Broncos fever is invading the workplace.
Business owners and executives at many Colorado Springs-area companies big and small are letting employees - and themselves - celebrate the Broncos' first Super Bowl appearance in 15 years by loosening up stringent dress codes to allow orange-and-blue garb and accessories with the wild stallion logo.
U.S. Bank employees will look more like the Broncos' second team as they sport their orange-and-blue jerseys Friday. U.S. Bank is the official sponsor of the Denver Broncos, said Tom Naughton, regional president.
The bank has 3,142 branches nationwide and 162 in Colorado, including 17 in Colorado Springs.
"It is obviously an exciting time for the whole state and us," he said.
Health care and administrative workers at Memorial and Penrose-St. Francis hospitals in Colorado Springs are allowing everyone, except those who must wear scrubs, to sport Broncos jerseys, representatives of both hospitals said. Memorial Hospital even dubbed this weekend "Show your Super Bowl Spirit Day" and is allowing employees to deck themselves in Broncos finery from Friday through Sunday, said Brian Newsome, spokesman for the hospital.
This season's final football game starts at
4:25 p.m. Sunday. Game time is late enough that some business owners are even closing early so they and their employees can catch the opening kickoff.
Richard Skorman will close all of his Poor Richard's Tejon Street stores at 4 p.m. Sunday, something he has never done before.
"Hopefully we will get everyone home in time, and we hope they enjoy it," he said.
Tim Haas, who owns four Manitou Springs businesses and the Garden of the Gods Trading Post, said he is considering closing Sunday.
"It will not be the busiest day in our history," he said.
Haas said he sent an email to employees Wednesday saying those who had to work Sunday could wear their Broncos jerseys.
"But no Seahawks," he said.
While the owner of Phil Winslow BMW will be in East Rutherford, N.J., for Sunday's game, his employees will support the state's only NFL team by wearing their favorite Broncos jerseys this weekend, said Neill Erdodssy, manager of new car sales.
Some salespeople already are wearing Broncos ties, he said, but jerseys are likely to make their appearance starting Friday, as the game draws closer.
Not all Winslow employees will wear Broncos apparel, however, which could make the coming weekend interesting at the car company.
"We have some folks that are Redskins and other team fans and even a nonfootball fan," Erdodssy said.
"So, we have it all."
None of the companies contacted by The Gazette had decided Wednesday if employees would be allowed to wear their Broncos (or Seattle Seahawks) jerseys Monday.
But even if Broncos fever escalates with a championship this weekend, some employees still must don traditional work wear because of strict dress codes. Employees at The Broadmoor, for example, cannot wear anything outside their traditional hotel/restaurant uniforms or the hotel could lose its AAA five-diamond rating and Forbes five-star rating.
"But underneath our blue blazers, we have Bronco
T-shirts on," said Steve Bartolin, president and chief executive officer.
Contact Ned Hunter: 636-0275