Out to Lunch With Jared Polis title
Connecting About Colorado, Where We’ve Been, and Where We’re Going
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ver the course of the last year, through all of the trials and tribulations that came with it, many people realized how lucky we are to live in the great state of Colorado. From the Front Range to the gorgeous resort and mountain communities, there is so much to love about this state. LIV Sotheby’s International Realty met virtually with Governor Jared Polis to reflect on how 2020 impacted Colorado and look forward towards our bright future.

As a Colorado native and one of the most influential residents of the state, Gov. Polis is very familiar with the incredible benefits that we enjoy here in Colorado. Boasting a unique balance of city life, close-knit communities, and unbeatable access to nature, our state offers a lifestyle that has attracted people from across the country and around the world.

“Colorado is just an amazing place to live and offers a great quality of life. It has amazing wild areas, and it also has amazing culture as well as city activity. So, it’s really the best of both worlds,” commented Gov. Polis.

Although his role as Governor keeps his schedule full, when he can, Gov. Polis likes to escape to the mountains with his family for some quality time outdoors. Together, Gov. Polis, his partner, Marlon, and their two children, explore Colorado’s beautiful terrain by going on hikes with their dog or hitting the slopes during the snowy season.

Speaking of ski season, the Governor mentioned that relief is on the way for those who dread the weekend commute to-and-from Colorado’s world-class slopes. Gov. Polis explained that a construction project to expand the highway lanes around Floyd Hill would take place to ease the congestion around Clear Creek County in an effort to improve traffic flow.

Gov. Polis explained that “We’re going to be working on adding a lane there over a 12-mile stretch that is one of the toughest spots in terms of traffic flow.”

Prioritizing the improvement of access to the outdoors has been a major focus for the Governor and his team, especially over the past year. Getting outside for socially distant activities has been the only reprieve from the confines of our homes that many of us have had throughout the pandemic. Luckily, living in Colorado, we have some of the most incredible adventures waiting for us in our own backyards. National parks, camping trips, fishing streams, mountain biking trails, and more are just a short drive away.

“I’m glad that warm weather is finally here. The outdoors is a great place to spend your time during a pandemic,” said Gov. Polis. “We made a major effort last year to get folks outdoors where social distancing happens naturally. As such, we are investing in our state parks. We invested some of Colorado’s stimulus money into expanding campsites and parking in our existing recreation areas.”

Jared Polis paddle boarding on a lake
As the summer progresses, these enhancements to the infrastructure of some of our favorite local spots will make spending time in nature an easier, safer, and overall, more enjoyable experience.

The Governor went on to say that, “We’ve also opened up our newest state park in Southern Colorado, Fishers Peak. Our goal is really just growing to meet the need for outdoor recreation and to be able to serve more people in a comfortable way in the great outdoors.”

For those who have yet to discover their outdoor hobby, now is a great time to get out and try something new. Colorado’s resort regions have something for everyone. Those seeking an adrenaline rush may try their hand at rock climbing, mountain biking, or kayaking. Nature lovers may prefer peaceful hikes through the raw beauty of Colorado’s forests. The diverse range of activities is part of what makes living here so appealing to all kinds of people.

“I think once people discover how fun fishing and camping is, they’re prioritizing coming back to Colorado. It’s really helped people fall even more in love with all of the forms of outdoor recreation that we have here,” Gov. Polis expressed.

“Colorado is just an amazing place to live and offers a great quality of life. It has amazing wild areas, and it also has amazing culture as well as city activity. So, it’s really the best of both worlds.”

Governor Jared Polis

Governor Jared Polis headshot
And more people are falling in love with Colorado every day. In 2020, Colorado was the fourth most moved-to state in the country, according to move.org. The global pandemic put a lot of things in perspective for consumers. One of those things being our homes. With a large portion of the population working and learning from home, the need to live in the same area as their jobs or schools was no longer a determining factor for where consumers buy homes. This gave them the opportunity to choose to live in communities that better suited their desired lifestyles. After experiencing a year of unprecedented challenges, a change of scenery was the silver lining many homebuyers needed.

“2020 was a tough year for everybody. Our nation lost half a million people to COVID-19 and it caused a global recession,” stated Gov. Polis. “A lot of people who had second homes here decided to hunker down in Colorado. I have friends from Florida and Texas that said they’re living in Colorado all year now, and even sent their kids to school here because our schools were back in person while many others were not.

So, I think a lot of people rediscovered their love of the outdoors and their love of Colorado during this trying time.”

Group of people hiking
While that very thought process is what motivated so many people to move to our state last year, resulting in a major boom in real estate activity in 2020, this trend appears to have some staying power as we move into the next phase of normalcy.

Yes, we already know that Colorado is the ideal location for socially distant activities thanks to The Rocky Mountains and other regions that are so much fun to explore. But with nightlife and other entertainment options making a comeback, the full spectrum of Colorado’s colorful lifestyle will continue to draw crowds to our state and boost the economy.

“We expect that everybody who wants to be vaccinated will be vaccinated by mid-to-late May, which will mean that they will be immune by mid-to-late June. And it’s really about a return to normal,” said Gov. Polis. “A lot of folks are really excited about packed concert venues. And while we’ve had spectators at Nuggets and Avalanche games, it’s not the same without the crowds. We have a good nightlife scene in Colorado, so I think all of these things are what people are looking forward to getting back to.”

That means that grabbing a coffee in town before hitting the trails, having lunch with a friend in a local café, or even spending the day at one of the many music and art festivals across the state will soon be back on the menu of ways to spend a weekend in the mountains or the metro areas. Colorado is making its comeback.

Together, as a state, we’ve endured some of the most difficult challenges in 2020, but the end of that chapter is here. We can now look forward to brighter days in a state that allows us to truly live a life that we love.