Talking Points: Meet Downtown’s Andy Youtz…Smart Guy, Smart Car

Each week, we’ll introduce you to someone you may, or may not know who lives in Downtown Denver. And, each week, we’ll ask that person five questions…always the same. But, we’re sure to get a lot of different answers! Each week’s interviewee will also be archived on the page titled “Talking Points” at the top of this site. Let us know what you think.

Andy Youtz is semi-retired from a 40 year career in sales, marketing and mechanical contracting. He grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania, attended Penn State and went to work as a project manager in Philadelphia. In the early 1970’s, Andy discovered Colorado and moved to Boulder then to LoDo.

Andy Youtz, photo by Diane Huntress

Denver by the Slice found him on the street…and not in his car…for this week’s profile.

What is the best thing about living Downtown?

Not driving. We can walk or ride bikes to the bank, post office, drugstore, convenience store, dry cleaners, liquor store and so on without getting into a car. We go weeks between fill-ups!

What has been the biggest change while you have lived Downtown?

The in-fill with residences and businesses. When we moved here in 1997 the area was in the early stages of recovering from the 70’s “urban renewal” phenomenon during which scores of vacant buildings, sometimes with enormous historic value, had been torn down to encourage developers who would theoretically rush to build modern replacements. In just the few block radius of our home more than a dozen parking lots and underutilized structures such as the USPS Terminal Annex have been replaced with new office, retail and residential buildings. The seemingly endless construction is sometimes frustrating but in the end it’s always worth it.

What don’t we have now that we need Downtown?

In order: a major chain grocery store, a hardware store, wider sidewalks, off-peak street closures.

What’s your favorite place to go away from Downtown Denver?

Our other favorite city, San Francisco.

Tell us something about yourself that most people wouldn’t know.

My favorite pastime in college was hitch-hiking. That I am not academically inclined cannot be overstated.  Every weekend I would hit the road with a small suitcase and a sign and go hundreds of miles to visit friends and family. It was an exhilarating combination of freedom, uncertainty and excitement that is now a thing of the past.