By Conor McCue

DENVER (CBS4) – In just three months, Coors Field will host the Major League Baseball All-Star Game for the second time. Businesses in LoDo are already beginning to plan.

On Tuesday, the league made the announcement official, saying the game will be played in Denver on July 13. It comes after MLB pulled the game out of Atlanta after new voting rules were signed into law late last month by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. Many have condemned the changes as being too restrictive.

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In a press conference, Gov. Jared Polis said the Midsummer Classic could bring $190 million to Denver and Colorado.

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“There will also be benefit across Colorado and obviously the Denver vicinity, but also many folks who come will explore Colorado, the branding that we’ll get, the increased traffic in restaurants and bars across Colorado is going to be great for our economy in a needed time,” Polis said.

Denver last hosted MLB’s All-Star Game in 1998, when the American League beat the National League in front of a crowd of 51,267.

Chris Black, one of three brothers who own the Falling Rock Tap Room on Blake Street, remembers the week of festivities well. It came just over a year after the bar’s grand opening and provided invaluable exposure.

“It was great for business, and it was also great for our employees,” Black said. “They made really good money during that time.”

This time, the All-Star festivities will come after one of the most difficult years the bar owners have endured, both emotionally and financially. Black described it as a “shot in the arm” for LoDo businesses.

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“It’s going to be an awful lot of extra work, and I’m pretty okay with that,” Black said. “I’m really looking forward to just that atmosphere of people doing something semi normal, even though there will probably still be some restrictions on it.”

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At Denver Chophouse, which was also open during the last All-Star Game, preparations are also underway.

“We placed an ad last night just to start getting staff,” Said General Manager Tonisha Love-Mayrer. “We’re already anticipating we’re going to need many, many more people.”

Love-Mayrer said Opening Day was a good preview of what July 13 could look like. She expects COVID-19 precautions to still be in place, so the restaurant is applying for permits to have even more outdoor seating.

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“COVID is definitely on our minds, and we want to make sure that guests feel safe and are ready to enjoy the events that they’ve missed for so long,” Love-Mayrer said.

According to Love-Mayrer, LoDo restaurants are ready to step up to the plate when much-needed business comes in July.

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“It’s great for all of us. It’s great for downtown Denver. It’s great for restaurants. It’s great for this industry,” she said.

Conor McCue