Ballpark businesses affected by Rockies losing season


Posted Mon, Nov 5, 2012

Business is down 30 percent at The Cheesesteak Connection (Photo by Spencer Hunt)

DENVER-The Colorado Rockies losing season hasn’t just had a negative impact on its loyal fan base, it’s also had a huge impact on the small businesses that surround the stadium.
With the Rockies finishing the season with the third worst record in the major leagues at 63-98, small businesses surrounding the stadium are hoping next season will bring larger profits.
“Business is down 30 percent from last year,” said Tommy Smith, owner of the Cheesesteak Connection, 2260 Park Ave. It’s been tough. Not to mention they tore up all the parking spots downtown to make room for more apartment complexes.”

“Small businesses downtown rely heavily on foot traffic,” said owner Tommy Smith. “Without foot traffic from parking lots and a winning baseball team, it’s really hard to make ends meet.”
Unlike many bars downtown, restaurants and family owned food vendors make the majority of their income based solely off the foot traffic associated with families who drive down to the ballpark. The majority of these families wait until they arrive downtown to grab a quick bite to eat outside of the park to avoid paying the unreasonably priced ballpark food

Mr. B”s Wine & Spirits has seen a drop of game day liquor sales. (Photo by Spencer Hunt)

Co-owner of Mr. B”s Wine & Spirits, Scott Blauweiss, located at the corner of 2101 Market St., two-blocks away from Coors Field, saw a drop of game day liquor sales as well. As the season began taking a slide for the worse, he saw a drop in bulk sales of nationally recognized beers such as Budweiser and Coors.

On day games, Scott sees a shift in his cliental from high-end beer and liquor sales, to the typical beer-guzzling tailgate crowd. “On game day our high-end clients avoid the Rockies crowd and don’t show up as much, so we try to offset our profits with the Rockies fans,” said Scott. But with a lackluster Rockies team, he witnessed fewer customers come in as the season unfolded.

However, in contrast to The Cheesesteak Connection, Scott is looking forward to the removal of the parking lots, and is excited about the new apartment buildings being built around his store. Since his liquor store is less dependent on the seasonal profit margins of the Rockies, and more dependent on the returning customers of those who live in the area, things are looking promising.

Mr. B’s sells everything from cheap beer, to high-end beer and liquors, and often sees a stable streamline of profits from nearby residents. With the addition of close to a 1,000 new residents moving into the neighborhood within the next couple years, and more Rockies fans stopping in. The outlook for them looks brighter than many other business located near the stadium.

Many of the small businesses located near Coors Field have been around for less than 5 years, so it’s hard to put an accurate estimate on how high or low profits have been solely based off the Rockies loosing season. The majority of small businesses take time to develop a steady profit margin in their first five years of business, mostly because they are trying to pay off loans and overcoming start up cost.

The removal of the large parking lots has impacted Amerigo Delicatus food sales. (Photo by Spencer Hunt)

One of the newest members to the Ballpark community is Iain Chisholm, Owner and Head Chef of Amerigo Delicatus. Amerigo’s is a restaurant / market located at 2449 Larimer St. serving “ New American-Italian” food. Its dinner menu includes fresh pasta, lasagna, grilled trout, and homemade sausage.

Iain said, “ With the removal of the large parking lots, we are seeing more and more cars beginning to park farther from the stadium and closer to our restaurant on Larimer. But as the season went along, I defiantly notice less and less cars parked outside.”

Amerigo’s lunch menu, which includes sandwiches and salads all priced at $7.50, often grabs the attention of singles heading into the game. However, as the Rockies declined in the standings, so did the amount of customers coming in.

But Iain has a strategy for next season. He is currently in the process of getting a permit from the city of Denver that will allow him to sell grilled sausage sandwiches outside that fans can take into the game with them. “ We are really trying to get the fans attention by selling great food outside,” Iain said.

It’s not easy being a small business owner in this economy, especially when the landscape around you is changing so dynamically like it is for those in the Ballpark district. But as Iain put it, “It’s been a dream my whole life to own a restaurant, I’m really excited about what the future holds for us and others downtown.”

Cheesesteak Connection
 2260 Market St.
Ph: 303-297-1803
11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
11:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Menu at a Glance:
 Large Cheesesteak 12”

Small Cheesesteak 8”

Mr. B’s Wine & Spirits 2101 Market St, Unit 112
Denver Ph: 303-295-6727
Hours Mon-Wed 11 AM – 10 PM
Thur-Sat 11AM – 11PM & Sun 11AM – 8

Amerigo Delicatus Restaurant and Market 2449 Larimer St.
Denver Ph: 303-862-9850
Tues-Fri 11AM – 10PM
Sat 3PM – 10PM
Lunch Menu $ 7.50
(includes kettle chips)
Turkey Club, Capocollo Sandwich, Sausage Sandwich, Pasta Salad, Cobb Salad or Noodle Soup.

About Spencer Hunt

Spencer is an avid fisherman during the summer months and a dedicated snowboarder during the winter. He lives in Wash Park and works for a Denver based Advertising firm

View all posts by Spencer Hunt

2 Responses to “Ballpark businesses affected by Rockies losing season”

  1. Scott Corbridge Says:

    It has to be difficult for any business owner to lose revenue because of a losing season, especially when your right across from that losing team’s stadium. Hopefully they’ll be able to find a way to make up for that loss of customers by promoting more for the Broncos or Nuggets even though the focus might be on the Rockies. Good job and way to inform everyone on a business.


  2. Stephen Young Says:

    It was really interesting reading about the diversity of customer bases a single business can have. I also enjoyed how you highlighted the differences in the businesses’ hopes and concerns as less a conflict and more a reality. Nice story.


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