You may be surprised to find out that one of the metro-area’s newest brewpubs is located in Wheat Ridge, not LoDo, and that Denver’s northern neighbor is also home to one of the region’s premiere bike shops. Once a sleepy suburb, Wheat Ridge is now becoming a hub for unique businesses, 
thanks to a slew of economic development efforts.

Teller Street Gallery & Studios, one of Wheat Ridge’s new businesses.

Using a combination of tax rebates, grants and loans, Wheat Ridge has attracted a net 35 new businesses since 2011. The Stasko Agency began working with the city this past spring, helping to shine the light on Wheat Ridge’s  “open for business” agenda and its efforts to revitalize a stretch of 38th Avenue from Wadsworth Boulevard to Sheridan Boulevard.

Right Coast Pizza opened on Wheat Ridge’s “main street” in 2012.

We’re pleased to say that media outlets are starting to take note of Wheat Ridge’s initiatives. The Denver Business Journal highlighted the city’s business growth last month, while the Wheat Ridge Transcript examined the success the city has had in luring businesses from Denver. You can read that article here. The North Denver Tribune and the Colorado Real Estate Journal both turned the lens on Wheat Ridge’s revival on 38th Avenue, an area city officials have dubbed the “Ridge at 38.”

In addition to spurring business expansion through a slew of economic incentives, Wheat Ridge has also lured entrepreneurs by expanding community offerings. The list of programming includes cruiser crawls, a Wines and Dines event, an annual Wheat Fest to highlight the city’s agricultural roots and the Mid Century and Modern Home tour, which is slated for Saturday, September 7.

The interior of one of the homes that will be featured in this year’s Mid Century and Modern Home Tour

If you haven’t visited Wheat Ridge recently, we encourage you to make the trip. In the coming months, we’ll also be spreading the word about the city’s growing housing options. So, stay tuned for more updates!

If you’re an entrepreneur looking for capital to grow your business, we’ve got good news. In September, Denver-area business owners will have the chance to impress a panel of angel investors at an event modeled after the ABC show, Shark Tank. Sponsored by a group of Southern California investors,  The Guppy Tank bills itself as more of a funding opportunity, rather than a competition among entrepreneurs vying for cold hard cash.

 In fact, Darrin Ginsberg, founder of The Guppy Tank, views the unusual funding model as a way of “jump starting the economy and spur the growth of local businesses.” The Stasko Agency has been working with Darrin and his firm, Super G Funding, LLC, to spread the word about The Guppy Tank, which is slated to provide up to $500,000 in equity investments and loans to as many as 10 Denver-area entrepreneurs on September 12 at Galvanize, a co-working space for independent firms.

Darrin Ginsberg promoting The Guppy Tank to media outlets

The Guppy Tank is searching for businesses that have been operating for at least a year and employ less than 75 people. Entrepreneurs must also have a clear-cut plan detailing how they plan to use potential funds and how those funds will advance their businesses. To participate, interested business owners should fill out an online application at by September 8.

Denver’s Guppy Tank will mark the first time Super G Funding has held an event outside California. The Denver event will also be open to the public, who will get to see eager entrepreneurs make their case for funding. In addition to much-needed capital, business owners who win funding, will also have the opportunity to work with the “Guppies’ to gain guidance on how to best grow their businesses.

The Guppy Tank has already captured the attention of the Denver Business Journal, which wrote about the event in its July 20 edition. Click here to read a preview of the article.

Help us raise awareness about this innovative event, by urging your entrepreneurial friends to apply.

With apartment vacancy rates in the metro-area at just 4.6 percent, new rental properties are in deep demand. And that might explain why 2020 Lawrence, an 231-unit apartment project that began welcoming residents since last December, is already half-leased. The Stasko Agency has been promoting 2020 since the project broke ground at 2020 Lawrence Street in 2011 and we’re proud to see the community become such a huge success.

The LEED Gold registered project will “officially” celebrate its grand opening Wednesday, May 15th with tours, music and cocktails and food provided by Ballpark neighborhood eateries. The festivities will kick off at 5:30 p.m. and will last until 8:30 p.m. The celebration will also give the public a chance to enjoy the view from 2020’s amenity-filled rooftop, which features a dog park, lounge area complete with hot tub and fire pit; and a fitness center. The rooftop will also eventually house a greenhouse that will is expected to produce 15,000 pounds of food annually.

An evening view from 2020 Lawrence’s cozy rooftop lounge

The greenhouse is just one of many “green” features that separate 2020 from other downtown apartment communities. The 10-story building is the first to offer composting and an electrical vehicle charging station, available free of charge for residents. Tesla Motors will have one of their Model S Performance vehicles on display at the grand opening and representatives from the company will be handing out passes for attendees to schedule test drives. The building also features a solar array that generates power for the community, reducing the amount of carbon pumped into the atmosphere by roughly 50 tons per year. Overall, 2020 Lawrence residents are expected to spend 50 percent less on their utility bills than they would living in a similar non-LEED building.

A look inside one of 2020’s two-bedroom units

Legislators and community leaders got a closer look at 2020’s sustainability efforts at two recent forums. And the development’s grand opening has also gained coverage in Inside Real Estate News and YourHub.  2020 has also been featured in Confluence Denver, the Colorado Real Estate Journal, and Out Front Colorado.

If you’d like to see what all the hype is about, join us for the grand opening! Simply RSVP here. Parking is available at 21st and Arapahoe or on the street in front of the building. Hope to see you there.

Circle Fresh Farms needs your help!  They are currently involved in a contest to see which local small business will receive $10,000 to help their business grow.  The contest is sponsored by “On Deck Capital” and will be giving the ten-thousand dollar award to the top vote getter in their Facebook contest.

Right now, Circle Fresh Farms is in the top five, but they need your vote to qualify for the grand prize.  All you have to do is go to the Facebook page link here, and vote for Circle Fresh Farms.  You can also go to the Circle Fresh Farms website for a link to the contest page.

You can also help by posting this blog to your Facebook and Twitter account and encouraging your friends to vote for this amazing Colorado Company.  The more votes they get, the closer they are to the $10,000 grand prize which means they can expand their network and continue to provide locally grown, quality produce for families along the Front Range.

Circle Fresh Farms also supports local farmers by working with a network of farms to grow their vegetables, all of which are currently sold at metro area Whole Foods.

CFF is changing the produce industry, from using less land, less water while still growing the highest quality vegetables available in Colorado.

So help us get the word out and support this great local business!

We are extremely proud to announce that one of our clients, Mudlick Mail, is expanding into an exciting new field.  Since its inception in 2008, Mudlick has used its particular brand of targeted direct mail to help auto shop owners attract more customers.  Using Mudlick’s in depth research and turnkey campaigns, some shop owners have increased sales by as much as 40 percent. Now, Mudlick is offering its services for the dental industry.
Our agency has been key in securing regular media coverage for Mudlick Mail over the past few years and we look forward to working hard in the coming months to help Mudlick Mail gain traction in this new market.  You can read about Mudlick Mail’s launch in the dental market here.  We’ll also be introducing Mudlick Mail’s services to dental trade magazines and hope to share some placements with you soon.
We have had great success in placing Mudlick Mail in auto shop trade magazines and the Stasko Agency has been instrumental in raising the profile of Mudlick and its owner, Greg Sands.  We look forward to keeping you updated on the amazing growth of this highly successful business and we’re more excited than ever to work with Mudlick to expand its imprint in the direct mail industry.

Dear readers: 
Big and wonderful changes are coming to The Stasko Agency blog.  These changes coincide with the many great things taking place for our clients as well as in the LoHi area.  To start, we are adopting a new schedule for this blog beginning today.
Each week this space will have a different focus, designed to keep you updated on what’s going on with our agency, with our clients and in LoHi.  We will also begin offering tips and ideas on how to get the most from your marketing and PR efforts.  We will also be featuring a guest blogger every month.
Here is the schedule, so keep it handy and check back every week for our latest posts and tell your friends and colleagues about us.  As always our goal here at the Stasko Agency is to provide quality information that you can use to help your business grow.
1stweek:  Stasko Agency Client Profile
2nd week: LoHi Merchant Profile
3rd week: Industry Tips
4th week: Guest Blogger

We were quite excited to open the Denver Post this past Sunday to find one of our favorite developers, Ray Kawano, smiling back at us from the front page of the paper’s business section. Ray’s River Meadow development company is behind Tejon34, one of the upscale condominium/townhome projects featured in the article as proof of the Highland neighborhood’s resurgence. The development, located in the heart of Highland at 34th and Tejon Streets, launched in 2011 with an initial phase featuring five, three-bedroom townhomes.

Last summer, River Meadow broke ground on the second and third phases of the development, which will add five townhomes and eight condos to an area that is very much in demand, according to the article. In fact, two of the townhomes area already under contract, even though they aren’t slated for completion until later in the first quarter. The condo should be available sometime in the second quarter.

Paul Tamburello of Red Chair Realty Advisors, which is marketing Tejon34, notes that even with the uptick in luxury developments, Highland still suffers from a lack of inventory. Many of the new buyers looking to snap up property in the neighborhood are empty nesters, who are drawn to Highland’s restaurants, art galleries and community gatherings.

A view of the living room in one of the townhomes built in Tejon34’s first phase.

That demographic could be a perfect fit for Tejon34’s units, particularly the new townhomes, which will feature private, rooftop decks, European kitchen designs and customizable basements. The project will eventually include a total of 28 homes.

If you get a moment, take a look at the Denver Post article, or if you’d like to learn more about Tejon34 and all that’s happening in Highland, check out the Tejon34 blog here.

The end of the year provides us with a great opportunity to reflect back on all the work we did in the past year. While it seems like a blur now, we accomplished quite a bit in 2012, from helping introduce the public to an array of new projects that promise to change the landscape of Denver (Cadence Union Station, RTD’s Sheridan Parking Garage); to providing the exposure our entrepreneurial clients needed to launch their services in new markets (Mudlick Mail, VideoBloom, iVote) to marking important anniversaries (Little Man Ice Cream, Paxia Authentic Mexican Cuisine).

One of our favorite projects this year involved a group of very enthusiastic preteens and more than 2,000 cans of food. To celebrate its 70th anniversary in Colorado, Swinerton Builders launched an educational initiative called Discovery Builders, in the Adams County charter school, The Academy. Over six weeks, Swinerton employees taught fifth-to-eighth grade students how to use math and science to solve real-world construction problems. Their work culminated in the construction of a 
a 14-foot tall replica of the Four Seasons Hotel (a Swinerton project) made completely out of canned food.

We were thrilled to be present for the build-out one cloudy afternoon in October and we can’t say enough about how well these students worked with their mentors to create a truly amazing model. Check out the photos below for proof of this wonderful collaboration.

The students getting their instructions for the day

Mapping it out

Hard at work

The team and the finished product

We are proud to report that all of the food used to build the Four Seasons replica was donated to Community Food Share, a food bank serving Boulder and Broomfield counties.

The Colorado Real Estate Journal highlighted the project in it’s December 19th issue and the Arvada Press which ran a story about the company’s achievements in Colorado in November. You can read it here.

Congratulations to Swinerton and all of our clients for setting and achieving such high goals and giving us plenty to talk about!

We consider ourselves lucky to both live and work in the Highland neighborhood, where the holiday spirit is alive and well. If you look closely, you’ll see plenty of storefronts proudly displaying interesting and original wreath creations – entries in the the annual merchant holiday wreath contest.  This year, the contest was judged by Highland resident and Westword Editor Patty Calhoun and Luc Halstead, an articles editor at 5280 magazine. The wreaths were not only judged on their beauty, but how well they told the story of the businesses they represent.

Shapes Salon took the grand prize, with a wreath filled with a variety of hair products in shades symbolizing the “color wheel” that stylists use daily. In addition to bragging rights, salon owner Richelle Bishop-Gonzales and her team also get to display their grand champion trophy. Congrats!

Second place went to the Navajo Arts District for a colorful wreath featuring an assortment of cards and paint brushes representing all the galleries in the district. Lulu’s Furniture took third place for a festive wreath made out of a lamp shade and Jinji Cycles earned an honorable mention for a wreath crafted from an old tire frame. Check out the pictures of all the great wreaths below:

We were also thrilled to catch up with our fellow business owners at the second annual LoHi Merchant Party, generously hosted by Highland Tap and Burger. The holidays remind us just how vital collaboration is to our business. As 2012 draws to a close, we want to thank you for your continued partnership and support. It is good friends and business associates like you who make our job a pleasure all year long.

2012 has been a successful year for our company, bringing new connections and business ventures that have helped grow our agency. With the addition of a few talented and knowledgeable professionals, we have expanded our company’s reach and broadened our expertise. Look for updates on our website this coming year that will reflect our growing list of services.

May our holiday season and New Year be filled with much joy, happiness and success. We look forward to reconnecting with you in the coming year and hope our business relationship continues for many years.

The Stasko Agency is proud to announce that it has been selected by liquor and wine producer Brown-Forman to launch a new Tuaca liqueur in Colorado. The liqueur, called Cinnaster, is a blend of Italian brandies, vanilla and citrus flavors and a bold kick of cinnamon.  Cinnaster marks the first expansion of the Tuaca brand, which has been sold in the U.S. since the 1950s and is hugely popular in Colorado. The state (along with Texas) is one of the top two markets for Tuaca sales in the nation.

With cinnamon gaining favor as a flavoring in food and beverages, we’re hoping that Tuaca fans will embrace Cinnaster as well. The liqueur will have its formal kick-off on December 12th at the Cinnful & Sweet Party at The Dive Inn, 1380 South Broadway. If you’d like to attend, see the details below, which include the text code you need to get on the guest list.

You’ll also get the chance to learn more about Cinnaster in January when an advertising campaign for the liqueur hits the airwaves. The commercials will air in Denver, Colorado Springs (where the bar boasting the highest Tuaca sales in the state is located) and Austin and represent Tuaca’s first foray into television advertising.

If you’re not a Tuaca drinker already, consider giving the liqueur a try. The original flavor is a mix of Italian brandy and orange and vanilla, making it great as a shot or combined with other mixers. The liqueur dates back 500 years and has quite an interesting history – as outlined in the video below.

Cinnaster is already available at local bars, restaurants and liquor stores. We are also busy pitching stories and planning events to build exposure for Cinnaster, so be on the lookout for more news about this exciting new liqueur.