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Still no common consumption spaces in Denver months after application process became available

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Posted at 9:39 PM, Mar 02, 2022

DENVER — It's been nine months since Denver opened the application process for common consumption areas in the city, but officials say there hasn't been a single complete application submitted.

Larimer Square, the Dairy Block and an area in Five Points are all spots where common consumption is a possibility, but business owners have to get through the application process first. That's proven to be a bit difficult.

"You know, what COVID has taught us is that we already knew this, right? You know, living in Colorado, people love the outdoors. I underestimated the fact that people love the outdoors year-long," said Ryan Cobbins, owner of Coffee at the Point and board chair for the Five Points Business Improvement District.

A common consumption space in the Five Points neighborhood is a vision Cobbins has had for months. However, it's a vision that hasn't come to life yet.

"It's a pretty daunting process," he said.

This isn't just the case for Five Points. Eric Escudero with Denver's Department of Excise and Licenses says he's surprised not a single complete application for a common consumption area has been submitted.

"Some businesses that previously expressed an interest in a common consumption program maybe aren't as interested as they were anymore," siad Escudero. "We're trying to make it as easy as possible."

The application process is extensive. It requires the formation of an entertainment district, the creation of a promotional association board of directors and information on every business that's part of the common consumption space.

The end goal is worth the process in Cobbins' mind.

"What's next is we keep plugging away," he said.

Adding such an area would benefit the participating businesses as well as the Five Points neighborhood as a whole, Cobbins believes.