Axios Denver

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β˜• Good Tuesday morning. We're glad you're here.

πŸŽ‚ Happy birthday to our Axios Denver member Jennifer Baragary!

🧹 Situational awareness: Don't forget β€” Denver resumes street sweeping today, and if you park on the wrong side of the street, it could cost you $50.

Today's newsletter is 881 words β€” a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Why it's still hard to watch the Nuggets and Avs on TV

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

For most local Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche fans, an irony has persisted for nearly five years: It's hard to watch their games from the comfort of your living room.

Why it matters: The extraordinarily long blackout for Comcast's Xfinity β€” metro Denver's primary cable provider β€” and DISH Network customers has coincided with each team's rise to the top of its respective league.

The big picture: The providers' disputes with Altitude Sports, (the network that shares the teams' owner, Kroenke Sports & Entertainment) are a symptom of a flailing regional sports broadcasting industry, where network and provider disagreements are becoming more common as cord-cutting persists.

  • And they're limiting the teams' ability to capture a new generation of fans.

What they're saying: "There's not a more painful issue in our entire web of companies than the Altitude issue," said Kroenke Sports vice chairman Josh Kroenke during a press conference last month. "I can't escape it."

  • New Kroenke president of team and media operations Kevin Demoff promised a "fresh look" at the disputes and mentioned a streaming product, a local "over-the-air" broadcast option or a deal with all cable providers as possibilities.

Comcast spokeswoman Leslie Oliver told Axios: "We've continued to provide Altitude Sports with multiple options … including a subscription option," but said Altitude executives refused the proposals.

  • In a statement, DISH told us it, too, has offered Altitude an "a la carte" programming option, "similar to premium channel subscribers. Altitude could set the price, interested customers could subscribe."

Catch up quick

2. πŸ€ New Nuggets gig alert: Be Rocky's backup

Denver Nuggets mascot Rocky pictured in 2013. Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Speaking of Kroenke ... the company is hiring a person in "peak physical condition" with a "great sense of humor" and "passion" for performance entertainment to be the Denver Nuggets' mascot handler and on-call backup.

Why it matters: Rocky β€” who was inducted into the mascot hall of fame in 2008 β€” is arguably one of the most beloved mascots in the NBA and its highest-paid, with a reported salary of $625,000 a year.

The big picture: As primary handler, you will be Rocky's main point of contact at all home games and outside events, according to the job posting.

  • You will help the iconic mountain lion prepare for his public appearances, including helping brainstorm skits, dances and stunts during performances.

By the numbers: "Predetermined" mascot rates apply when wearing Rocky's costume β€” which could add up to a big chunk of change considering his splashy salary.

  • When those rates don't apply, the hourly pay is $50.
  • When acting as his handler, you'll earn $25 an hour.

Tell a friend with Rocky potential

3. πŸ• Colorado sees uptick in pet allergy claims

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More pets in Colorado, particularly dogs, are being treated for itchy skin and allergies.

Why it matters: Seasonal allergies can be terribly uncomfortable for furry friends, and they can snowball into secondary issues, including skin infections.

By the numbers: Pet insurance company Trupanion reported a 33% increase in allergy claims in Colorado in 2023 compared to 2019, with the data measured on a per-1,000-pet basis.

  • That's slightly lower than the U.S. average (45%). Florida had the highest increase (73%) in the country.

The intrigue: The upward trend for allergy claims in Colorado coincides with a spike in a highly contagious respiratory illness that affected hundreds of dogs last year, though it's beginning to decline this year.

  • The illness led to dogs being hospitalized with symptoms including coughing and sneezing.

Between the lines: Nationwide says allergies top the list of health conditions that prompt vet visits.

  • Allergy drugs Apoquel and Cytopoint have been used to treat 20 million dogs in total since they were released in 2013 and 2018, respectively, according to parent company Zoetis.

Full story

4. Mile Highlights: CU Buffs bring in Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne performs during the X Games in Aspen in 2019. Photo: Riccardo S. Savi/Getty Images

🦬 CU Boulder revealed details for its "Black and Gold Weekend" around the Buffs' spring game April 27, which include a Lil Wayne concert, talent show and alumni reunion. (BuffZone)

⛷️ Eldora Mountain in Nederland extended its operating season by a week, through April 21, thanks to Boulder County receiving seven feet of snow last month, Alayna reports.

πŸ“š Tattered Cover announced it's in talks with "individuals and businesses across the U.S." to buy the Denver-based bookstore after it filed for bankruptcy last October. (BusinessDen πŸ”‘)

πŸ’§ Aurora paid $80 million for water rights in Otero County to help support the city's growing population. (CBS4)

πŸ• Guy Fieri's Food Network show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" visited Boulder's Barchetta pizzeria on a new episode that aired Friday. (Denver Post πŸ”‘)

Sponsored job listings

New jobs to check out

πŸ’Ό See who's hiring around the city.

  1. Director of Production at Sleeper.
  2. Senior Director, Client Partner Executive at Conduent.
  3. Director, Internal Communications & Employee Engagement at Slalom.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Use code FIRST50 for $50 off your first job post.

5. πŸ˜‹ 1 bite to go: MAKfam mozz sticks

Cheese pull, anyone? Photo: Alayna Alvarez/Axios

Mondays might just be our new favorite day of the week.

The latest: MAKfam β€”Β a knockout, fast-casual Chinese restaurant on South Broadway whose head chef was named a semifinalist for the 2024 James Beard Awards β€”Β announced it's now serving its mΓ lΓ‘ mozzarella sticks all day on Mondays.

  • They were previously only available during weekday happy hour from 2-5pm. (Staff tell us the stix will remain on the menu during those times, too.)

Why it matters: This addicting appetizer is unlike any other around Denver thanks to its mixture of mozzarella cheese with mΓ lΓ‘, a spicy and numbing seasoning that comes from Sichuan peppercorn and chili.

🀀 My thought bubble: I have literally rearranged my day to make it over to MAKfam in time to snag these during happy hour β€” they're that good.

  • Don't forget to dip them into the house-made Thai basil ranch for the ultimate balanced bite.

Our picks:

😌 John hopefully has his feet up and is enjoying his R&R time.

πŸ“Ί Alayna is watching "3 Body Problem" on Netflix. The script is kind of meh but the premise is promising!

😏 Esteban is excited to see the Nuggets play Wemby and the San Antonio Spurs tonight.

Thanks to our editor Ross Terrell and copy editor Bill Kole.