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Colorado restaurants can now apply for winter outdoor grants

DENVER, Colo. (KRDO) — Governor Jared Polis, in partnership with the Colorado Restaurant Association, the Colorado Restaurant Foundation, and Xcel Energy, announced that applications are open for the  Winter Outdoor Grant Program.

The program will provide funds to restaurants to winterize patio space for outdoor dining. 

In mid-October, Gov. Polis was joined by CRA and restaurateurs to discuss ways to support local restaurants during the pandemic.

“It will give restaurants means to keep their doors open, to keep their staff employed, and to continue to safely serve our communities,” Polis said.

“I hope the public join me in supporting restaurants this winter, perhaps by experiencing these unique winter outdoor dining concepts, or by dining out or ordering takeout or delivery.”

The Winter Outdoor Grant Program is made possible by a seed commitment from Xcel Energy Foundation and Xcel Energy, which made a $500,000 contribution, according to Polis’ office. 

Grant funds can be used toward design, construction, applicable fees and supplies like tents, heaters, etc.

Grants will be distributed through the Colorado Restaurant Foundation. 

The program developed ideas for how all restaurants could create additional dining during the Outdoor Winter Design Workshop held on October 19. The final conceptual plans are now available at

Willis Scott

Willis Scott is an evening anchor for KRDO. Learn more about Willis here.



  1. “Grant funds can be used toward design, construction, applicable fees and supplies like tents, heaters, etc.”

    Just to truly explain this, So we are not allowed to eat within certain restaurants due to capacity and exposure to CO-VID, but we are ok to eat outside, in a tent, in the Fall / Winter, with space heaters pushing warm air that is possibly contaminated past one another just to lessen the amount of people inside their actual restaurant. This seems like a long way around to just re-create the original same exact problem, but only spending more money.

  2. So if it is an “outdoor patio or tent” then it is exempt from the restrictions? I don’t get it is this a joke? Then why would you have restrictions.?.?

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