ‘Tonight Show’ host Jimmy Fallon took a shot at Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper. (NBC photo)

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Don’t think this column wouldn’t include a Super Bowl item

February 3, 2014

Even though our own Gov. John Hickenlooper and the Washington state guv Jay Inslee refused to make a Super Bowl wager, Denver’s Punch Bowl Social founder Robert Thompson and Washington’s Garage Billiards owner Alex Rosenast have pledged to donate $1,000 to their winning team’s charity of choice.

“I volunteer to send Alex a case of Orange Crush soda, win or lose,” Thompson said.

“Win or lose, I’m trying to get a dinner set up for Robert and (Seahawks cornerback) Richard Sherman,” Rosenast said.

After Sunday’s 43-8 Broncos loss to the Seagawks, a charity will be selected by the winner and the $1,000 donation will follow.

orange crush

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Blue Ribbon reception brings restaurants and hotels together with legislators

January 10, 2014

Restaurants and hotels in Denver make our economic world go ’round. Consider that together both sectors will generate more than $13 billion in sales this year, which generates more than $850 million in state and local taxes.

Also, restaurants and hotels employ roughly 286,000 employees in 11,500 establishments. A big deal.

So it makes total sense that the Colorado Restaurant Association and the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association throw a joint event annually on the first day of the Colorado Legislature to wine and dine lawmakers that could affect the hospitality business.

I have attended this event for more years than I care to reveal, and I would say that the hearty party Wednesday on the 38th floor of the adjoining tower at the Grand Hyatt Hotel attracted more festive folks than I’ve ever seen.

We wined and dined from tasty treats from restaurants including: Angelo’s Taverna, Baca at Inverness Hotel & Resort, Hurricane Grill & Wings, Lala’s Wine Bar & Pizzeria, Mangia Bevi Café, Metropolitan State University Denver, Outback Steakhouse, Penrose Room at the Broadmoor, Ted’s Montana Grill, Texas Roadhouse,  The Airplane Restaurant, The Fort and The Fresh Fish Company.

Pete Meersman, the slowly retiring CEO of the Colorado Restaurant Association introduced Sonia Riggs, the new “chief cheese” who is taking over Meersman’s impressive reign. About restaurants, he said, “Restaurants and hotels are the cornerstone of Colorado’s economy.”

Christine O’Donnell, president of the Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association, more pointedly addressed the legislators attending the event. “It takes only a slight change in the laws to turn a profitable hotel or restaurant into an unprofitable business,” she said. “We ask you to keep that in mind during this year’s legislative session.”

And former Wynkoop Brewing Co. founder Gov. John Hickenlooper stopped by to speak and be among his “peeps,” as he would say. He referenced deceased The Fort founder Sam Arnold.

“I think about the people who aren’t here,” Hickenlooper said. “Sam Arnold really put Colorado on the map.”


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LoDo celebrates Salzman’s 95th birthday on my birthday!

December 2, 2013

Downtown Denver benefactor Manny Salzman has reached his 95th birthday and some people in the ‘hood are throwing a party for him.

Manny’s Bridge, the bridge down Wynkoop Street named for him, is the home of an interactive public light art installation by artist Virginia Folkestad.

The installation is being renovated and re-lit in conjunction with Salzman’s birthday and when complete will be on display nightly year-round.

Manny and Joanne Salzman pioneered LoDo when they moved there in 1980. They worked with the city of Denver to obtain a grant to preserve the historic railroad bridges over Cherry Creek in the mid-1990s converting them to save pedestrian paths.

In 2006, then Mayor John Hickenlooper dedicated the bridge to Manny, and a plaque describes that effort. The Salzmans were also instrumental in the designation of LoDo as a historic area and the formation of the St. Charles Neighborhood Group.

At 95, Manny still pedals his bike daily across the Platte and up the hill into the Highland neighborhood.

Manny Salzman

Manny Salzman on the bridge named for him in Lower Downtown. (Diane Huntress photo)


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‘American Mustang’ gallops into the Starz Denver Film Festival

October 28, 2013

The historic mistreatment of wild horses is examined in the film “American Mustang,” which chronicles an emotionally charged journey through a tenuous landscape dotted by ranchers, wild horse advocates, government agencies and the American people.

The film screens at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at the SIE FilmCenter, 2510 E. Colfax, as part of the 36th annual Starz Denver Film Festival. The movie-lovers madness opens Nov. 6 with an 8 p.m. screening of “Labor Day” and runs through Nov. 17.

In her filmmaking debut, “American Mustang” producer Ellie Phipps Price, vintner and animal welfare advocate, brings her passion for protecting wild horses to the big screen.

“American Mustang” is a feature film, shot in eight Western states with wild horses filmed for the first time in 3D. Threaded into the narrative is the story of a girl, a cowboy and an American icon – the wild horse. The film encourages protection of America’s wild horses while being aware of the reality of limited grazing and resources on the open range.

The film is narrated by actress and activist Daryl Hannah. Throughout a 30-year film career, Hannah has starred in more than 40 feature films, and has created numerous iconic roles in successful, critically acclaimed and enduring movies.

Collaborators on ”American Mustang” include director Monty Miranda who worked closely with writer and co-producer Henry Ansbacher and executive producer Phipps Price. Phipps Price and Ansbacher co-wrote and developed the characters based on extensive interviews that create a rich palate of voices for the film. The interviews are with people who are on the front lines of the battle over preservation and management of wild horses – a contentious issue that incites strong emotions from every side.

Phipps Price spent her early years in Colorado, studied film at University of California, Berkeley and currently resides in Sonoma, Calif., where she produces Dunstan Wines from the Durell Vineyard. She adopted her first mustang, Dunstan, from the Bureau of Land Management holding facility at Cañon City in 2009.

Recently, Phipps Price established a 2,000-acre wildlife preserve for wild horses in northern California. “I am thrilled to be coming home to Colorado for the launch of ‘American Mustang’ – a film about these amazing and beautiful animals that have captured my heart,” she said.

Director and former Denver dweller Miranda attended the University of Colorado to study film and journalism and currently lives in Los Angeles. His career includes credits for the memorable TV commercials for John Hickenlooper’s mayoral campaign. Miranda’s feature-film directorial debut, “Skills Like This,” won the Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the South by Southwest Film Festival.

Colorado-based Ansbacher of Just Media focuses on film projects that have a history of bringing change, social justice and raising awareness about environmental issues. Ansbacher’s film “The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner” received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Short.

More information on the movie at: www.americanmustangthemovie.com.

For screening times and to purchase tickets, go to: http://www.denverfilm.org/festival/film/detail.aspx?id=25922&FID=77.

To learn more about the 36th annual Starz Film Festival and the featured movies, go to http://www.denverfilm.org/festival/index.aspx.

Cowboy Luke pets one of the horses in the fil, 'American Mustang.'

Cowboy Luke pets one of the horses in the film, ‘American Mustang.’ The film, which has many Colorado ties, will screen Nov. 7 at the 36th annual Starz Denver Film Festival. (American Mustang|Just Media photo)


Top spots

I told you on last week that Lakewood was included in the Top 100 Best Places to Live on liveability.com’s inaugural ranking, but that was only part of Colorado’s prized participation. Culinary Colorado’s Claire Walter (thanks, Claire!) pointed out that there’s more to the story.

While Lakewood ranked No. 88 (besting Scottsdale at No. 89), Aurora scored No. 49, and Boulder came in at an impressive No. 2. Topping the lauded list was Palo Alto, Calif., which I’m proud to say is my hometown (think Stanford University, John Elway, Eddie McCaffrey, Andrew Luck, etc.).

“The list was created in partnership with the Martin Prosperity Institute, the world’s leading think tank on the role of location, place and city-regions in global economic prosperity. The list was produced after studying U.S. cities and factors that make them the best places to live, work and play,” according to the Livability.com website.

Factors included in the Top 100 ranking included good schools, hospitals, amenities, affordability and the local economy. Read more at http://livability.com/top-100-best-places-to-live#/palo-alto/ca.

Viva los muertos!

Denver Botanic Gardens continues its annual celebration of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a Mexican day of remembrance and honor for the departed, with expanded programming this year.

In Mexico, streets near cemeteries are filled with parades, colorful decorations, flowers, candy, skeletons and skulls. It is believed the spirits of the dead visit their families Oct. 31 through Nov. 2. Families make altars with a photo of the deceased, along with offerings of food, candles, incense and yellow marigolds. 

The Gardens will observe the tradition with an all-ages celebration of Latino music, food, art and history on Friday. All events take place at the York Street location. For tickets and more information, go to: http://www.botanicgardens.org/events/special-events/d%C3%ADa-de-los-muertos.

Celebrate Dia del Los Muertps at the Denver Botanic Gardens.

Celebrate Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at the Denver Botanic Gardens on Friday, Nov. 1. (Photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)


Shanahan shares steaks

The Washington Redskins lost to the Broncos Sunday, but head coach Mike Shanahan’s team will eat like winners on the plane home.

Shanahan told 104.3-FM The Fan on Friday his team will nosh on Shanahan’s Steakhouse fare on the plane ride home after Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos. Shanahan also noted he wouldn’t have time to visit his signature steakhouse in south Denver.

And speaking of the Broncos…

Ace Eat Serve at 501 E. 17th Ave. will be the place to catch all the Denver Broncos football action this season where the games will be shown on one of two projection screens.

Happy hour specials for the entire game (menu at www.acedenver.com/menus/happyhour).  And, tap into your own competitive spirit with free Ping-Pong as long as the Broncos are playing.

Tables can be reserved in advance, and for the entire length of the game. Get your reservations now for the next game (Broncos vs. Chargers on Nov. 10 since Sunday is a bye week) at 303-800-7705.  Free Ping-Pong and extended happy hour specials will be available during all Broncos home and away games for the rest of the 2013 - 2014 season.

The seen

The “dolphin trainer” actor in the Colorado Lottery commercial (created by local ad shop Cactus) shopping Thursday at Whole Foods Market on Hampden. He wasn’t spotted in the fresh fish section.

Eavesdropping on a group of golfers at the Eagle’s Nest restaurant at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club: “I wonder if Shanahan took the team to Shanahan’s (Steakhouse) last night?”

“Well, he sure didn’t take them to Elway’s!”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com. Want to advertise your business here? Contact Trisha at trilind@hotmail.com.

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The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Denver re-earns AAA Five-Diamond ranking

October 23, 2013

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Denver has achieved what no other Denver hotel has earned, and it did it four years in a row.

Hotel general manager Steven Janicek announced Tuesday that the ritzy hotel has been awarded the coveted AAA Five-Diamond designation for 2013, the only Denver hotel in history to be awarded this rating.

The property located at 1881 Curtis St. downtown is among fewer than one-half percent of the 30,000 properties approved by AAA’s professional inspectors to be of Five-Diamond caliber. The Ritz-Carlton Denver boasts the largest guest rooms in the city starting at 540 square feet, Elway’s Downtown steak house, an urban oasis at The Ritz-Carlton Spa and the intimate Ritz-Carlton Club Level.

“I am extremely proud of our hotel’s achievement which could not happen without the genuine, personalized care our ladies and gentlemen provide to our guests every single day,” Janicek said. ”By enlivening The Ritz-Carlton service philosophy at every interaction, maintaining this coveted rating was possible.”

The AAA Diamond rating process is considered to be North America’s premier hotel rating program. Only .3 percent of all hotels AAA inspects meet industry standards to achieve Five Diamonds. The association annually evaluates more than 54 million lodging establishments and restaurants, and rates them on a scale of one to five Diamonds.

“Five Diamonds for four years from AAA adds up to some very nice numbers for Denver and a great honor for the city’s hospitality industry,” said Visit Denver spokesmodel Rich Grant.

The Ritz first earned the distinguished distinction four years ago under the helm of then-GM Andrew Rogers, who transferred with the hotel chain to China.

(Ritz-Carlton Hotel Denver photos)

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Denver offers great views of downtown and Elway’s Downtown (below) provides premier dining options at the hotel at 1881 Curtis St. THe hotel earned its fourth consecutive AAA Five-Diamond rating. (Ritz-Carlton Hotel Denver photos)Ritz_Denver_Elways


Hot hotels

Colorado hotels nearly swept Conde Nast Traveler’s 26th annual Readers’ Choice Poll this year. With the exception of two picks in Utah, Colorado’s homes away from home took the rest of the top 10 spots.

Nearly 80,000 readers participated in the 26th annual Readers’ Choice survey, which ranks the world’s best cities, islands, cruise lines, airlines, hotels and resorts and is featured in the November issue of the magazine.

Here are the rankings:

  • 1. Beaumont Hotel & Spa, Ouray
  • 2. Oxford Hotel, Denver
  • 3. Hotel Teatro, Denver
  • 4. St. Julien Hotel & Spa, Boulder
  • 5. Grand America Hotel, Salt Lake City
  • 6. Four Seasons Hotel Denver
  • 7. Brown Palace Hotel and Spa, Denver
  • 8. Ritz-Carlton, Denver
  • 9. Hotel Monaco Denver
  • 10. Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City

See the whole story at http://www.cntraveler.com/readers-choice-awards/united-states/best-hotels-west.

Boulder’s Best Western wins best

The Best Western Plus Boulder Inn received the Champion Best Western Rewards Award and the Best Western Green Award at Best Western International’s Convention held recently in San Antonio, Texas.  The awards were presented in front of more than 4,000 industry peers.

The Champion Best Western Rewards Award is bestowed upon those member properties that demonstrate extraordinary support of Best Western Rewards, Best Western’s guest loyalty program. The Best Western Green Award is given to properties that demonstrate a commitment to sustaining resources and reducing their carbon footprint. Hotels must also meet design and customer care standards, as well as other membership requirements, to qualify.

The Best Western Plus Boulder Inn is one of only five hotels out of more than 2,400 properties in the U.S. and Canada to receive both of these awards.

“The Best Western Champion Awards recognize those Best Western hotels that demonstrate the highest levels of service, design and commitment to our loyalty program,” said Julie Montmaneix, Chairman of Best Western International’s board of directors. “The staff of the Best Western Plus Boulder Inn has a strong commitment to growing and strengthening our loyalty program, a critical guest engagement tool. And their dedication to environmentally-friendly practices is truly admirable. We’re proud of their success.”

Located directly across from the University of Colorado, the newly remodeled Best Western Plus Boulder Inn features 98 rooms, conference facilities, a large outdoor pool and complimentary bicycles. More information: http://www.hotels.com/ho176607/best-western-plus-boulder-inn-boulder-united-states/?gclid=COrR88ykq7oCFclDMgodLlMAYQ.

Best Western Plus Boulder Inn was named the top Best Western in the U.S. (Best Western photo)

Best Western Plus Boulder Inn won two awards during a recent convention of the hotel chain in San Antonio, Texas. (Best Western photo)


Clothing connection at ConneXions

The collection of ConneXions stores in the Southwest Plaza Mall at 8501 W. Bowles Ave. in Littleton, is holding a clothing swap party from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Friday.

Time to dig out those fall fashions from the back of your closet and swap them for some new pieces. ConneXions will accept clothing, accessories, shoes and jewelry to swap with other thrifty fashionistas.

Each participant should bring five to 10 items to swap, and will receive a ticket for each item they add to the pile. Then, the stores will let you swap till you drop. All items (from any season) should be clean and in good condition.

Drop off your fashions all day on Thursday or between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Friday. All remaining clothing and accessories will be donated to Dress for Success Denver whose mission is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Flood relief funds 

AEG Live Rocky Mountains and Live Nation are bringing Colorado’s music community coming together for “Colorado Rising” a night of music to benefit flood relief through www.LiveUnitedColorado.org.  Presented by 97.3 KBCO and CBS4 Denver, the benefit concert takes place beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday at 1stBank Center, 11450 Broomfield Lane, Broomfield, featuring Dave Matthews, The Fray, Big Head Todd and The Monsters, members of The Lumineers, DeVotchKa, Nathaniel Rateliff and more.

“Coloradans unite during crisis – so does the music community,” Gov. John Hickenlooper said. ”We are thrilled so many musicians are coming together for this flood relief benefit concert. This is a great way to highlight recovery efforts and raise money at the same time. We are grateful AEG Live, Live Nation and other community partners are stepping up to help Colorado communities impacted by the historic flooding.”

“The fans, musicians and members of Colorado’s music community are always willing to help those in need.  My staff and I are humbled to be a part of this event helping those affected by the floods” said Chuck Morris, President and CEO of AEG Live Rocky Mountains.

All proceeds from the concert will go directly to the United Ways of Colorado Flood Recovery Fund, which  will distribute funds to the United Ways in communities across Colorado affected by the recent flooding. Each community will build collaborations to identify their needs and funds will be used to support their long-term recovery.

Tickets at www.TicketHorse.com, or order at 866-461-6556. TicketHorse also has kiosks located at all Colorado Dick’s Sporting Goods Stores (credit cards only). Reserved tickets are $65-$125 plus applicable service charges.  All ages are welcome.

With the recent floods impacting communities across Colorado, the law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck launched a firm-wide fundraiser to support the victims of the recent disaster with both financial contributions and in-kind goods.

The firm matched employee contributions with more than $15,000 going to the American Red Cross and the Foothills Flood Relief Fund. The in-kind items were donated to the Community Food Share, ensuring that people in Boulder and Broomfield counties have food, and House of Neighborly Service is providing assistance to individuals and families in need in southern Larimer County.

“As a member of this community, there was no question that we were going to help support flood relief efforts,” said Kristin Stork, director of community relations for Brownstein. “Financial and in-kind contributions came in from not only those attorneys and staff in the Denver office, but from our offices across the country.”

Brownstein also plans on organizing a Karma Project (the firm’s employee volunteer program) in 2014 to further assist in rebuilding efforts.

Eavesdropping on a woman to a man: “You drink tequila? What do you drink with your tequila?”


Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com. Want to advertise your business here? Contact Trisha at trilind@hotmail.com.

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Penny Parker On The Town: Plenty of Broncos banter precedes Sunday’s win over Jacksonville

October 16, 2013

Because of a technical glitch, Monday’s column went out to subscribers with only a few lines from the first item.

What was supposed to happen was the launch of a new format that would give subscribers the top item, then direct them to click on the link to the Blacktie-Colorado website in order to drive more traffic there. Let’s hope it works today…

So, here’s what you missed on Monday:

Let’s rewind the clock to a few days before the Broncos victory over the Jaguars, who though winless, were certainly no pushovers in Sunday’s game.

Former Broncos tight end turned CBS Sports commentator Shannon Sharpe, in Denver Sunday to cover the Broncos-Jaguars game, was spotted at his former quarterback, John Elway‘s Cherry Creek steak house Saturday night.

But while he warmly greeted Elway and his wife, Paige, in the restaurant, was he also picking Elway’s pocket? During the “NFL Today” broadcast, Sharpe told fellow football prognosticators James Brown and Dan Marino that he had dined at Elway’s establishment Saturday night.

“I put dinner on John Elway’s tab,” Sharpe said, most likely joking. I can only confirm that Sharpe, joined by fellow former teammate Rod Smith, were there, but who paid is not known.

Meanwhile, back at “The Late Show With David Letterman” last week, lead guest Michael Strahan, star of “Live! With Kelly and Michael” and former New York Giants defensive end, and Letterman discussed Broncos QB Peyton Manning. Although Letterman will always favor his hometown Indianapolis Colts, he can’t “quit” Manning after all his years as the Colts QB.

Here’s the transcript from CBS.com:

Dave asks (Strahan) about Manning: “What’s all that barking he does at the line of scrimmage?  Peyton points and shouts and prances up and down the line yelling instructions to his linemen and backs. What’s he doing?”

Strahan: “It’s a lot of B.S.  Peyton Manning may be smart enough to understand all that yakking he’s doing, but the guys he’s yelling to? The linemen? The other guys on the team? They aren’t that smart. He’s doing it for show. The defense bark, ‘Just snap the ball!!’”



Que bueno!

I took a neighbor to see “Just Like Us,” the play adapted from the book by Helen Thorpe, the estranged wife of Gov. John Hickenlooper, at the Stage Theatre last week.

We were the two mature women sitting in the first few rows with tears streaming down our faces. The story follows the plight of four young Latina women — two who are U.S. citizens and two who are illegal immigrants — as they struggle with their high school, college and post-college years.

At the urging of Kent Thompson, Denver Center Theatre Company’s producing artistic director, Thorpe agreed to let playwright Karen Zacarias transform her words onto the stage.

The result is a riveting performance, which no matter where you stand on immigration, will at least make you think. The cast is simply marvelous and the sets move around almost as fast as the teacup ride at Disneyland.

If you can go, go. “Just Like Us” plays at the Stage until Nov. 3. Tickets: 303-893-4100 or at www.denvercenter.org.

Helen Thorpe wrote 'Just Like Us," which was transformed into a stage play for the Denver Center for the Perming Arts. (Blacktie-Colorado photo)

Helen Thorpe wrote ‘Just Like Us,” which was transformed into a stage play for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. (Blacktie-Colorado photo)


Diamonds are this girl’s best friend

Call it the fickle finger of fate. Call it divine intervention. Or call it just plain luck.

But on Saturday during the annual Champagne and Diamonds gala to benefit Sense of Security, the evening’s last act was a random drawing from a glass bowl full of names who had purchased a chance to win a $12,000 diamond necklace donated by Hadley’s House of Diamonds.

Drum roll, please. The winner was Vicki Tosher, and the crowd gathered at the downtown Grand Hyatt went wild. Tosher founded the breast cancer patient financial support charity 13 years ago after a dear friend had been diagnosed. Tosher is a two-time survivor.

When her name was called, Tosher wobbled toward the dance floor and her prize in sheer shock. Then she fell to her knees.

“I’ve won two other things in my life,” she said after being helped to her feet. “One was a calculator.”

Congratulations, Vicki. There is no one more deserving. Sparkle on, girl!

Playing dress-up

It may be a bit premature for Halloween, but nevertheless, some of Denver’s fiercest supporters of The Denver Center for the Performing Arts will be modeling costumes from the Denver Center Theatre Company’s closet during Theatre Threads from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 23 in the Seawell Ballroom. Proceeds will benefit DCTC and its education programs.

From the looks of the get-ups modeled in the past, this event will upstage a Vegas floor show. This years models are Jeremy Anderson, Jamie Angelich, Fiona Baldwin, Murri Bishop, Keri Christiansen, Sharon Cooper, BJ Dyer, Terri Fisher, Adrienne Ruston Fitzgibbons, Alice Foster, Roger Hutson, Carmel Koeltzow, Gayle Novak, Stacy Ohlsson, Loretta Robinson, Jackie Rotole, Robyn Taylor and (dame) Judi Wolf.

But a would-be thespian also hinted that DCPA chairman and CEO Daniel Ritchie is expected to get into a get-up.

The event features the aforementioned fashion show and luncheon hosted by the Denver Center Alliance.

“I will always remember as a child going to the theatre and being swept away into this magical world filled with lively characters dressed in beautiful costumes,” said event chair Denise Bellucci. ”It’s because of fundraising events like Theatre Threads that, not only can the Denver Center for the Performing Arts give a child this wonderful experience and love of the theatre, but they also help support the creation of it.”

Tickets are $100 per person. Reservations: 303-446-4815 or visit www.denvercenter.org/threads.

Judi Wolf will be one of many of Denver's finest citizen's

Judi Wolf will be one of many of Denver’s charitable citizens modeling Denver Center Theatre Company’s costumes at the Oct. 23 event, Theatre Threads, at the Seawell Ballroom. (Denver Center photo)


Wise wine guy

If you haven’t heard Marczyk Fine Foods and Fine Wines owner Pete Marczyk wax poetic about the perfection of wine and food pairings, you’ve missed seeing a showman at his grapey best.

Now’s your chance. Marczyk, along with colleague Maxine DiJulio, will present a selection of some of their favorite Italian holiday wines representing styles you may know but varietals you likely don’t during an event sponsored by The Denver Chapter of the American Wine Society, beginning at 6:30 p.m. today (Oct. 16) at Panzano, inside the Hotel Monaco at 909 17th St.

Each course, prepared by exceptional executive chef Elise Wiggins and her team, will be paired with two wines of similar styles but at different price points. Attendees will compare and contrast these wines and then pick a favorite. After the votes are counted (barring any hanging chads), the price of each will be revealed.

The event is $65 for AWS members and $75 for non-members and guests. Registration is online only by visiting https://www.blacktie-colorado.com/calendar/event-detail.cfm?id=26189.

Eavesdropping on a woman at a recent charity event: “I am growing out my bangs, it’s cheaper than Botox.”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com. Want to advertise your business here? Contact Trisha at trilind@hotmail.com.

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Penny Parker On The Town: Oh no, Walter Isenberg’s mustache must go … for a good cause

September 4, 2013

Hotel honcho Walter Isenberg is known for his mustachioed face as much as he is known for turning Denver dirt into high-end hotels.

Behind every deal – the JW Marriott, The Oxford Hotel, The Courtyard by Marriott and the upcoming Union Station Hotel – there’s been Isenberg’s iconic moustache.

But there’s not much he won’t do for charity – especially when it’s his wife, Christie Isenberg‘s pet charity, Concerts for Kids, an organization that raises funds for children’s charities.

In an attempt to raise $100,000 for the Concerts for Kids’ Celebrity Waiter event on Saturday at Ocean Prime on Larimer Square, Isenberg will (reluctantly) submit his lip fuzz to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock‘s razor during the event.

“I’ve done many a crazy thing in my day, but this is a first,” Isenberg wrote in his pledge plea e-mail. “I’m hoping I can convince 100 people to kick in a grand each to see this happen. Now I know for a fact none of you have (including my wife) has ever seen me without a mustache. Why? Because from the moment I could actually grow one, I did and it’s been floating above my upper lip ever since.”

A few local notables weighed in on Isenberg’s facial hairlessness decision. (I can’t vouch for the authenticity of these quotes, however):

“It’s about time one of Denver’s longest running mysteries will be solved — and no DNA will have to be tested this time,” said Denver DA Mitch Morrissey.

“I can’t wait to put that straight edge to work and slice off that little caterpillar … revealing the real Walter. I’m not even going to practice … hope my hand is steady,” Mayor Hancock said.

“I wish he had done this 25 years ago. That mustache has always made him look sketchy and it certainly didn’t help me attract a better clientele,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper referring to his early days at the Wynkoop Brewing Co.

To help Isenberg reach his fundraising goal (he’s raised $35,000 so far), e-mail a pledge to Rebecca@concertsforkids.org.

For tickets to the celebrity waiter dinner (reservations are being accepted from 5 to 9:30 p.m.), call Ocean Prime restaurant at 303-825-3663. Check out the celebrity waiter lineup at www.concertsforkids.org.

Sage Hospitality CEO Walter Isenberg will have his trademark moustache shaved off, if $100,000 can be raised for his wife, Christie's charity, Concerts for Kids.

Sage Hospitality CEO Walter Isenberg will have his trademark mustache shaved off if $100,000 can be raised for his wife Christie’s charity, Concerts for Kids.


Light show

The Denver City and County Building in Civic Center Park changes colors from time to time throughout the year. For September, the lighting color is teal in observance of Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.

One in 71 women will get ovarian cancer in her lifetime, and there is no screening test. The most frequent symptoms are two weeks or more worth of bloating, pain in the abdomen, urinary urgency or frequency and feeling full quickly when eating. Getting diagnosed early can save your life.

Next up: The City and County Building will be bathed in pink lights in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October.

The Denver City and County Building will be lit up in teal

The Denver City and County Building will be lit up in teal to observe Ovarian Cancer Awareness month in September. (Denver City and County photo)


Dining for a cause

Work Options for Women is Parallel Seventeen’s Dining for a Cause partner for the month of September. All month, mention Work Options for Women and 10 percent of your food purchase will go toward WOW’s mission of helping impoverished women gain skills to get out of poverty and to gain employment in the food service industry.

Kick off Happy Hour from 4 to 7 p.m. this afternoon at Parallel Seventeen, 1600 E. 17th Avenue. More information: http://workoptionsforwomen.wordpress.com/

Let go my logo!

When Colorado’s new logo and tagline were unveiled Thursday at The Colorado Innovation Network Summit, Facebook comments lit up the Internet like the City and County building during the holidays.

I asked readers of this column to weigh in on their opinions of the state’s new marketing symbol.

New Colorado Logo

Some said our state’s new symbol reminded them of a hazmat warning. No one who contacted me supported the decision to deviate from the time-honored version of our state flag.

Candice Pulliam wrote, “In my opinion, the new logo design is 1. a waste of money;  2. not very artful;  3.  doesn’t say ‘Colorado’ to me; 4. doesn’t make a strong enough visual to be used in large format … I could go on.

“But mostly, to my knowledge, Denver people weren’t given a choice … To me, this is not an image that identifies Colorado in an interesting or recognizable way. I can, however see it as a tattoo.”

From reader Jules Dworak: “This is an atrocity! Pretty sure the biohazard bag is where they dumped the only logo Colorado should ever have!”

Claire Walter weighed in, “Like the (other) naysayer, it reminded me of Sugarloaf’s long-time logo all in a blah monotone. Bring back this one.”

Gala Grant

One nonprofit will be awarded the first Gala Grant Denver worth an estimated $121,000 in in-kind donations from local industry experts and proceeds to be acquired at the special event through ticket sales and auction items.

Application deadline is Thursday. A major fundraising event will be held to benefit the winner of the Gala Grant Denver award in February, which will tap the resources of some of Denver’s best event specialists.

“The Gala Grant Denver is made possible by a group of presenting partners who decided that giving back to their community together was more powerful than giving individually,” said Shelly St. John, lead auctioneer with The Auction Divas.

These Denver event specialists have come together to offer nonprofits a change at bolstering their fundraising efforts. The Gala Grant presenting partners are:

* The Auction Divas

* Blacktie Colorado

* Bolder Events

* The Hazel Miller Band

* John Tobey Events

* Relish Catering

* The McNichols Building

* Up and Up Creative

Applicants can go to www.facebook.com/galagrantdenver for more information and to apply.

Root Down takes off

Root Down, the lower Highland favorite fresh eatery, opened Monday (Labor Day) in Concourse C of Denver International Airport. The restaurant is open daily from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and features a brunch and dinner menu in addition to cocktails, Colorado beers and wine.


Do you know folks who aren’t subscribing to my Blacktie-Colorado column? Say what?

How ’bout if we give them some incentive to sign up. This evening, one lucky subscriber will win two VIP tickets to Denver Food and Wine, the most fun you can have under a tent, from 11 a.m. (VIPs get early admission) till 4 p.m. Saturday on the grounds of the Metropolitan State University of Denver campus.

Here’s the catch: To be eligible to win the tickets, you MUST be a subscriber. This evening, Blacktie’s accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCooper (see, just like the Academy Awards … hee hee), will draw the name of the winner, who will be notified and announced in my Friday column.

To subscribe, go to www.blacktie-colorado.com/pennyparker. Click on my icon, then click on “subscribe.” VIPs at Denver Food and Wine get a respite from the heat with umbrella-clad tables, fancy fare from The Brown Palace and fine wines in a private area. Ticket value: $500.

The seen

Pop star and teen heartthrob Justin Bieber and entourage was spotted by Facebook posters on Monday who said they saw him at Beta nightclub, 1909 Blake St., and at Chloe Discotheque on 14th and Market.

Spotted on the snowless slopes, “Today Show” fourth-hour host Hoda Kotb with a “new (male) friend” hiking in Colorado’s mountains during Labor Day weekend.

“We did a 2-mile hike straight up a mountain,” Kotb told co-host Kathie Lee Gifford during Tuesday’s show. “You can’t breathe and your chest is about to explode because of the (lack of) air.”

“He has the nicest smile,” Gifford interjected. “What does he see in you?”

On Kotb’s return flight to NYC, she chatted and posed for pictures with singer Aaron Neville who performed during Denver’s Taste of Colorado at Civic Center Park.

Eavesdropping on one male golfer commenting on another man’s watch on the deck enjoying a beer after golf at Fossil Trace: “That’s a nice watch … is it a Rolodex?”

Did you hear that I have a new column, “Mile High Life,” in Colorado Community Media’s 17 weekly newspapers circling Denver? Be sure to like my Facebook page! Also, here’s where you go to get my column emailed to you Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. My email: penny@blacktie-llc.com. Want to advertise your business here? Contact Trisha at trilind@hotmail.com.

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