Gifts and Volunteer Elves Bring Magic to Boulder County Families

More than 650 Boulder County families with children who might have been overlooked can feel cheer this holiday season, thanks to the power of giving Share-A-Gift makes possible.

Now in its 47th holiday season, each year Share-A-Gift helps connect community donations with hundreds of families, representing approximately 1,500 girls and boys from birth to age 14 years. The donations are collected with the help of businesses, citizens, and volunteers who give toys, money, and time to bring holiday magic to every family who lives in the Boulder County School District. Gifts include new and gently used bikes, toys, books, and clothing.

RE/MAX of Boulder is one of the businesses, which has proudly supported Share-A-Gift for more than 20 years. The Realtors at RE/MAX of Boulder encourage staff, clients, and friends to drop-off donated presents to the lobby of their main office at 2425 Canyon Boulevard. Many of the presents are donated from RE/MAX of Boulder’s Patrick Dolan Team and his clients.

RE/MAX of Boulder volunteers help gather the generously donated toys and take them to the Share-A-Gift Toy Shoppe. They work alongside the army of Toy Shoppe volunteers to ensure each family finds appropriate gifts for their children.

RE/MAX of Boulder Realtors including Patrick Dolan and his team have been gathering gifts from clients, friends, and staff to donate to Share-A-Gift. This incredible nonprofit brings holiday magic to Boulder County families in need. RE/MAX of Boulder and Patrick Dolan have been supporters for 20+ years.

This year, RE/MAX of Boulder volunteers included Managing Broker and Share-A-Gift Board Member Todd Gullette, and Realtors Patrick Dolan, Lisa Wade, and Timmy Duggan.

 

“For those less fortunate, this can be the hardest time of year,” Managing Broker Todd Gullette says.

With years of Share-A-Gift volunteering in his background, he knows the meaningful value the program brings to the community.

“Share-a-Gift does an amazing job of empowering parents and relieving some of the stress the holidays can bring. We would love to thank the hundreds of you who come out each year to help us create such a loving and caring event,” adds Gullette.

The hundreds of “Santa Helpers” who come together to create and share in the joy of giving include community members from all walks of life, the city of Boulder police department, schools, clubs, and organizations.

Volunteers work where help is needed, sometimes applying their special skills to make a difference. RE/MAX of Boulder Realtor Timmy Duggan – a former pro-bike racer and Olympic cyclist – found good use for his bike knowledge in the Share-A-Gift bike repair shop, getting bikes tuned up and ready to ride.

The volunteer elf work performed by community members adds up to thousands of hours, which any community would be proud of. Most importantly, sharing of time and resources gives families and children in need a chance to feel the magic of the season.

For more information visit shareagift.org.

Volunteers like REMAX of Boulder Realtor Timmy Duggan tunes up bikes of all sizes ready to ride at Share-A-Gift’s bike repair shop.

Originally posted here by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Wednesday, December 19th, 2018 at 1:24pm.

Posted on December 21, 2018 at 11:01 pm
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Colorado Dominates Outside Magazine’s 2018 Best Places to Work

Nearly half of the companies listed on Outside Magazine’s 2018 50 Best Places to Work call Colorado home – 23 to be exact. And 65 percent of the Colorado businesses are in the Boulder-Denver metro area – 15 in total – leading with No. 3 ranked Whipplewood CPAs in Littleton.

Outside Magazine’s editorial staff says health-oriented perks matter and adds, “It’s a commitment to fun and supportive work environments that really make these companies stand apart.”

 

Here’s a sampling of the perks offered by the 15 Boulder-Denver metro area companies listed:

 

3. Whipplewood CPAs (Littleton)

Whipplewood supports employees through the long hours of tax season with professional massages and year round stress-relief like a meditation and power naps and hikes on a private trail system.

6. BSW Wealth Partners (Boulder)

Perks at this financial advisory firm include Colorado skiing, craft beer in the fridge, and a paid three-month sabbatical at ten years of employment. The firm moved up from No. 39 on last year’s list.

8. GroundFloor Media (Denver)

The plan at this midsize advertising, public relations and marketing firm is simple: give employees a sum to put toward gym memberships, fitness classes, and outdoor recreation. Last year GroundFloor was No. 2.

9. Choozle (Denver)

The digital advertising software company offers flexible Fridays, yearly summer camping trip, and team trips to Breckenridge. Four-year employees get two months paid-time-off.

11. Avid4 Adventure (Boulder)

While creating summer camps for kids, employees receive monthly outings to local trails, free gear rentals and bike tune-ups, gym memberships, and a stipend to complete a dream adventure. The company jumped from No. 25 last year.

15. Asia Transpacific Journeys (Boulder)

Employees of this travel and tour agency enjoy flexible and remote scheduling, plus discounts on airfare, hotels, guides, car rentals, and trains.

16. TDA Boulder (Boulder)

Ad agency employees can earn $1,000 for the charity of their choice. But it’s no walk in the park. To qualify, staffers climb a Colorado 14er. TDA held the No. 36 ranking on last year’s list.

17. SmartEtailing (Boulder)

As providers of websites, marketing, and integrations for independent bike shops, perks include contributions of $100 to $200 toward the purchase of a bike frame every three years.

27. Pairin (Denver)

Pairin’s software products are for professional development and hiring. They walk the talk of professional development with employees coached to grow professionally and personally.

28. Sterling-Rice Group (Boulder)

Sterling Rice provides its advertising and public relations pros with extra PTO for competing in the 200-mile Ragnar Relay. Throw in an all-company powder day, company bikes, and on-site massage, and acupuncture, and you can see why Sterling-Rice rose from No. 35 last year.

30. Bonusly (Boulder)

As creators of recognition and rewards software for enriching company culture, Bonusly supports fitness for employees as well as kombucha on tap and flexibility that empowers employees to organize outings.

34. Turner (Denver)

Employees of this public relations, social media, and digital communications firm engage in “sweatworking platforms,” such as skiing, cycling, and sailing with clients and journalists.

36. CampMinder (Boulder)

Employees build web-based platforms and solutions for summer camp operators. Perks reflect the core value to “give joy,” including events to unwind and have fun.

44. GoSpotCheck (Denver)

GoSpotCheck creates management software for improving workforce operations. Benefits include unlimited PTO, catered Friday breakfasts, dog-friendly office and an annual retreat in the Rockies.

47. Mondo Robot (Boulder)

This creative digital agency jumped from No. 83 last year. Perks include three weeks PTO, a $300 wellness benefit, annual brew tour, loaner bikes, pet-friendly office, and an annual snow day at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.

 

Other Colorado companies on Outside’s top 50 outside across the state:

4. Adaptive Sports Center (Crested Butte)

20. Backbone Media (Carbondale)

32. JRF Ortho (Centennial)

35. Powder7 (Golden)

37. Koru (Carbondale)

41. Bluetent (Carbondale)

42. Ascent360 (Golden)

50. SummitCove Vacation Lodging (Keystone)

 

See more company details at https://www.outsideonline.com/2357581/50-best-places-work-2018

 

Originally posted here by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Wednesday, November 21st, 2018 at 11:18am.

Posted on November 22, 2018 at 4:52 pm
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Boulder Performs Well Among Top Innovation Cities

Boulder stands tall when compared with much larger metropolitan areas that excel in innovation and entrepreneurship.

A report produced by the Boulder Economic Council compares Boulder with leading innovation centers including Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Austin, Boston, Seattle, Portland, Denver and Raleigh.  Though these metropolitan areas have a much larger population than Boulder, they were selected as peer communities following input from local focus groups and ranking reviews published by Inc., Forbes, and others.

To get a meaningful comparison, data was normalized for population size and other measures in analysis by CU-Boulder’s Leeds School of Business Research Division.

And the news is good, according to findings published in the Boulder Innovation Venture Report. Boulder compares favorably in key success metrics from education and jobs to quality of life. The area is challenged, however, by a lack of affordable housing to supply its workforce with a place to live.

The Boulder metro area ranks first among the peer communities for the percentage of population 25 and up who hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. Over 60 percent of residents have a bachelor’s degree, which is among the highest in the United States.

In the jobs ranking, the City of Boulder has about 100,000 jobs, a number two or three times larger than almost any other U.S. city comparable in population size. Among those jobs, Boulder has the second highest concentration of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupations among all the peer regions.

Boulder has the second-highest per capita venture capital investment in comparison to the peer communities.

In fact, Boulder is ranked number one nationally in the “Bloomberg Brain Concentration Index,” which tracks business formation as well as employment and education in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Drilling down into the creative services industry – advertising agencies and web and app developers – outdoor recreation and food manufacturing, Boulder’s concentration of local businesses was significantly higher than peer communities.

Even in coffee shops the Boulder area percolates, achieving a tie with the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue metro for the highest concentration of coffee shops among peer communities. Boulder outranked all the peer cities on restaurants per 1,000 residents.

While any amount of time stuck in traffic is too much, Boulder drivers spend less than all but one of the peer communities with 10 percent of total driving time in congestion. Boston drivers spend the most time driving in congestion.

The challenge for Boulder is housing affordability, according to the report. Measured by median metro area home values, Boulder has the third highest housing costs among its peer communities, behind the San Jose and San Francisco regions and just ahead of Seattle and Boston. But the city is not alone – its peer communities face the same challenge. All but one of the metro areas studied for this report ranked among the 25 most expensive housing markets in the U.S.

For the full Boulder Innovation Venture Report, visit: http://issuu.com/boulderchamber/docs/innovation_venture_report_v26?e=33607933/61913820

 

Originally posted here by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Tuesday, September 11th, 2018 at 3:05pm.
Posted on September 17, 2018 at 6:58 pm
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The danger of Boulder’s CAVE people thinking

Let’s face it, what happens in Boulder affects the rest of Boulder Valley in terms of housing, transportation, economics and myriad other dimensions.  If you want to know where your neighborhood is headed, it’s informative to know what Boulder is doing, even if you live in say, Erie.  And, if you even casually follow Boulder politics these days, you might be perplexed and concerned by the (seemingly) increasingly bizarre actions coming from Boulder’s City Council.

For a council that purports to support the environment, public safety, and inclusivity, its recent actions don’t seem to match its rhetoric.  In my opinion, however, its actions make sense when you understand the true underlying motivations and desires — and to do that, you have to understand Boulder’s CAVE people.

Who are Boulder’s CAVE people and what do they want?

Simply put, I call these people “Citizens Against Virtually Everything” (CAVE), and they seem to have the ear of the majority of the current council.  It appears that the plurality of Boulder’s CAVE people arrived in Boulder in the 1960s and ‘70s as students, hippies, ski bums, etc.  They decided to stay, bought homes here, and have become relatively well off as Boulder’s home price appreciation outstripped virtually everywhere else in the country.  At the same time, they seem not to like the multiple dimensions of growth Boulder has enjoyed over the last several decades; indeed, their strongest desire is apparently to see Boulder return to as it was “back then,” with fewer people, fewer businesses, less crowding, etc.  Their apparent goals, then, are to slow, stop, or reverse growth of all kinds in Boulder.  Their tactics appear to be to (disingenuously?) cloak themselves in the rhetoric of environmentalism, populism, and liberalism in order to achieve these goals.

Recent examples of CAVE people tactics and their effects:

1. South Boulder Flood Mitigation Plan.  The 2013 flood brought the issue of flood mitigation to the front of everyone’s minds in Boulder Valley, but the study of how to best deal with this issue in South Boulder goes back well before then.  After nearly a decade of study, and more than $2 million in fees and environmental studies, and extensive public engagement, the City Council had a few feasible flood mitigation plans, one of which (500-Year Variant 2), had the support of the University of Colorado (the property owner), the city’s Water Resources Advisory Board, and general public.  One would think, then, that it would be an easy decision for the City Council to support.  One, however, would be wrong.

Recently, the Boulder City Council voted to proceed with a different flood mitigation plan, one that is opposed by CU, disregards expert testimony, the preferences of the city’s Water Resources Advisory Board, and general public sentiment. 

Why would the council disregard science, experts, reason, common sense and nearby residents?  Using the lens of CAVE people logic, it may be because they believe that taking a position in opposition to all of these things will greatly slow the process of CU developing that land, which fits the goals of “slow, stop, reverse.”

2. Sales Tax Revenue. Cities like Boulder depend on sales tax revenue as an important component of their budgets.  Earlier this year, Boulder reported a $4 million budget shortfall, attributable primarily to flattening sales tax in the city — at a time when nearby cities are enjoying double digit growth in their sales tax revenues.  Members of the City Council held a study session on the topic on July 10 in which some members declared that they apparently want fewer visitors to Boulder (both tourists and locals from neighboring cities).  They expressed these opinions even with the knowledge that locals already visit downtown Boulder an average of seven times per month, but tourists spend several times what locals do per visit.

Why, in a city that prides itself on being welcoming and at a time when sales tax revenues are falling, would members of council declare an apparent desire for fewer tourist (and accompanying tax dollars)?

3.  Increased housing density. Council members often voice their support for efforts to provide inclusive housing, reduce Boulder’s carbon footprint, and improve our city’s environmental sustainability; however, when it comes to increased density — the thing that would arguably go the farthest toward achieving those aspirations — the council’s words do not match their deeds.  Boulder’s draconian housing restrictions, including the 1 percent cap on annual residential growth (which we’ve never actually hit), blanket height restrictions, severe occupancy limits, among other measures, has forced our workforce to largely live outside the city.  This, in turn, causes the more than 60,000 daily commutes into and out of Boulder. By simply ameliorating some of these harsh policies, and allowing a modicum of sustainable and smart development, Boulder could include more of its workforce within city limits and could considerably lessen its environmental impact.

Why, then, has the city actively resisted efforts that would address these critical housing and environmental issues?  One possibility — CAVE people logic: if it is extremely difficult to add housing density, not only will it slow population growth, it will force workers into longer commutes and growing frustration.  Over time, businesses will relocate to areas more accessible to their workforce, and there will be fewer people, fewer jobs, less congestion… like it was “back then.”

What’s to come?

Rather than building a bridge to the future, Boulder’s CAVE people seem intent on digging a trench to the past.  In fact, their efforts seem to be achieving results — not only did Boulder run a budget deficit, but its population actually decreased between 2016 and 2017.  There is no stasis for cities — they are either growing or dying.  It seems the CAVE people are succeeding at pushing their agenda of “slow, stop, reverse,” through council.  And if they win, all of us who are truly for the environment, public safety, and inclusivity will lose.

 

Jay Kalinski is broker/owner of Re/Max of Boulder.

Originally posted by BizWest on Wednesday, June 1st, 2018. Original found here.

Posted on September 2, 2018 at 6:11 pm
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Where will Boulder’s workforce of the future live?

The Boulder Economic Summit was held on May 22 and the focus was on the workforce of the future. The Boulder Economic Council rightly identified this as a key to Boulder County’s continued vitality and prosperity.  There were vibrant discussions about the growing importance of skills to both employers and employees, shifting employment patterns, how businesses can embrace Millennials, and more.

From a real estate perspective, the most thought provoking session was the roundtable discussion on “Addressing Housing and Transportation,” in which participants were asked to discuss what their businesses are experiencing in terms of housing and mobility needs, what they are doing to address them, and what possible solutions they see.  From this discussion, it became evident that the majority of many businesses’ employees live outside the city, that many of those employees would like to live in Boulder, and that there are myriad housing and transportation challenges facing businesses and employees.

Many of the proposed solutions will sound familiar: some additional housing, including ADUs (“granny flats”) throughout the city and multi-family housing in the light industrial areas along the east Arapahoe corridor; adding additional lanes to some of the major arteries to/from Boulder, especially along Arapahoe/Highway 7 and the Diagonal; more and “better placed” park-n-ride lots; more parking spaces throughout the city; more and better alternative transportation options, and possibly some shared shuttle services among Boulder businesses. 

Many participants expressed the opinion that they believe some of these solutions are viable, but they acknowledged that most of them would require the willingness and coordination of city and county governments.  The scope of these issues is supported by the estimated 50,000 — 60,000 people who commute into Boulder for work each day, half of whom purportedly want to live in the city, and the fact that currently there are no single family homes in Boulder on the market for less than $575,000 (and that only gets you 966 square feet).

The bottom line takeaway from this discussion was that if Boulder cannot find better ways to address its housing and transportation issues, it risks losing its economic vigor as more and more businesses will choose to relocate to more hospitable areas.  More than one employer at the roundtable lamented that if they cannot solve some of these issues, they will likely have to move their business elsewhere. 

Let’s face it, Boulder does not make it easy on businesses or their employees. Among other things, businesses in Boulder have to contend with sky-high affordable housing linkage fees on commercial development (which will ultimately be borne by tenants and consumers), complex and changing zoning and use regulations, rapidly growing commercial property taxes, and a dearth of parking spaces.  Employees face a severe lack of affordable housing to purchase, expensive rent or long — and increasingly frustrating — commutes, and difficulty finding parking (and not enough public and alternative transportation options).

There is always room for hope in Boulder, one of the brainiest (and best) cities in America, and an excellent example is the city council’s recent openness to allowing additional ADUs.  It’s not a panacea, but it’s a start.

Envisioning our workforce of the future is a great and useful undertaking, but if Boulder cannot (or will not) address its mounting housing and transportation issues, the workforce of the future will be happily employed… elsewhere.

 

Jay Kalinski is broker/owner of Re/Max of Boulder.

Originally posted by BizWest on Wednesday, June 1st, 2018. Original found here.

Posted on June 2, 2018 at 9:05 am
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