Behind-the-scenes look at 5 Star audit for Denver businesses

Problem Solvers

DENVER (KDVR) — FOX31 Problem Solvers got a behind-the-scenes look what Denver businesses have to do to qualify for the 5 Star State Certification Program.

Less than one week into the inspections, almost 400 Denver businesses have applied for lighter COVID restrictions. 

Establishments sign up and pay to have an inspector confirm they are going above and beyond public health orders.

In return, they are eligible for less restrictive capacity caps and faster reopening.

Problem Solver Nicole Fierro followed an audit from start to finish Tuesday at the Hyatt Regency Denver Convention Center.

From below ground to the top floor meeting rooms, a 5 Star business audit revolves around proper signage.

“They should be anywhere that I as the public can enter,” Auditor Doug Selbee said, adding “You want the mask requirements, socially distance, and sanitize your hands and have hand sanitizer at each entrance.”

Doug Selbee works as the Director of Special Projects for Denver’s Economic Development and Opportunity Office. Now he’s also volunteering as a trained 5 Star auditor for Denver.

His tools include his eyes, a check list and tape measure. Selbee is looking for signs that hotels are going above and beyond.

On his eighth hotel audit, Selbee toured every public gathering space, from bathrooms to meeting rooms and restaurants. He ensured tables were at least six feet apart and every other bathroom stall is closed for distancing.

“If there’s more people contracting COVID, then the businesses that are 5 Star certified would be able to stay into the yellow, having the 50% capacity and extra hour to stay open,” Selbee said. “I also think the designation of itself is valuable to the business.”

A process Hyatt Regency Denver’s General Manager Greg Leonard feels is worth every extra step and penny.

“Whether that’s the air systems, whether that’s the signage, whether it’s that extra hand sanitizer stations, all of those things are for the right reason,” Leonard said. “They are for the right reason to keep us safe and move us forward and really at the end that’s what we want to do.”

“For me, it just gives a sense of optimism about what is to come,” Selbee said. “I’m more excited about coming to places again, being at a bar and restaurant eating and enjoying things that we used to pre-COVID.”

Five star approved businesses are required to show a sign at their establishments instructing where patrons can leave complaints. You can find more about the requirements for 5-star businesses in Denver here.

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