By Andrew Graham, South Metro Denver Chamber Board Chair
The holidays are a great time to turn the technology off for a bit and talk to your neighbors, both at home and at work. You might be surprised what you learn.
You might learn that we’re not all as divided as trite media narratives would have you believe.
You might learn that more things are going right than wrong in South Metro.
You might actually learn (or re-learn) your neighbors’ names, and brush up on the names of their kids and pets.
You might learn what’s actually going on in your neighborhood and community, not just the events that make headlines.
You might learn more about your own backyard. It might get you thinking about all that is good about living, working and playing in South Metro Denver.
I recently went to the grand opening of the new Brazilian steak house, Fogo de Chao, in Lone Tree, leaving my phone behind. I was very happy with what I learned from corporate President Barry McGowan about the establishment’s entry into the South Metro Denver area. He raved about the speed, efficiency and kindness of the Park Meadows retail resort leadership team, the abundant support provided through our economic development efforts, and dedication by local government officials to secure the needed permits for his restaurant in a timely manner.
“We just don’t get this kind of reception in other communities,” he told me. “Every week I would get an update on our future projects, and yours was rarely on the list of what we needed to talk about. Your people are great.”
Mr. McGowan’s experience integrating into the South Metro business community delighted me, but it didn’t surprise me. My experience squares with his.
One of my favorite traits among people living in South Metro Denver can be captured in the words to the Willie Nelson song, “Denver,” off the Red Headed Stranger album:
“The bright lights of Denver
Were shining like diamonds
Like ten thousand jewels in the sky
And it's nobody's business
Where you're goin' or where you come from
And you've judged by the look in your eye…”
I believe we size folks up pretty well here. If you’re a con artist, we’ll figure you out (it might take a bit, but we’ll decide you’re not worth our time). It doesn’t fly around here.
On the happier side of the equation, if you are here to do right: to work hard, to deliver a good product or service and offer your best, we’re all about you and your success. There’s no shortage of people here to help South Metro continue to be the best place to thrive. It’s really cool, and you should see the looks in your eye.
So, it’s a little early, perhaps, to start with the New Year’s Resolutions. But if I could just nose into that arena for a moment, I’d suggest we might resolve to look down at our devices a little less — and look each other in the eye a little more — in the New Year.
I think we’ll all be happy we did.