Axios Denver

Picture of the Denver skyline with DEN written across it.

πŸͺ It's Wednesday, and we're back with the latest news.

  • Today's weather: Mostly sunny with highs near 50Β° and a chance of snow at night.

πŸŽ‚ Happy birthday to our Axios Denver member Judith McQueen!

Today's newsletter is 626 words β€” a 2.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Denver rents are still high, for now

Data: Moody's Analytics; Table: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

In the fourth quarter of 2022, the average asking monthly rent in the Denver metro area was $1,744, up 9.3% from a year earlier, per economic research firm Moody's Analytics.

Why it matters: Affordability concerns are starting to weigh down the booming rental market.

What's happening: Many would-be home buyers chose to rent longer last year, sustaining apartment demand, economists at Moody's Analytics say. But people are hitting their spending limit.

  • For the first time in over two decades, households now have to spend 30% of their income on average rents, a new report says.

What they're saying: Year-over-year rent growth slowed in the second half of the year across the board, "and we expect further deceleration as new supply makes it to market at the same time the labor market softens," senior economist Lu Chen tells Axios.

Zoom out: Rents are already falling in cities that were near the epicenter of the pandemic home-price boom, Axios' Matt Phillips reports, citing data.

What we're watching: New apartment construction. The expected surge in supply could help bring down prices.

Yes, but: Experts say most cities will "remain undersupplied with the kind of affordable units that see the highest demand," per The Wall Street Journal.

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On the job hunt?

πŸ’Ό Check out these fresh open positions in the city.

  1. Business Marketing Communications & Branding Director at Vantage Specialty Chemicals.
  2. Digital Strategy and Paid Media: Director at GFM|CenterTable.
  3. Client Associate - Private Client Group at Wells Fargo.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

2. 🏒 Kickstart opening Denver office

Illustration of a unicorn horn sticking out of a pile of cash.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A venture capital firm that funds startups in the West is opening offices in Colorado.

Driving the news: Kickstart, a Utah-based seed-stage venture capital firm, said in a statement recently it will open an office in Denver.

  • The firm manages $487 million in assets, after recently closing on $230 million in funding for startups in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.

What’s next: Dalton Wright, a general partner with the firm, is moving his family to Colorado this summer to open the offices.

Of note: Since its founding in 2008, the firm has invested in more than 200 companies across the region, including Artemis, Chatbooks, Havenly, Nomad, Sondermind, Spiff, and Taskeasy.

3. Mile Highlights: Get smart fast

Illustration of the Denver blue bear statue leaning against a black slash to create the Axios logo.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

⏰ Colorado delays in processing unemployment claims are the worst in the nation, new federal data shows. (Fox31)

πŸŽ’ All Souls Catholic School fired a veteran teacher and basketball coach after learning she was in a same-sex relationship. (Denver Post)

🐺 Gov. Jared Polis is pressuring Colorado Parks and Wildlife to reduce permitted wolf kills in the new reintroduction plan being finalized, officials say. (Coloradoan)

πŸ‘€ A ProPublica investigation found the remains of at least 230 Native American ancestors still sit in a handful of Colorado museums and university collections, despite a law requiring their return. (Denver Post)

4. πŸ¦‹ Bend with the butterflies

Photo: Courtesy of the Butterfly Pavilion

πŸ‘‹ Hey, it's Alayna. I want to tell you about the coolest thing I've done this year β€” so far.

Details: The Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster, about 20 minutes north of Denver, offers "Rainforest Yoga" classes most Saturday mornings. You're surrounded by exotic plants and beautiful butterflies.

  • The Wings of the Tropics conservatory houses roughly 1,800 butterflies representing 80 different species, spokesperson Jennifer Quermann tells me.

Fun fact: Butterflies love sweat β€” so be prepared for them to land on you.

  • The yoga instructors are well-trained to assist any winged friends who linger a little too long, which inevitably results in giggles throughout the 30-person class. It's all really fun.

Of note: Keep an ear out for a sweet melody from Larry, a Eurasian collared dove who has lived in the conservatory for over two decades.

  • He eats seeds β€” not butterflies β€” "so he's a good friend to all our rainforest critters," Quermann says.

πŸ’­ My thought bubble: As a nature lover, the whole experience was magical and honestly made me a little teary. I can't wait to go back.

Be smart: The one-hour class runs from 8-9am and is $10 for non-Pavilion members. Yogis of all skill levels are welcome, and pre-registration for classes is required.

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Our picks:

πŸ— John is visiting this great beer bar in D.C. that features a dozen Colorado beers on the menu.

🎢 Alayna is considering buying tickets to this Hot Chip concert at Red Rocks because of throwback jams like this, this and this.

🍜 Esteban loved the donsak noodle from this Thai restaurant in D.C.

Big thanks to our editor Ross Terrell and copy editor Bill Kole.