Spark Centennial

Spark Centennial Graphic

Spark Centennial is a pilot program that aims to use the power of unforgettable experiences to grow revenue for local businesses, explore creative opportunities with shopping center owners, and spark wonder and connections among Centennial’s residents.

The City is assisting businesses in the development of unforgettable experiences to help “spark” interaction and connection in the community and bring new life to Centennial’s shopping centers. Check out these ongoing initiatives and adventures!

Spark Centennial’s Experience Accelerator

The Spark Centennial Experience Accelerator program pairs artists with businesses to create unique offerings that enhance the customer delight. 

It is estimated that nearly 75% of Americans prioritize experiences over products or things. For example, consumers spend an estimated $160 billion to $180 billion annually on experiences nationally. In 2017, visitors to Colorado spent nearly $21 billion on experiences within our state. In the Experience Economy, many goods and services are sold by emphasizing the effect they can have on people’s lives.

Through this six-month program, Centennial businesses that participate in the Experience Accelerator Program receive:

  • Guidance with developing custom and unique experiences for their business
  • Marketing and communications support to promote experience offerings
  • Monthly fireside chats with industry experts covering topics from legal to creative
  • Tailored pairings that connect businesses with artistic talent to enhance competitive advantage

The goals of this program are to assist area businesses with:

  • Creating and hosting artistic activations that enhance the customer experience
  • Expanding for-sale offerings by pairing products with creative experiences
  • Increasing sales through collaborative marketing & PR
  • Connecting into a network of creative talent

Interested in learning more? Contact us.

Upcoming Workshops

Topic: Strategic Design for Communicating Experiential Offerings

  • When: August 20, 2021 / 10am
  • Time: 10-11 a.m.
  • Guests: Frankie Toan and Therin Zimmerman of Rainbow Dome

Frankie Toan is an artist working mostly with craft and DIY materials and techniques to create large plush sculptures, interactive works and installations. Therin Zimmerman is a multidisciplinary artist living/working in Denver. Their work is an ongoing exploration of transformation, and the various gray areas between the beginning and end of a journey. 

Rainbow Dome is a creative collaboration between artists Therin Zimmerman and Frankie Toan. Currently a work in progress, Rainbow Dome offers art/skating pop-ups in 2021 as the team works toward opening a permanent rink space. 

Please check back for updates on future topics.

View Past Workshops

Spark Experience Accelerator Workshop: Telling the Story

Date: July 16, 2021
Guest: Colin Wrenn
Workshop Topics: Media Relations and PR // Content Development

Spark Experience Accelerator Workshop: Cohort Experience Presentations and Expert Feedback

Date: June 25, 2021
Guests: Colin Wrenn & Lonnie Hanzon
Topics: Pricing & Selling the Experience 

Spark Experience Accelerator Workshop: Curating Complementary Offerings

Date: May 14, 2021
Guest: Vanessa Barcus
Workshop Topics: Experience & Product Workshop // Hiring Artists // Curating Complementary Offerings

Spark Experience Accelerator Workshop: Storytelling

Date: April 16, 2021
Guest: Linda Klein
Workshop Topics: Storytelling workshop, transforming story into experience, art and business guest

Spark Experience Accelerator Workshop: Transformational & Experience Economy

Date: March 12, 2021
Guest: Linda Klein
Workshop Topics: Outcomes and commitment, transformation and experience economy, examples and storytelling

Past Events

Winter 2020

sample window for Spark event

Businesses at the University Towne Center located at University Boulevard and Dry Creek Road participated in a COVID-friendly holiday kickoff project, “With My Gnomies”. Residents could join the fun by bringing a cell phone to text with our friends, the Gnomies, who would send them on a short “gnomadic” adventure.

Creative products and adventures implemented by participating Centennial businesses and organizations were featured in a special artist-driven holiday window display at University Towne Center. The displays included a smart-phone based puzzle that led shoppers through a multi-stop tour of surrounding retailers. A secret light show was activated at the original window display when participants completed the journey.

This project sought to animate vacant storefronts, enable window shopping sales through QR code technology, support entrepreneurial activity, grow existing businesses, strengthen community connectivity and identity, and spark curiosity in the future of our shopping centers.

Nov. 2019

oh heck yeah game at southglenn

Spark Centennial has partnered with OhHeckYeah to bring a people-powered interactive game to The Streets at SouthGlenn throughout the holiday season. The video game engine, known as CATCHY: the Holi-play Edition, debuted at the shopping center’s popular Santa’s Arrival and Tree Lighting event November 22 across the street from where Hodson’s used to be. This experiential game is an extension of the Spark Centennial program’s continued goal of shopping center revitalization through creative placemaking and community wellness.

OhHeckYeah also had video game engines available at the Denver Botanic Gardens and Coors Field, and has worked with Arrow Electronics and Northeastern University as well, among others. A photo at the video games engine at The Streets at Southglenn is pictured at left. 

Oct. 2019

experience economy workshop flier

The City held a free business strategy workshop Oct. 22 focused on getting businesses ready to capitalize on the “experience economy." The workshop was intended for retailers, restaurateurs, and entrepreneurs.

The Experience Economy is one in which many goods or services are sold by emphasizing the effect they can have on people’s lives. Seventy-four percent of Americans prioritize experiences over products or things. Nationally, it’s estimated that consumers are spending $160 to $180 billion annually on experiences. In 2017, visitors to Colorado spent nearly $21 billion on experiencing our state.

Brian Corrigan of Futures United Network (FUN) and Downtown Colorado, Inc. led the workshop and taught participants how to create unique experiences that attract more customers and build a following.

August - September 2019


Streets at SouthGlenn's 10th anniversary concert

For its 10th anniversary, The Streets at SouthGlenn threw a multi-day celebration with the people who have made the outdoor shopping center their destination of choice. SouthGlenn pulled out the stops, doing everything from a Sip & Shop program to family fun days Aug. 31 and Sept. 1. The celebration included a bounce house, climbing wall, facepainting, balloon artistry and a caricaturist. 



August 2019

Smash Spark event image

SmashDEN partnered with Spark Centennial to host a 64-person Double Elimination Super Smash Bros Ultimate Singles tournament on Aug. 3.

June 2019

Rolling Smoke kick started summer with neighbors at their annual Blues, Bugs & BBQ Festival. The University Towne Center parking lot was filled with live blues music, a fresh crawfish boil and delicious BBQ on Saturday, June 15. Local talent Austin Young and Grammy-nominated blues guitarist Trenton Ayers provided the musical entertainment. Admission was free; food and beverages were available for purchase.


Your Spark Centennial pop-ups:

  • Spark Curiosity – by creating events people are interested in attending
  • Spark Connection – by inspiring people to interact in meaningful ways
  • Spark Pride – by developing a sense of belonging to the Centennial community
  • Spark Investment – by demonstrating what is possible for Centennial’s future