Photo Credit: Black Eye Coffee (https://www.drinkblackeye.com/)
Black Eye Coffee
3408 Navajo St, Denver, CO 80211
District 2 (Highlands)
Owner: Michelle Ackerman
Year opened: 2012
Number of employees: 9
About Black Eye Coffee
Like the iconic North Denver neighborhood that we call home, this place has a rich and robust history filled with plenty of heart, grit and good old-fashioned character. Long before it was a coffee house, this building was known for a different kind of brew—Coors beer, to be exact.
Mile High Hosts surveyed over 300 Denver guests in the fall of 2019 and what was discovered was a not-so-surprising trend; guests of short-term rentals spend a lot of time and money at local neighborhood businesses. One type of business was repeatedly called out and that was coffee shops.
We asked Michelle Ackerman, the owner of Black Eye Coffee, a few short questions to find out more about this observed trend.
How important is the business that the guests of short-term rentals bring to your business?
It’s significant. I know this because I get reports from the Google Analytics Tool for how many people are searching for us and from where they are searching. For example, I can see people are searching from Kansas City and they are searching for directions to the coffee shop. The number of people I can see conducting searches like this is significant. Locals obviously know where we are.
There are so many changes happening for local businesses. The city of Denver recently raised the minimum wage, and in addition, my rent goes up significantly each year. With these two challenges being my reality, losing short-term rental clientele business would make it extremely challenging for me to stay in business.
What do you believe short-tern rentals bring to small businesses?
What makes Denver a destination for all tourism is the number of great things we have to offer travelers. Short-term rentals play directly into that equation, delivering a repeatable source of new money to small businesses and neighborhoods. People enjoy visiting the local spots, the things people don’t have back home and without us, I think Denver becomes less of an attractive destination. Restricting guests from staying in short-term rentals impacts our Denver eco-system, small and large businesses alike.
There may be people that live in the neighborhood that may feel differently about STRs. What would you say to those that aren’t completely on board with home-sharing in their neighborhood?
There could be solutions that are a win-win. I don’t know what policies are being considered for the future but I think there should be more collaboration to find a solution that works for all. Maybe we all don’t get all that we want, but we can get a portion of it. I read a lot about the good neighbor policies that help eliminate the challenges that neighbors have are a great solution to help everyone see the benefit of short-term rentals.