Posts Tagged ‘DU’

Denver & Colorado 2018

Tuesday, August 28th, 2018

Recently, we had the opportunity to return to Colorado for a visit and meetings throughout the state, including in Denver, one of our favorite cities.   Next to the campus at the University of Denver, approximately 9 miles outside of Downtown Denver we lunched at Spanky’s Roadhouse, a staple of the University Park neighborhood.  They have cleaned up and upgraded the restaurant here, but it continues to have damn tasty burgers and super thick milkshakes.  We decided on a 1/2 pound grass fed burger topped with Bacon Jam, Brie Cheese, more Bacon on a Gluten-free Bun along with Sweet Potato Waffle Fries.  Tasty!

 

Later in the afternoon we had a meeting with an associate in the city who suggested we head over to Tap & Burger at Sloan’s Lake, which is a fast developing and growing development in the Upper Highlands area of the city.  Meeting over Aperol Spritz’s, this spot was a great people watching location on a Friday afternoon.

 

First stop on the Friday night tour was over to Super Mega Bien at 25th & Larimer, in the Ramble Hotel.  The cuisine is Latin American Dim Sum, which is served in an extremely fun and vibrant environment, and is the sister restaurant to Work & Class right across the street.  We had the chance to sample their Portguese Smoked Halibut Dip (a take on a baccalo dish) and Pork Chorizo Sausage with Escabeche, pairing those with a Botanical Gin & Tonic, made for a wonderful start.   Later in the evening, we headed to Blackbird Public House at Washington Park (Wash Park), which is more of a local tavern but is upscale in the decor and cuisine.  Sharing items in the center of the table we chose their Devil’s on Horseback, Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Smoked Wings, paired with a Willamette Valley Pinot Gris.

 

Heading to the Mountains, we had the pleasure of staying at the Westin Riverfront & Spa, Beaver Creek, a true 4 Star Hotel located in Avon, at the base of Beaver Creek.  We’re a big fan of Westin hotels in the Starwood (now Marriott) portfolio and this one was right in line with the others.  They have a tremendously amazing gym, one of the best hotel fitness center’s we’ve experienced, a wonderful outdoor pool with swimming lanes & a fun section, along with 3 Jacuzzis.  The King Suite which is standard, was spacious and comfortable, definitely a solid room for 2 or 4 people.   We then had the opportunity to play a little bit at Beaver Creek Mountain, indulging in the great scenery and natural beauty of the town.  It was definitely buzzing with tourists, so we made our way to the Beaver Creek Chophouse for a lite lunch of a Fresh Pulled Chicken Cobb Salad, Sweet Potato Fries and some Rose; perfect for the gorgeous mountain afternoon.

 

Prior to leaving the mountains, we stopped in Vail, at Vail Village for a quick visit to Loaded Joe’s Coffee – right after covered bridge which is always busy and brews a fantastic, strong cup of coffee.  There was a Sunday Morning Farmer’s Market going on as well, so we indulged in Fresh Ahi Poke, Gluten Free with Sushi Rice, which was perfect to enjoy in the late morning sunshine and vibrant environment.

 

Right before departing 5,280, we stopped at Root Down at the airport for a pre-flight snack, which was perfect as they very much cater to those with food allergies and respect the significance of them.  We enjoyed a Farm to Table Cobb Salad with Pulled Chicken and Chipotle Green Goddess Dressing and a Roasted Beet Salad with Sunflower Seed Pesto & Basil Vinaigrette.   Colorado once again came through as a great place to do business, escape from the daily grind and full of amazing food, people and scenery.  Can’t wait to head back!

 

A chance to give back…

Monday, April 30th, 2012

On Wednesday, April 25th I had the pleasure to speak with the Restaurant/Bar Concept Development & Entrepreneurship class at my alma mater, the University of Denver, Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management. I am fortunate that I also sit on the Executive Advisory Board at the school and I take an extreme amount of pride in doing so. I try to take every opportunity to return to the school and share my expertise and when the invitation came to visit, I immediately jumped at the chance.

Assistant Professor, Dr. Cheri Young and Director, Operations Eric Lane are teaching a class on developing business plans and concept development, while working with a local entrepreneur to help him develop his gluten-free beer concept/brew pub. They asked me to give the students a consultant’s perspective, while helping to lead them in the right direction. What made this class special was that it only contained 8 students and all are seniors graduating in the next few months.

The professors let me know I would have the full 1 hour and 50 minutes of class to speak, conduct a question-and-answer session and true back & forth to engage the students, which I was extremely flattered by and definitely appreciated.

I tried to give the class a varied perspective overall, while guiding them through the process.  To start I shared with them my personal background and industry experience, including how important that the University of Denver was and remains to me.  Then, I had to give them a ‘reality check’ by driving home the point that passion will only get you so far, but focusing on ROI is a key with any concept and operation.  We then talked about the overall methodology of a business plan/concept statement, in broad terms and what was needed in this report.
The life of a consultant and what it means to be a consultant – this was an interesting conversation to have with 20-22 year old students soon to enter our industry.  This can sometimes be tough for people overall to grasp, since everyone believes that they can be a consultant.  On the value of experience – too many people call themselves consultants, however, few have the true time, knowledge and awareness of the industry to provide clients with an appropriate perspective and valued analysis.  Finally, I shared a case study by The Nyman Group of a former client of ours that showed the students the positives and negatives of the hospitality industry, along with a comprehension of how we do our job.
I finished speaking, talking about moving forward and their role in the hospitality industry upon graduation.  I let the students know that they could feel free to contact me directly and I would happily remain available to them should they have any questions that I could assist with.

I can’t wait to return to campus to visit with the students and more classes soon. Next trip will before our Spring EAB meeting, held the day before graduation and I will then have a chance to meet the graduating seniors and their families at the going away celebration. I’m thrilled I continue to have the chance to give back to the university and program that I love and care so deeply about. Don’t ever forget about the value your experience in your chosen industry has, especially for those who are just starting in the business – you have something to teach! Give back and share…