DENVER (KDVR) — An independent live entertainment venue is once again asking for help after insurance denied its claim for flood damage.
HQ was flooded with 10-12 feet of water after a pipe broke outside its building in August. The venue has been closed ever since.
“Any music venue in the country will tell you October is the most profitable month of the year, and we’ve lost it all,” co-owner Scott Happel said.
Over the past several weeks, the basement has been cleaned and gutted. Now, Happel and his team are waiting for a structural wall to be torn out and rebuilt before they can allow patrons inside the building.
The construction costs fall on the property owner. However, the cost to remodel the space and replace all of the equipment and inventory falls on HQ.
“We received a complete denial from insurance. Water from outside of your structure is a common exception in all insurance policies in Colorado, not just commercial properties but homeowner policies as well,” Happel said.
Denver Water has a no-fault main break assistance program to help property owners with cleanup and costs associated with water damage from a water main. However, HQ does not qualify. The city says the faulty pipe was a building-owned service pipe that connects the building to the water main.
“Any damage caused by that is not covered. Your loss of business is not covered. Literally, absolutely nothing is covered,” Happel said.
He estimates $100,000 in lost equipment and property plus a few hundred thousand dollars in lost revenue while the business remains closed. They plan to self-fund the restoration of their underground venue.
“Once the upstairs can open and we can start having income here again, then we can slowly funnel that into rebuilding the basement,” Happel said.
According to Happel, the economic impact of the closure extends beyond just their venue.
“A live entertainment venue brings a lot of economic impact to the neighborhood outside of what it just does for the venue. It’s hundreds of people in the block spending money, and they’re not here now,” he said. “We’ve had the bars and stores and restaurants near us be like, yeah, our business is way down since you closed.”
HQ’s owners have started a GoFundMe to help raise additional funds.
They are also searching for arts and venues grants at the city, state and federal level that may help them expedite their reopening.