The Downtown Denver Partnership
unveiled its MyDenver campaign at an April 8 press conference with Michael Hancock
and a lot of sports mascots, where the mayor proclaimed that downtown was not dead and shared that a handful of shops would soon pop up on the 16th Street Mall through the PopUp Denver Program
Walk down the 16th Street Mall three months later and you’ll see that several of those shops have finally popped up
and that the mall is festooned with colorful banners created by local artists for the MyDenver campaign
. But you probably won't have any idea that the campaign exists.
Part of the problem is that the MyDenver website has weak search-engine optimization, according to Josh Schneider, vice president of marketing and communications for the Partnership. Those who search “my Denver” are likely to find themselves on the MY Denver Card page
, which touts a program that issues cards giving Denver youth free admission to the city's libraries and recreation centers.
In fact, that's the MY Denver Hancock praised in his final State of the City address on July 18 at the Montbello Recreation Center. "Delivering my final State of the City address here in this gym, it reminds me why people choose to go into public service — why I chose to go into public service: to make a difference, to solve problems, to leave this great city of ours better than we found it," he said. "To ensure every child can access a recreation center for free, like we did with the groundbreaking MY Denver Card."
Although the MY Denver Card is considered the groundbreaking program, the Partnership expects that its MyDenver campaign will eventually take off. According to Kate Barton, chief of external affairs and managing director of the Downtown Denver Partnership, it was created to help improve the perception of downtown's safety and vibrancy, by encouraging Denver residents to share their thoughts about what makes Denver theirs.
“It can be about leadership,” Barton says. “It can be about a specific neighborhood or a specific organization. It can be about things that you do in Denver that you love, and really helping to instill this feeling that Denver belongs to each of us and that we have this responsibility to have ownership in our city, in the love of our city, and making it an inviting place for everyone.”
Banners by local artists on the 16th Street Mall are the only evidence of the MyDenver campaign.
According to data from the Partnership, downtown is recovering well from the downturn it experienced during the early months of the pandemic. “We haven't lost the energy,” Barton says. “It shifted the way that people are experiencing and choosing to spend their time. All of that has shifted, but if you come down here on a weekend or if you come down here at night, you cannot get a dinner reservation, and it's crowded and has wonderful energy.”
One goal of the campaign is to promote downtown's energy throughout the day. To that end, the campaign website
has videos about where to go for lunch downtown, resources on how to post about being downtown on social media, volunteer opportunities through the campaign, and a sign-up form to be included in the Faces of Downtown Denver series that the Partnership shares on its website and social media.
“We want the community to own the brand and what it means to them individually,” Schneider says. “Not so much to be, 'This is the Downtown Denver Partnership’s MyDenver campaign.' We're taking ourselves out of it so that the community can own it.”
And wear it: The campaign is even selling merchandise with the MyDenver logo. “It almost has this ‘I love New York’ vibe,” Schneider says. “We just want people to wear it to take pride in our city.”