2020 In Review: Revisiting our Vision for the Future

It was almost exactly a year ago when we wrote “2020 promises to be a wild ride…” without realizing what a wild ride it would be! At the time, we anticipated a dramatic presidential campaign and unpredictable economic forces, which was pretty much on track, but we definitely buried the lede. Back in December, we couldn’t have imagined a year like 2020. In light of the unprecedented and unpredictable wild cards of 2020, we thought it was time to revisit our predictions for this year to see what we got right — even if for the wrong reasons. 


“The grocery store market will continue to evolve as online grocery shopping becomes more seamless.”

Grocery stores were vaulted into the online shopping fray, whether they were ready or not, and grocery shopping may never be the same. US online grocery sales hit a record $7.2 billion in June, compared to $1.2 billion just a year ago. While sales have slowed from their peak, “grocery retailers expect to report sales increases of more than 10% for 2020.”

On the other hand, our prediction that “Retailers will continue to find innovative ways to draw customers into their stores to compete with online competitors.” was more than a little off the mark for 2020, but may still turn out to be true. We’ll check on that one again in 2021–while online shopping is here to stay, we expect experience-based retail to rebound, at least in some sectors, in the future.


“Aldi will announce plans to open their first grocery stores in Colorado.”

Let’s chalk up that one up to wishful thinking. Sooner or later, they’ll take that next leap west on the 70, but not this year.

Ski season was cut short, giving us a bye on our prediction of “historic snow falls and tourism dollars” but the 2020-21 season doesn’t look promising either, with La Niña likely to limit snowfall, at least in our southern resorts.


We can scratch our food predictions for ghost kitchens in Denver and fried chicken sandwiches everywhere — instead, 2020’s food scene will be remembered for the empty grocery shelves, meat shortages and homemade sourdough that were everywhere this spring. That said, ghost kitchens are continuing to make their mark in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, enabled by the increase in food delivery services. With big brands launching ghost brands, this movement is headed for industrial spaces and parking lots in Colorado; it’s just a question of when.


The least accurate, and most disheartening of our predictions, was for “historically low unemployment.” The pandemic has devastated employment numbers, but there is hope that employment will rebound in 2021 with a vaccine and new economic stimulus. One grain of truth can be found in our prediction that secondary and tertiary markets would become more important for employers — we just missed the reason for the migration to those markets from our cities. Which leads us to our first prediction for 2021; like online grocery shopping, working from home (wherever that may be) will be a long-term change initiated by this pandemic.

“…once investors cut through the noise, the market will show signs of steady growth”

On the financial markets, we were surprisingly on the mark. Thanks to the unanticipated mostly positive impact of Covid-19, our prediction that “…once investors cut through the noise, the market will show signs of steady growth and general attitude will be bullish” has mostly come true. It’s too soon to tell if the Fed’s initiatives can continue to support growth, but In November, the Dow Jones broke 30,000 for the first time, buoyed by hope for a vaccine. Overall, Wall Street has taken a “glass half full” approach to 2020, with gains coming with every bit of good news.


A few of our predictions did, happily, come true. In-n-Out opened their long-awaited first  two Colorado locations this month to astonishing 14-hour lines, allowing Daniel Allen and the rest of our team to finally eat a Double-Double on Colorado soil. And Ryan Beckmann did in fact become an uncle—our congratulations to all!

2020 is definitely not the year that anyone expected, but we’re looking forward to 2021 with optimism and hope, and doing what we can to support our local communities and frontline workers in the meantime. With any luck, 2021 will be the year we hold a grand opening party for our remodeled Los Angeles office and our new Denver office, and celebrate a Broncos win. Until then, stay safe!