Denver, Colorado | Wikipedia audio article

Denver, Colorado | Wikipedia audio article


Denver (), officially the City and County
of Denver, is the capital and most populous municipality of the U.S. state of Colorado.
Denver is located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains
just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. The Denver downtown district is
immediately east of the confluence of Cherry Creek with the South Platte River, approximately
12 mi (19 km) east of the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Denver is named after James
W. Denver, a governor of the Kansas Territory. It is nicknamed the Mile High City because
its official elevation is exactly one mile (5280 feet or 1609.3 meters) above sea level.
The 105th meridian west of Greenwich, the longitudinal reference for the Mountain Time
Zone, passes directly through Denver Union Station.
Denver is ranked as a Beta world city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network.
With an estimated population of 716,492 in 2018, Denver is the 19th-most populous U.S.
city, and with a 19.38% increase since the 2010 United States Census, it has been one
of the fastest-growing major cities in the United States. The 10-county Denver-Aurora-Lakewood,
CO Metropolitan Statistical Area had an estimated 2018 population of 2,932,415 and is the 19th
most populous U.S. metropolitan statistical area. The 12-city Denver-Aurora, CO Combined
Statistical Area had an estimated 2018 population of 3,572,798 and is the 15th most populous
U.S. metropolitan area. Denver is the most populous city of the 18-county Front Range
Urban Corridor, an oblong urban region stretching across two states with an estimated 2018 population
of 4,976,781. Denver is the most populous city within a 500-mile (800 km) radius and
the second-most populous city in the Mountain West after Phoenix, Arizona. In 2016, Denver
was named the best place to live in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.==History==In the summer of 1858, during the Pike’s Peak
Gold Rush, a group of gold prospectors from Lawrence, Kansas established Montana City
as a mining town on the banks of the South Platte River in what was then western Kansas
Territory. This was the first historical settlement in what was later to become the city of Denver.
The site faded quickly, however, and by the summer of 1859 it was abandoned in favor of
Auraria (named after the gold-mining town of Auraria, Georgia) and St. Charles City.On
November 22, 1858, General William Larimer and Captain Jonathan Cox, Esquire, both land
speculators from eastern Kansas Territory, placed cottonwood logs to stake a claim on
the bluff overlooking the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek, across
the creek from the existing mining settlement of Auraria, and on the site of the existing
townsite of St. Charles. Larimer named the townsite Denver City to curry favor with Kansas
Territorial Governor James W. Denver. Larimer hoped the town’s name would help it be selected
as the county seat of Arapaho County but, unbeknownst to him, Governor Denver had already
resigned from office. The location was accessible to existing trails and was across the South
Platte River from the site of seasonal encampments of the Cheyenne and Arapaho. The site of these
first towns is now occupied by Confluence Park near downtown Denver.
Larimer, along with associates in the St. Charles City Land Company, sold parcels in
the town to merchants and miners, with the intention of creating a major city that would
cater to new immigrants. Denver City was a frontier town, with an economy based on servicing
local miners with gambling, saloons, livestock and goods trading. In the early years, land
parcels were often traded for grubstakes or gambled away by miners in Auraria. In May
1859, Denver City residents donated 53 lots to the Leavenworth & Pike’s Peak Express in
order to secure the region’s first overland wagon route. Offering daily service for “passengers,
mail, freight, and gold”, the Express reached Denver on a trail that trimmed westward travel
time from twelve days to six. In 1863, Western Union furthered Denver’s dominance of the
region by choosing the city for its regional terminus.
The Colorado Territory was created on February 28, 1861, Arapahoe County was formed on November
1, 1861, and Denver City was incorporated on November 7, 1861. Denver City served as
the Arapahoe County Seat from 1861 until consolidation in 1902. In 1867, Denver City became the acting
territorial capital, and in 1881 was chosen as the permanent state capital in a statewide
ballot. With its newfound importance, Denver City shortened its name to Denver. On August
1, 1876, Colorado was admitted to the Union. Although by the close of the 1860s, Denver
residents could look with pride at their success establishing a vibrant supply and service
center, the decision to route the nation’s first transcontinental railroad through Cheyenne,
rather than Denver, threatened the prosperity of the young town. The transcontinental railroad
passed a daunting 100 miles away, but citizens mobilized to build a railroad to connect Denver
to it. Spearheaded by visionary leaders including Territorial Governor John Evans, David Moffat,
and Walter Cheesman, fundraising began. Within three days, $300,000 had been raised, and
citizens were optimistic. Fundraising stalled before enough was raised, forcing these visionary
leaders to take control of the debt-ridden railroad. Despite challenges, on June 24,
1870, citizens cheered as the Denver Pacific completed the link to the transcontinental
railroad, ushering in a new age of prosperity for Denver.Finally linked to the rest of the
nation by rail, Denver prospered as a service and supply center. The young city grew during
these years, attracting millionaires with their mansions, as well as a mixture of crime
and poverty of a rapidly growing city. Denver citizens were proud when the rich chose Denver
and were thrilled when Horace Tabor, the Leadville mining millionaire, built an impressive business
block at 16th and Larimer, as well as the elegant Tabor Grand Opera House. Luxurious
hotels, including the much-loved Brown Palace Hotel, soon followed, as well as splendid
homes for millionaires, such as the Croke, Patterson, Campbell Mansion at 11th and Pennsylvania
and the now-demolished Moffat Mansion at 8th and Grant. Intent on transforming Denver into
one of the world’s great cities, leaders wooed industry and attracted laborers to work in
these factories. Soon, in addition to the elite and a large
middle class, Denver had a growing population of immigrant German, Italian, and Chinese
laborers, soon followed by African Americans from the Deep South and Hispanic workers.
The influx of the new residents strained available housing. In addition, the Silver Crash of
1893 unsettled political, social, and economic balances. Competition among the different
ethnic groups was often expressed as bigotry, and social tensions gave rise to the Red Scare.
Americans were suspicious of immigrants who were sometimes allied with socialist and labor
union causes. After World War I, a revival of the Ku Klux Klan attracted white native-born
Americans who were anxious about the many changes in society. Unlike the earlier organization
that was active in the rural South, KKK chapters developed in urban areas of the Midwest and
West, including Denver, and into Idaho and Oregon. Corruption and crime also developed
in Denver. Between 1880 and 1895 the city underwent a
huge rise in corruption, as crime bosses, such as Soapy Smith, worked side by side with
elected officials and the police to control elections, gambling, and bunco gangs. The
city also suffered a depression in 1893 after the crash of silver prices. In 1887, the precursor
to the international charity United Way was formed in Denver by local religious leaders,
who raised funds and coordinated various charities to help Denver’s poor. By 1890, Denver had
grown to be the second-largest city west of Omaha, Nebraska. In 1900, whites represented
96.8% of Denver’s population. The African American and Hispanic populations increased
with migrations of the 20th century. Many African Americans first came as workers on
the railroad, which had a terminus in Denver, and began to settle there.
Between the 1880s and 1930s, Denver’s floriculture industry developed and thrived. This period
became known locally as the Carnation Gold Rush.A bill proposing a state constitutional
amendment to allow home rule for Denver and other municipalities was introduced in the
legislature in 1901 and passed. The measure called for a statewide referendum, which voters
approved in 1902. On December 1 that year Governor James Orman proclaimed the amendment
part of the state’s fundamental law. The City and County of Denver came into being on that
date and was separated from Arapahoe and Adams Counties.Early in the 20th century, Denver,
like many other cities, was home to a pioneering Brass Era car company. The Colburn Automobile
Company made cars copied from one of its contemporaries, Renault.From 1953 to 1989, the Rocky Flats
Plant, a DOE nuclear weapon facility that was about 15 miles from Denver, produced fissile
plutonium “pits” for nuclear warheads. A major fire at the facility in 1957, as well as leakage
from nuclear waste stored at the site between 1958 and 1968, resulted in the contamination
of some parts of Denver, to varying degrees, with plutonium-239, a harmful radioactive
substance with a half-life of 24,200 years. A 1981 study by the Jefferson County health
director, Dr. Carl Johnson linked the contamination to an increase in birth defects and cancer
incidence in central Denver and nearer Rocky Flats. Later studies confirmed many of his
findings. Plutonium contamination was still present outside the former plant site as of
August 2010. It presents risks to building the envisioned Jefferson Parkway, which would
complete Denver’s automotive beltway. In 1970, Denver was selected to host the 1976
Winter Olympics to coincide with Colorado’s centennial celebration, but in November 1972,
Colorado voters struck down ballot initiatives allocating public funds to pay for the high
costs of the games. They were moved to Innsbruck, Austria. The notoriety of becoming the only
city ever to decline to host an Olympiad after being selected has made subsequent bids difficult.
The movement against hosting the games was based largely on environmental issues and
was led by State Representative Richard Lamm. He was subsequently elected to three terms
(1975–87) as Colorado governor. Denver explored a potential bid for the 2022 Winter Olympics,
but no bid was submitted.In 2010, Denver adopted a comprehensive update of its zoning code.
The new zoning was developed to guide development as envisioned in adopted plans such as Blueprint
Denver, Transit Oriented Development Strategic Plan, Greenprint Denver, and the Strategic
Transportation Plan. Denver has hosted the Democratic National
Convention twice, in 1908 and again in 2008. It promoted the city on the national, political,
and socioeconomic stage. On August 10–15, 1993, Denver hosted the Catholic Church’s
6th World Youth Day, which was attended by an estimated 500,000, making it the largest
gathering in Colorado history. Denver has been known historically as the
Queen City of the Plains and the Queen City of the West, because of its important role
in the agricultural industry of the High Plains region in eastern Colorado and along the foothills
of the Colorado Front Range. Several US Navy ships have been named USS Denver in honor
of the city.==Geography==Denver is in the center of the Front Range
Urban Corridor, between the Rocky Mountains to the west and the High Plains to the east.
Denver’s topography consists of plains in the city center with hilly areas to the north,
west and south. According to the United States Census Bureau the city has a total area of
155 square miles (401 km2), of which 153 square miles (396 km2) is land and 1.6 square miles
(4.1 km2) (1.1%) is water. The City and County of Denver is surrounded by only three other
counties: Adams County to the north and east, Arapahoe County to the south and east, and
Jefferson County to the west. Although Denver’s nickname is the “Mile-High
City” because its official elevation is one mile above sea level, defined by the elevation
of the spot of a benchmark on the steps of the State Capitol building, the elevation
of the entire city ranges from 5,130 to 5,690 feet (1,560 to 1,730 m). According to Geographic
Names Information System (GNIS) and the National Elevation Dataset, the city’s elevation is
5,278 feet (1,609 m), which is reflected on various websites such as the National Weather
Service.===Neighborhoods===As of January 2013, the City and County of
Denver has defined 78 official neighborhoods that the city and community groups use for
planning and administration. Although the city’s delineation of the neighborhood boundaries
is somewhat arbitrary, it corresponds roughly to the definitions used by residents. These
“neighborhoods” should not be confused with cities or suburbs, which may be separate entities
within the metro area. The character of the neighborhoods varies
significantly from one to another and includes everything from large skyscrapers to houses
from the late 19th century to modern, suburban-style developments. Generally, the neighborhoods
closest to the city center are denser, older and contain more brick building material.
Many neighborhoods away from the city center were developed after World War II, and are
built with more modern materials and style. Some of the neighborhoods even farther from
the city center, or recently redeveloped parcels anywhere in the city, have either very suburban
characteristics or are new urbanist developments that attempt to recreate the feel of older
neighborhoods. Most neighborhoods contain parks or other features that are the focal
point of the neighborhood.Denver does not have larger area designations, unlike the
City of Chicago, which has larger areas that house the neighborhoods (IE: Northwest Side).
Denver residents use the terms “north”, “south”, “east”, and “west”. Denver also has a number of neighborhoods
not reflected in the administrative boundaries. These neighborhoods may reflect the way people
in an area identify themselves or they might reflect how others, such as real estate developers,
have defined those areas. Well-known non-administrative neighborhoods include the historic and trendy
LoDo (short for “Lower Downtown”), part of the city’s Union Station neighborhood; Uptown,
straddling North Capitol Hill and City Park West; Curtis Park, part of the Five Points
neighborhood; Alamo Placita, the northern part of the Speer neighborhood; Park Hill,
a successful example of intentional racial integration; and Golden Triangle, in the Civic
Center.===Adjacent counties, municipalities and
Census designated place (CDP)s======Climate===Denver lies within the semi-arid, continental
climate zone (Köppen climate classification: BSk). Despite having a partially dry climate,
data from the University of Melbourne show that Denver is influenced by other climates
that are possibly a consequence of the adjacent elevation that changes precipitation and temperature.
Humid continental and subtropical microclimates can be found. It has four distinct seasons
and receives most of its precipitation from April through August. Due to its inland location
on the High Plains, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, the region can be subject to sudden
changes in weather.July is the warmest month, with an average high temperature of 88 °F
(31.1 °C). Summers range from warm to hot with occasional, sometimes severe, afternoon
thunderstorms and high temperatures reaching 90 °F (32 °C) on 38 days annually, and occasionally
100 °F (38 °C). December, the coldest month of the year, has an average daily high temperature
of 46 °F (7.8 °C). Winters consist of periods of snow and very low temperatures alternating
with periods of milder weather due to the warming effect of Chinook winds. In winter,
daytime highs can exceed 60 °F (16 °C) but also often fail to reach 32 °F (0 °C) during
periods of cold weather and can even fail to rise above 0 °F (−18 °C) on occasion.
On the coldest nights of the year, lows can easily fall to −10 °F (−23 °C) or below.
Snowfall is common throughout the late fall, winter and early spring, averaging 53.5 inches
(136 cm) for 1981–2010. The average window for measurable (≥0.1 in or 0.25 cm) snow
is October 17 through April 27; however, measurable snowfall has fallen in Denver as early as
September 4 and as late as June 3. Extremes in temperature range from −29 °F (−34
°C) on January 9, 1875, up to 105 °F (41 °C) as recently as June 29, 2018. Due to
the city’s high elevation and aridity, diurnal temperature variation is large throughout
the year. Tornadoes are rare west of the I-25 corridor;
however, one notable exception was an F3 tornado that struck 4.4 miles south of downtown on
June 15, 1988. On the other hand, the suburbs east of Denver and the city’s east-northeastern
extension (Denver International Airport) can see a few tornadoes, often weak landspout
tornadoes, each spring and summer especially during June with the enhancement of the Denver
Convergence Vorticity Zone (DCVZ). The DCVZ, also known as the Denver Cyclone, is a variable
vortex of storm-forming air flow usually found north and east of downtown, and which often
includes the airport. Heavy weather from the DCVZ can disrupt airport operations. In a
study looking at hail events in areas with a population of at least 50,000, Denver was
found to be ranked 10th most prone to hail storms in the continental United States. In
fact, Denver has received 3 of the top 10 costliest hailstorms in United States history,
which occurred on July 11, 1990; July 20, 2009; and May 8, 2017 respectively.
Based on 30-year averages obtained from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center for the months
of December, January and February, Weather Channel ranked Denver the 18th coldest major
U.S. city as of 2014.==Demographics==As of the 2010 census, the population of the
City and County of Denver was 600,158, making it the 24th most populous U.S. city. The Denver-Aurora-Lakewood,
CO Metropolitan Statistical Area had an estimated 2013 population of 2,697,476 and ranked as
the 21st most populous U.S. metropolitan statistical area, and the larger Denver-Aurora-Boulder
Combined Statistical Area had an estimated 2013 population of 3,277,309 and ranked as
the 16th most populous U.S. metropolitan area. Denver is the most populous city within a
radius centered in the city and of 550-mile (890 km) magnitude. Denverites is a term used
for residents of Denver. According to the 2010 census, the City and
County of Denver contained 600,158 people and 285,797 households. The population density
was 3,698 inhabitants per square mile (1,428/km²) including the airport. There were 285,797
housing units at an average density of 1,751 per square mile (676/km²). However, the average
density throughout most Denver neighborhoods tends to be higher. Without the 80249 zip
code (47.3 sq mi, 8,407 residents) near the airport, the average density increases to
around 5,470 per square mile. Denver, Colorado, is at the top of the list of 2017 Best Places
to Live, according to U.S. News & World Report, landing a place in the top two in terms of
affordability and quality of lifestyle.According to the 2010 United States Census, the racial
composition of Denver was as follows: White: 68.9% (Non-Hispanic Whites: 52.2%)
Hispanic or Latino (of any race): 31.8%; Mexican Americans made up 24.9% of the city’s population.
Black or African American: 10.2% Asian: 3.4% (0.8% Vietnamese, 0.6% Chinese,
0.5% Indian, 0.3% Korean, 0.3% Japanese, 0.3% Filipino, 0.2% Burmese, 0.1% Cambodian)
Native American: 1.4% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander:
0.1% Some other race: 9.2%
Two or more races: 4.1%Approximately 70.3% of the population (over five years old) spoke
only English at home. An additional 23.5% of the population spoke Spanish at home. In
terms of ancestry, 31.2% were Mexican, 14.6% of the population were of German ancestry,
9.7% were of Irish ancestry, 8.9% were of English ancestry, and 4.0% were of Italian
ancestry. There were 250,906 households, of which 23.2%
have children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.7% were married couples living together,
10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 50.1% were non-families. 39.3%
of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.4% had someone living alone who was
65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27, and the average family size
was 3.14. Age distribution was 22.0% under the age of
18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 36.1% from 25 to 44, 20.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were
65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. Overall there were 102.1 males for
every 100 females. Due to a skewed sex ratio wherein single men outnumber single women,
some protologists have nicknamed the city as Menver.The median household income was
$45,438, and the median family income was $48,195. Males had a median income of $36,232
versus $33,768 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,101. 19.1% of
the population and 14.6% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population,
25.3% of those under the age of 18 and 13.7% of those 65 and older were living below the
poverty line.===Languages===
As of 2010, 72.28% (386,815) of Denver residents aged five and older spoke only English at
home, while 21.42% (114,635) spoke Spanish, 0.85% (4,550) Vietnamese, 0.57% (3,073) African
languages, 0.53% (2,845) Russian, 0.50% (2,681) Chinese, 0.47% (2,527) French, and 0.46% (2,465)
German. In total, 27.72% (148,335) of Denver’s population aged five and older spoke a language
other than English.===Longevity===
According to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, residents of
Denver had a 2014 life expectancy of 80.02 years.==Economy==The Denver MSA has a gross metropolitan product
of $157.6 billion in 2010, making it the 18th largest metro economy in the United States.
Denver’s economy is based partially on its geographic position and its connection to
some of the country’s major transportation systems. Because Denver is the largest city
within 500 miles (800 km), it has become a natural location for storage and distribution
of goods and services to the Mountain States, Southwest states, as well as all western states.
Another benefit for distribution is that Denver is nearly equidistant from large cities of
the Midwest, such as Chicago and St. Louis and some large cities of the West Coast, such
as Los Angeles and San Francisco. Over the years, the city has been home to
other large corporations in the central United States, making Denver a key trade point for
the country. Several well-known companies originated in or have relocated to Denver.
William Ainsworth opened the Denver Instrument Company in 1895 to make analytical balances
for gold assayers. Its factory is now in Arvada. AIMCO (NYSE: AIV)—the largest owner and
operator of apartment communities in the United States, with approximately 870 communities
comprising nearly 136,000 units in 44 states—is headquartered in Denver, employing approximately
3,500 people. Also Samsonite Corp., the world’s largest luggage manufacturer, began in Denver
in 1910 as Shwayder Trunk Manufacturing Company, but Samsonite closed its NE Denver factory
in 2001, and moved its headquarters to Massachusetts after a change of ownership in 2006. The Mountain
States Telephone & Telegraph Company, founded in Denver in 1911, is now a part of telecommunications
giant CenturyLink. On October 31, 1937, Continental Airlines,
now United Airlines, moved its headquarters to Stapleton Airport in Denver, Colorado.
Robert F. Six arranged to have the headquarters moved to Denver from El Paso, Texas because
Six believed that the airline should have its headquarters in a large city with a potential
base of customers. MediaNews Group purchased the Denver Post
in 1987; the company is based in Denver. The Gates Corporation, the world’s largest producer
of automotive belts and hoses, was established in S. Denver in 1919. Russell Stover Candies
made its first chocolate candy in Denver in 1923, but moved to Kansas City in 1969. The
Wright & McGill Company has been making its Eagle Claw brand of fishing gear in NE Denver
since 1925. The original Frontier Airlines began operations at Denver’s old Stapleton
International Airport in 1950; Frontier was reincarnated at DIA in 1994. Scott’s Liquid
Gold, Inc., has been making furniture polish in Denver since 1954. Village Inn restaurants
began as a single pancake house in Denver in 1958. Big O Tires, LLC, of Centennial opened
its first franchise in 1962 in Denver. The Shane Company sold its first diamond jewelry
in 1971 in Denver. In 1973 Re/Max made Denver its headquarters. Johns Manville Corp., a
manufacturer of insulation and roofing products, relocated its headquarters to Denver from
New York in 1972. CH2M HILL Inc., an engineering and construction firm, relocated from Oregon
to the Denver Technological Center in 1980. The Ball Corporation sold its glass business
in Indiana in the 1990s and moved to suburban Broomfield; Ball has several operations in
greater Denver. Molson Coors Brewing Company established its
U.S. headquarters in Denver in 2005. Its subsidiary and regional wholesale distributor, Coors
Distributing Company, is in NW Denver. The Newmont Mining Corporation, the second-largest
gold producer in North America and one of the largest in the world, is headquartered
in Denver. MapQuest, an online site for maps, directions and business listings, is headquartered
in Denver’s LoDo district. Large Denver-area employers that have headquarters
elsewhere include Lockheed Martin Corp., United Airlines, Kroger Co. and Xcel Energy, Inc. Geography also allows Denver to have a considerable
government presence, with many federal agencies based or having offices in the Denver area.
Along with federal agencies come many companies based on US defense and space projects, and
more jobs are brought to the city by virtue of its being the capital of the state of Colorado.
The Denver area is home to the former nuclear weapons plant Rocky Flats, the Denver Federal
Center, Byron G. Rogers Federal Building and United States Courthouse, the Denver Mint,
and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. In 2005, a $310.7 million expansion for the
Colorado Convention Center was completed, doubling its size. The hope was the center’s
expansion would elevate the city to one of the top 10 cities in the nation for holding
a convention.Denver’s position near the mineral-rich Rocky Mountains encouraged mining and energy
companies to spring up in the area. In the early days of the city, gold and silver booms
and busts played a large role in the city’s economic success. In the 1970s and early 1980s,
the energy crisis in America and resulting high oil prices created an energy boom in
Denver captured in the soap opera Dynasty. Denver was built up considerably during this
time with the construction of many new downtown skyscrapers. When the price of oil dropped
from $34 a barrel in 1981 to $9 a barrel in 1986, the Denver economy also dropped, leaving
almost 15,000 oil industry workers in the area unemployed (including former mayor and
governor John Hickenlooper, a former geologist), and the nation’s highest office vacancy rate
(30%). The industry has recovered and the region has 700 employed petroleum engineers.
Advances in hydraulic fracturing have made the DJ Basin of Colorado into an accessible
and lucrative oil play. Energy and mining are still important in Denver’s economy today,
with companies such as EnCana, Halliburton, Smith International, Rio Tinto Group, Newmont
Mining, and Noble Energy, headquartered or having significant operations. Denver is in
149th place in terms of the cost of doing business in the United States. Denver’s west-central geographic location
in the Mountain Time Zone (UTC−7) also benefits the telecommunications industry by allowing
communication with both North American coasts, South America, Europe, and Asia in the same
business day. Denver’s location on the 105th meridian at over one mile (1.6 km) in elevation
also enables it to be the largest city in the U.S. to offer a “one-bounce” real-time
satellite uplink to six continents in the same business day. Qwest Communications now
part of CenturyLink, Dish Network Corporation, Starz, DIRECTV, and Comcast are a few of the
many telecommunications companies with operations in the Denver area. These and other high-tech
companies had a boom in Denver in the mid to late 1990s. After a rise in unemployment
in the Great Recession, Denver’s unemployment rate recovered and had one of the lowest unemployment
rates in the nation at 2.6% in November 2016. As of December 2016, the unemployment rate
for the Denver-Aurora-Broomfield MSA is 2.6%. The Downtown region has seen increased real
estate investment with the construction of several new skyscrapers from 2010 onward and
major development around Denver Union Station. Denver has also enjoyed success as a pioneer
in the fast-casual restaurant industry, with many popular national chain restaurants founded
and based in Denver. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Quiznos, and Smashburger were founded and
headquartered in Denver. Qdoba Mexican Grill, Noodles & Company, and Good Times Burgers
& Frozen Custard originated in Denver, but have moved their headquarters to the suburbs
of Wheat Ridge, Broomfield, and Golden, respectively. In 2015, Denver ranked No. 1 on Forbes’ list
of the Best Places for Business and Careers.==Culture and contemporary life==Apollo Hall opened soon after the city’s founding
in 1859 and staged many plays for eager settlers. In the 1880s Horace Tabor built Denver’s first
opera house. After the start of the 20th century, city leaders embarked on a city beautification
program that created many of the city’s parks, parkways, museums, and the Municipal Auditorium,
which was home to the 1908 Democratic National Convention and is now known as the Ellie Caulkins
Opera House. Denver and the metropolitan areas around it continued to support culture. In
1988, voters in the Denver Metropolitan Area approved the Scientific and Cultural Facilities
Tax (commonly known as SCFD), a 0.1% (1 cent per $10) sales tax that contributes money
to various cultural and scientific facilities and organizations throughout the Metro area.
The tax was renewed by voters in 1994 and 2004 and allows the SCFD to operate until
2018.Denver is home to a wide array of museums. Denver has many nationally recognized museums,
including a new wing for the Denver Art Museum by world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind,
the second largest Performing Arts Center in the nation after Lincoln Center in New
York City and bustling neighborhoods such as LoDo, filled with art galleries, restaurants,
bars and clubs. That is part of the reason why Denver was, in 2006, recognized for the
third year in a row as the best city for singles. Denver’s neighborhoods also continue their
influx of diverse people and businesses while the city’s cultural institutions grow and
prosper. The city acquired the estate of abstract expressionist painter Clyfford Still in 2004
and built a museum to exhibit his works near the Denver Art Museum.
The Denver Museum of Nature and Science holds an aquamarine specimen valued at over $1 million,
as well as specimens of the state mineral, rhodochrosite. Every September the Denver
Mart, at 451 E. 58th Avenue, hosts a gem and mineral show. The state history museum, History
Colorado Center, opened in April 2012. It features hands-on and interactive exhibits,
artifacts and programs about Colorado history. It was named in 2013 by True West Magazine
as one of the top-ten “must see” history museums in the country. History Colorado’s Byers-Evans
House Museum and the Molly Brown House are nearby.
Denver has numerous art districts around the city, including Denver’s Art District on Santa
Fe and the River North Art District (RiNo). While Denver may not be as recognized for
historical musical prominence as some other American cities, it has an active pop, jazz,
jam, folk, metal, and classical music scene, which has nurtured several artists and genres
to regional, national, and even international attention. Of particular note is Denver’s
importance in the folk scene of the 1960s and 1970s. Well-known folk artists such as
Bob Dylan, Judy Collins and John Denver lived in Denver at various points during this time
and performed at local clubs. Three members of the widely popular group Earth, Wind, and
Fire are also from Denver. More recent Denver-based artists include Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night
Sweats, The Lumineers, Air Dubai, The Fray, Flobots, Cephalic Carnage, Axe Murder Boyz,
Deuce Mob, Havok, Bloodstrike, Primitive Man, and Five Iron Frenzy.
Because of its proximity to the mountains and generally sunny weather, Denver has gained
a reputation as being a very active, outdoor-oriented city. Many Denver residents spend the weekends
in the mountains; skiing in the winter and hiking, climbing, kayaking, and camping in
the summer. Denver and surrounding cities are home to
a large number of local and national breweries. Many of the region’s restaurants have on-site
breweries, and some larger brewers offer tours, including Coors and New Belgium Brewing Company.
The city also welcomes visitors from around the world when it hosts the annual Great American
Beer Festival each fall. Denver used to be a major trading center for
beef and livestock when ranchers would drive (or later transport) cattle to the Denver
Union Stockyards for sale. As a celebration of that history, for more than a century Denver
has hosted the annual National Western Stock Show, attracting as many as 10,000 animals
and 700,000 attendees. The show is held every January at the National Western Complex northeast
of downtown. Denver has one of the country’s largest populations
of Mexican Americans and hosts four large Mexican American celebrations: Cinco de Mayo
(with over 500,000 attendees), in May; El Grito de la Independencia, in September; the
annual Lowrider show, and the Dia De Los Muertos art shows/events in North Denver’s Highland
neighborhood, and the Lincoln Park neighborhood in the original section of West Denver.
Denver is also famous for its dedication to New Mexican cuisine and the chile. It’s best
known for its green and red chile sauce, Colorado burrito, Southwest (Denver) omelette, breakfast
burrito, chiles rellenos, and tamales. Denver is also well known for other types of food
such as Rocky Mountain oysters, rainbow trout, and the Denver sandwich.
The Dragon Boat Festival in July, Moon Festival in September and Chinese New Year are annual
events in Denver for the Chinese and Asian-American communities. Chinese hot pot (huo guo) and
Korean BBQ restaurants have been growing in popularity. The Denver area has 2 Chinese
newspapers, the Chinese American Post and the Colorado Chinese News.Denver has long
been a place tolerant of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) community.
Many gay bars can be found on Colfax Avenue and on South Broadway. Every June, Denver
hosts the annual Denver PrideFest in Civic Center Park, the largest LGBTQ Pride festival
in the Rocky Mountain region.Denver is the setting for The Bill Engvall Show, Tim Allen’s
Last Man Standing and the 18th season of MTV’s The Real World. It was also the setting for
the prime time drama Dynasty from 1981 to 1989 (although the show was mostly filmed
in Los Angeles). From 1998 to 2002 the city’s Alameda East Veterinary Hospital was home
to the Animal Planet series Emergency Vets, which spun off three documentary specials
and the current Animal Planet series E-Vet Interns. The city is also the setting for
the Disney Channel sitcom Good Luck Charlie.==Sports==Denver is home to a variety of sports teams
and is one of 13 U.S. cities with teams from four major sports (the Denver metro area is
the smallest metropolitan area to have a team in all four major sports). Including MLS soccer,
it is one of 10 cities to have five major sports teams. The Denver Broncos of the National
Football League have drawn crowds of over 70,000 since their origins in the early 1960s,
and continue to draw fans today to their current home Empower Field at Mile High. The Broncos
have sold out every home game (except for strike-replacement games) since 1970. The
Broncos have advanced to eight Super Bowls and won back-to-back titles in 1997 and 1998,
and won again in 2015. The Colorado Rockies were created as an expansion
franchise in 1993 and Coors Field opened in 1995. The Rockies advanced to the playoffs
that year, but were eliminated in the first round. In 2007, they advanced to the playoffs
as a wild-card entrant, won the NL Championship Series, and brought the World Series to Denver
for the first time but were swept in four games by the Boston Red Sox.
Denver has been home to two National Hockey League teams. The Colorado Rockies played
from 1976 to 1982, but became the New Jersey Devils. The Colorado Avalanche joined in 1995,
after relocating from Quebec City. While in Denver, they have won two Stanley Cups in
1996 and in 2001. The Denver Nuggets joined the American Basketball Association in 1967
and the National Basketball Association in 1976. The Avalanche and Nuggets have played
at Pepsi Center since 1999. The Major League Soccer team Colorado Rapids play in Dick’s
Sporting Goods Park, an 18,000-seat soccer-specific stadium opened for the 2007 MLS season in
the Denver suburb of Commerce City. The Rapids won the MLS Cup in 2010. Denver has several additional professional
teams. In 2006 Denver established a Major League Lacrosse team, the Denver Outlaws.
They play in Empower Field at Mile High. In 2006, the Denver Outlaws won the Western Conference
Championship, and then went on to become 2014 MLL Champions, eight years later. The Colorado
Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League play at the Pepsi Center.
In 2018 the Denver Bandits were established as the first professional football team for
women in Colorado, and will be a part of the initial season for the Women’s National Football
Conference WNFC in 2019. Denver submitted the winning bid to host the
1976 Winter Olympics but subsequently withdrew, giving it the dubious distinction of being
the only city to back out after having won its bid to host the Olympics. Denver and Colorado
Springs hosted the 1962 World Ice Hockey Championships.==Parks and recreation==
As of 2006, Denver had over 200 parks, from small mini-parks all over the city to the
giant 314-acre (1.27 km2) City Park. Denver also has 29 recreation centers providing places
and programming for resident’s recreation and relaxation.
Many of Denver’s parks were acquired from state lands in the late 19th and early 20th
centuries. This coincided with the City Beautiful movement, and Denver mayor Robert Speer (1904–12
and 1916–18) set out to expand and beautify the city’s parks. Reinhard Schuetze was the
city’s first landscape architect, and he brought his German-educated landscaping genius to
Washington Park, Cheesman Park, and City Park among others. Speer used Schuetze as well
as other landscape architects such as Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. and Saco Rienk DeBoer to design
not only parks such as Civic Center Park, but many city parkways and tree-lawns. All
of this greenery was fed with South Platte River water diverted through the city ditch. In addition to the parks within Denver, the
city acquired land for mountain parks starting in the 1911s. Over the years, Denver has acquired,
built and maintained approximately 14,000 acres (57 km2) of mountain parks, including
Red Rocks Park, which is known for its scenery and musical history revolving around the unique
Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Denver also owns the mountain on which the Winter Park Resort ski
area operates in Grand County, 67 miles (110 km) west of Denver. City parks are important
places for Denverites and visitors, inciting controversy with every change. Denver continues
to grow its park system with the development of many new parks along the Platte River through
the city, and with Central Park and Bluff Lake Nature Center in the Stapleton neighborhood
redevelopment. All of these parks are important gathering places for residents and allow what
was once a dry plain to be lush, active, and green. Denver is also home to a large network
of public community gardens, most of which are managed by Denver Urban Gardens, a non-profit
organization. Since 1974, Denver and the surrounding jurisdictions
have rehabilitated the urban South Platte River and its tributaries for recreational
use by hikers and cyclists. The main stem of the South Platte River Greenway runs along
the South Platte from Chatfield Reservoir 35 miles (56 km) into Adams County in the
north. The Greenway project is recognized as one of the best urban reclamation projects
in the U.S., winning, for example, the Silver Medal Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence
in 2001.In its 2013 ParkScore ranking, The Trust for Public Land, a national land conservation
organization, reported Denver had the 17th best park system among the 50 most populous
U.S. cities.==Government==Denver is a consolidated city-county with
a mayor elected on a nonpartisan ballot, a 13-member city council and an auditor. The
Denver City Council is elected from 11 districts with two at-large council-members and is responsible
for passing and changing all laws, resolutions, and ordinances, usually after a public hearing,
and can also call for misconduct investigations of Denver’s departmental officials. All elected
officials have four-year terms, with a maximum of three terms. The current mayor is Michael
Hancock. Denver has a strong mayor/weak city council
government. The mayor can approve or veto any ordinances or resolutions approved by
the council, makes sure all contracts with the city are kept and performed, signs all
bonds and contracts, is responsible for the city budget, and can appoint people to various
city departments, organizations, and commissions. However, the council can override the mayor’s
veto with a nine out of thirteen member vote, and the city budget must be approved and can
be changed by a simple majority vote of the council. The auditor checks all expenditures
and may refuse to allow specific ones, usually based on financial reasons.The Denver Department
of Safety oversees three branches: the Denver Police Department, Denver Fire Department,
and Denver Sheriff Department. The Denver County Court is an integrated Colorado County
Court and Municipal Court and is managed by Denver instead of the state.===Politics===
While Denver elections are non-partisan, Democrats have long dominated the city’s politics; most
citywide officials are known to be Democrats. The mayor’s office has been occupied by a
Democrat since the 1963 municipal election. All of the city’s seats in the state legislature
are held by Democrats. In federal elections, Denverites also tend
to vote for Democratic candidates, voting for the Democratic Presidential nominee in
every election since 1960, excluding 1972 and 1980. At the federal level, Denver is
the heart of Colorado’s 1st congressional district, which includes all of Denver and
parts of Arapahoe County. It is represented by Democrat Diana DeGette.
Benjamin F. Stapleton was the mayor of Denver, Colorado, for two periods, the first from
1923 to 1931 and the second from 1935 to 1947. Stapleton was responsible for many civic improvements,
notably during his second stint as mayor when he had access to funds and manpower from the
New Deal. During this time, the park system was considerably expanded and the Civic Center
completed. His signature project was the construction of Denver Municipal Airport, which began in
1929 amidst heavy criticism. It was later renamed Stapleton International Airport in
his honor. Today, the airport has been replaced by a neighborhood also named Stapleton. Stapleton
Street continues to bear his name. During the 1960s and 1970s, Denver was one
of the epicenters of the Chicano Movement. The boxer-turned-activist Rodolfo “Corky”
Gonzales formed an organization called the Crusade for Justice, which battled police
brutality, fought for bilingual education, and, most notably, hosted the First National
Chicano Youth Liberation Conference in March 1969.In recent years, Denver has taken a stance
on helping people who are or become homeless, particularly under the administrations of
mayors John Hickenlooper and Wellington Webb. At a rate of 19 homeless per 10,000 residents
in 2011 as compared to 50 or more per 10,000 residents for the four metro areas with the
highest rate of homelessness, Denver’s homeless population and rate of homeless are both considerably
lower than many other major cities. However, residents of the city streets suffer Denver
winters – which, although mild and dry much of the time, can have brief periods of extremely
cold temperatures and snow. In 2005, Denver became the first major city
in the U.S. to vote to make the private possession of less than an ounce of marijuana legal for
adults 21 and older. The city voted 53.5 percent in favor of the marijuana legalization measure,
which, as then-mayor John Hickenlooper pointed out, was without effect, because the city
cannot usurp state law, which at that time treated marijuana possession in much the same
way as a speeding ticket, with fines of up to $100 and no jail time. Denver passed an
initiative in the fourth quarter of 2007 requiring the mayor to appoint an 11-member review panel
to monitor the city’s compliance with the 2005 ordinance. In 2012, Colorado Amendment
64 was signed into law by Governor John Hickenlooper and at the beginning of 2014 Colorado became
the first state to allow the sale of marijuana for recreational use.In May 2019, Denver became
the first U.S. city to decriminalize psilocybin mushrooms after an initiative passed with
50.6% of the vote. The measure prohibits Denver from using any resources to prosecute adults
over 21 for personal use of psilocybin mushrooms, though such use remains illegal under state
and federal law.Former Denver mayor John Hickenlooper was a member of the Mayors Against Illegal
Guns Coalition, an organization formed in 2006 and co-chaired by New York City mayor
Michael Bloomberg and Boston mayor Thomas Menino.
Denver hosted the 2008 Democratic National Convention, which was the centennial of the
city’s first hosting of the landmark 1908 convention. It also hosted the G7 (now G8)
summit between June 20 and 22 in 1997 and the 2000 National Convention of the Green
Party. In 1972, 1981, and 2008, Denver also played host to the Libertarian Party of the
United States National Convention. The 1972 Convention was notable for nominating Tonie
Nathan as the Vice Presidential candidate, the first woman, as well as the first Jew,
to receive an electoral vote in a United States presidential election.
On October 31, 2011, it was announced The University of Denver in Denver would host
the first of three 2012 presidential debates to be held on October 3, 2012.In July 2019,
Mayor Hancock said that Denver will not assist U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents
with immigration raids.===Taxes===
The City and County of Denver levies an Occupational Privilege Tax (OPT or head tax) on employers
and employees. If any employee performs work in the city
limits and is paid over $500 for that work in a single month, the employee and employer
are both liable for the OPT regardless of where the main business office is located
or headquartered. The employer is liable for $4 per employee
per month and the employee is liable for $5.75 per month.
It is the employer’s responsibility to withhold, remit, and file the OPT returns. If an employer
does not comply, the employer can be held liable for both portions of the OPT as well
as penalties and interest.==Education==Denver Public Schools (DPS) is the public
school system in Denver. It educates approximately 92,000 students in 92 elementary schools,
18 K-8 schools, 34 middle schools, 44 high schools, and 19 charter schools. The first
school of what is now DPS was a log cabin that opened in 1859 on the corner of 12th
Street between Market and Larimer Streets. The district boundaries are coextensive with
the city limits. The Cherry Creek School District serves some areas with Denver postal addresses
that are outside the city limits.Denver’s many colleges and universities range in age
and study programs. Three major public schools constitute the Auraria Campus: the University
of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and Community College of Denver.
The private University of Denver was the first institution of higher learning in the city
and was founded in 1864. Other prominent Denver higher education institutions include Johnson
& Wales University, Catholic (Jesuit) Regis University and the city has Roman Catholic
and Jewish institutions, as well as a health sciences school. In addition to those schools
within the city, there are a number of schools throughout the surrounding metro area.==Media==The Denver Metropolitan Area is served by
a variety of media outlets in print, radio, television, and the Internet.===Television stations===
Denver is the 16th-largest market in the country for television, according to the 2009–2010
rankings from Nielsen Media Research. KWGN-TV, channel 2, is a CW affiliate owned
by Tribune Broadcasting. Tribune also owns KDVR, the Fox affiliate on channel 31, and
KWGN is controlled by KDVR management. KWGN is Colorado’s first television station, signing
on the air in July 1952. KCNC-TV, channel 4, is a CBS owned and operated
station. KRMA-TV, channel 6, is the flagship outlet
of Rocky Mountain PBS, a statewide network of Public Broadcasting Service stations. Programming
on KRMA is rebroadcast to four other stations throughout Colorado.
KMGH-TV, channel 7, is an ABC affiliate owned by the E.W. Scripps Company, previously owned
by the McGraw-Hill company from 1972 to January 2012.
KUSA-TV, channel 9, is an NBC affiliate, owned by Tegna, Inc.. TEGNA also owns KTVD, the
MyNetworkTV affiliate on channel 20. KBDI-TV, channel 12, is Denver’s secondary
PBS affiliate. KDEN-TV, channel 25, is a Telemundo-owned
station. KDVR, channel 31, is Denver’s FOX affiliate.
KPJR-TV, channel 38, is a Trinity Broadcasting Network-owned station.
KCEC, channel 50, is the Univision affiliate. KETD, channel 53, is a Christian station owned
by the LeSEA Broadcasting group.===Radio stations===
Denver is also served by over 40 AM and FM radio stations, covering a wide variety of
formats and styles. Denver-Boulder radio is the No. 19 market in the United States, according
to the Spring 2011 Arbitron ranking (up from No. 20 in Fall 2009).
For a list of radio stations, see Radio Stations in Colorado.===Print===
After a continued rivalry between Denver’s two main newspapers, the Denver Post and Rocky
Mountain News, the papers merged operations in 2001 under a Joint Operating Agreement
that formed the Denver Newspaper Agency until February 2009 when E. W. Scripps Company,
the owner of the Rocky Mountain News, closed the paper. There are also several alternative
or localized newspapers published in Denver, including the Westword, Law Week Colorado,
Out Front Colorado and the Intermountain Jewish News. Denver is home to multiple regional
magazines such as 5280, which takes its name from the city’s mile-high elevation (5,280
feet or 1,609 meters).==Transportation=====
City streets===Most of Denver has a straightforward street
grid oriented to the four cardinal directions. Blocks are usually identified in hundreds
from the median streets, identified as “00”, which are Broadway (the east–west median,
running north–south) and Ellsworth Avenue (the north–south median, running east–west).
Colfax Avenue, a major east–west artery through Denver, is 15 blocks (1500) north
of the median. Avenues north of Ellsworth are numbered (with the exception of Colfax
Avenue and several others, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd and Montview Blvd.),
while avenues south of Ellsworth are named. There is also an older downtown grid system
that was designed to be parallel to the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek.
Most of the streets downtown and in LoDo run northeast–southwest and northwest–southeast.
This system has an unplanned benefit for snow removal; if the streets were in a normal N–S/E–W
grid, only the N–S streets would receive sunlight. With the grid oriented to the diagonal
directions, the NW–SE streets receive sunlight to melt snow in the morning and the NE–SW
streets receive it in the afternoon. This idea was from Henry Brown the founder of the
Brown Palace Hotel. There is now a plaque across the street from the Brown Palace Hotel
that honors this idea. The NW–SE streets are numbered, while the NE–SW streets are
named. The named streets start at the intersection of Colfax Avenue and Broadway with the block-long
Cheyenne Place. The numbered streets start underneath the Colfax and I-25 viaducts. There
are 27 named and 44 numbered streets on this grid. There are also a few vestiges of the
old grid system in the normal grid, such as Park Avenue, Morrison Road, and Speer Boulevard.
Larimer Street, named after William Larimer, Jr., the founder of Denver, which is in the
heart of LoDo, is the oldest street in Denver. All roads in the downtown grid system are
streets (e.g. 16th Street, Stout Street). Roads outside that system that travel east/west
are given the suffix “avenue” and those that head north and south are given the “street”
suffix (e.g. Colfax Avenue, Lincoln Street). Boulevards are higher capacity streets and
travel any direction (more commonly north and south). Smaller roads are sometimes referred
to as places, drives (though not all drives are smaller capacity roads, some are major
thoroughfares) or courts. Most streets outside the area between Broadway and Colorado Boulevard
are organized alphabetically from the city’s center.
Some Denver streets have bicycle lanes, leaving a patchwork of disjointed routes throughout
the city. There are over 850 miles of paved, off-road, bike paths in Denver parks and along
bodies of water, like Cherry Creek and the South Platte. This allows for a significant
portion of Denver’s population to be bicycle commuters and has led to Denver being known
as a bicycle-friendly city. Some residents are very opposed to bike lanes, which have
caused some plans to be watered down or nixed. The review process for one bike line on Broadway
will last over a year before city council members will make a decision. In addition
to the many bike paths, Denver launched B-Cycle – a citywide bicycle sharing program – in
late April 2010. The B-Cycle network was the largest in the United States at the time of
its launch, boasting 400 bicycles.The Denver Boot, a car-disabling device, was first used
in Denver.===Cycling===
The League of American Bicyclists has rated Colorado as the sixth most bicycle-friendly
state in the nation for the year 2014. This is due in large part to Front Range cities
like Boulder, Fort Collins and Denver placing an emphasis on legislation, programs and infrastructure
developments that promote cycling as a mode of transportation. Walk score has rated Denver
as the fourth most bicycle-friendly large city in the United States.
According to data from the 2011 American Community Survey, Denver ranks 6th among US cities with
populations over 400,000 in terms of the percentage of workers who commute by bicycle at 2.2%
of commuters. B-Cycle – Denver’s citywide bicycle sharing program – was the largest
in the United States at the time of its launch, boasting 400 bicycles. Through the acquisition
of new grants, the program has expanded each year, adding dozens of new stations and hundreds
of bikes, and beginning service during the winter months.===Micro-mobility===
In 2018, Denver entered the public micro-mobility space with dockless electric scooters and
e-bike services. Hundreds of unsanctioned LimeBike and Bird electric scooters appeared
on Denver streets in May, causing an uproar. The scooters were nixed in June; the city
scrambled to create an official city pilot program, making a requirement that scooters
be left at RTD stops and out of the public right-of-way. Lime and Bird scooters then
reappeared in late July, with limited compliance. Uber’s Jump e-bikes arrived in late August,
followed by Lyft’s nationwide electric scooter launch in early September. Lyft plans to offer
ride-sharing, electric scooter and e-bike services all from its app. It says that it
will, each night, take the scooters to the warehouse for safety checks, maintenance and
charging. Additionally, Spin and Razor each were permitted to add 350 scooters to the
mix.===Walkability===
2017 rankings by Walk Score placed Denver twenty-sixth among 108 U.S. cities with a
population of 200,000 or greater. City leaders have acknowledged the concerns of walkability
advocates that Denver has serious gaps in its sidewalk network. The 2019 Denver Moves:
Pedestrians plan outlines a need for approximate $1.3 billion in sidewalk funding, plus $400
million for trails. Denver does not currently have resources to fully fund this plan.===Modal characteristics===
In 2015, 9.6 percent of Denver households lacked a car, and in 2016, this was virtually
unchanged (9.4 percent). The national average was 8.7 percent in 2016. Denver averaged 1.62
cars per household in 2016, compared to a national average of 1.8.===Freeways and highways===
Denver is primarily served by the interstate freeways I-25 and I-70. The problematic intersection
of the two interstates is referred to locally as “the mousetrap” because, when viewed from
the air, the junction (and subsequent vehicles) resemble mice in a large trap. Interstate 25 runs north–south from New
Mexico through Denver to Wyoming Interstate 225 traverses neighboring Aurora.
I-225 was designed to link Aurora with I-25 in the southeastern corner of Denver, and
I-70 to the north of Aurora, with construction starting May 1964 and ending May 21, 1976.
Interstate 70 runs east–west from Utah to Maryland. It is also the primary corridor
on which Denverites access the mountains. A proposed $1.2 billion widening of an urban
portion through a primarily low-income and Latino community has been met with community
protests and calls to reroute the interstate along the less urban Interstate 270 alignment.
They cite increased pollution and the negative effects of tripling the interstates large
footprint through the neighborhood as primary objections. The affected neighborhood bisected
by the Interstate was also designated the most polluted neighborhood in the country
and is home to a Superfund site. Interstate 270 runs concurrently with US 36
from an interchange with Interstate 70 in northeast Denver to an interchange with Interstate
25 north of Denver. The freeway continues as US 36 from the interchange with Interstate
25. Interstate 76 begins from I-70 just west of
the city in Arvada. It intersects I-25 north of the city and runs northeast to Nebraska
where it ends at I-80. US 6 follows the alignment of 6th Avenue west
of I-25, and connects downtown Denver to the west-central suburbs of Golden and Lakewood.
It continues west through Utah and Nevada to Bishop, California. To the east, it continues
as far as Provincetown, on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. US 285 ends its 847 Mile route through New
Mexico and Texas at Interstate 25 in the University Hills Neighborhood.
US 85 also travels through Denver. This Highway is often used as an alternate route to Castle
Rock instead of taking Interstate 25. US 36 connects Denver to Boulder and Rocky
Mountain National Park near Estes Park. It runs east into Ohio, after crossing four other
states. State Highway 93 starts in the Western Metropolitan
area in Golden, Colorado and travels almost 19 miles to meet with SH 119 in central Boulder.
This highway is often used as an alternate route to Boulder instead of taking US 36.
State Highway 470 (C-470, SH 470) is the southwestern portion of the Denver metro area’s beltway.
Originally planned as Interstate 470 in the 1960s, the beltway project was attacked on
environmental impact grounds and the interstate beltway was never built. The portion of “Interstate
470” built as a state highway is the present-day SH 470, which is a freeway for its entire
length.Denver also has a nearly complete beltway known as “the 470’s”. These are SH 470 (also
known as C-470), a freeway in the southwest Metro area, and two toll highways, E-470 (from
southeast to northeast) and Northwest Parkway (from terminus of E-470 to US 36). SH 470
was intended to be I-470 and built with federal highway funds, but the funding was redirected
to complete conversion of downtown Denver’s 16th Street to a pedestrian mall. As a result,
construction was delayed until 1980 after state and local legislation was passed. I-470
was also once called “The Silver Stake Highway”, from Gov. Lamm’s declared intention to drive
a silver stake through it and kill it. A highway expansion and transit project for
the southern I-25 corridor, dubbed T-REX (Transportation Expansion Project), was completed on November
17, 2006. The project installed wider and additional highway lanes, and improved highway
access and drainage. The project also includes a light rail line that traverses from downtown
to the south end of the metro area at Lincoln Avenue. The project spanned almost 19 miles
(31 km) along the highway with an additional line traveling parallel to part of I-225,
stopping just short of Parker Road. Metro Denver highway conditions can be accessed
on the Colorado Department of Transportation website Traffic Conditions.===Mass transportation===Mass transportation throughout the Denver
metropolitan area is managed and coordinated by the Regional Transportation District (RTD).
RTD operates more than 1,000 buses serving over 10,000 bus stops in 38 municipal jurisdictions
in eight counties around the Denver and Boulder metropolitan areas. Additionally, RTD operates
nine rail lines, the A, B, C, D, E, F, G, L, R, W, and H with a total of 57.9 miles
(93.2 km) of track, serving 44 stations. The C, D, E, F, L, R, W and H lines are light
rail while the A Line, B Line and G Line are commuter rail.
FasTracks is a commuter rail, light rail, and bus expansion project approved by voters
in 2004, which will serve neighboring suburbs and communities. The W Line, or West line,
opened in April 2013 serving Golden/Federal Center. The commuter rail A Line from Denver
Union Station to Denver International Airport opened in April 2016 with ridership exceeding
RTD’s early expectations. The light rail R Line through Aurora opened in February 2017.
Two additional commuter rail lines are planned to open in the near future with the G Line
to the suburb of Arvada opening on April 26, 2019 after being originally planned to open
in the Fall of 2016, and the N Line to Commerce City and Thornton, currently estimated to
be open in Spring 2020.An express bus service, known as the Flatiron Flyer, serves to connect
Boulder and Denver. The service, billed as bus rapid transit, has been accused of bus
rapid transit creep for failing to meet the majority of BRT requirements, including level
boarding and all-door entry. A commuter rail connection to Boulder and its suburb of Longmont,
also part of the FasTracks ballot initiative and an extension of the B Line, is planned
to be finished by RTD, but no construction funds have yet been identified prior to 2040.
RTD is currently considering an interim commuter service which would run rush-hour trains from
Longmont to Denver. CDOT runs a bus system named Bustang that
offers weekday service between Union Station in Denver, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs,
and Fort Collins with additional routes serving Durango, Alamosa, Pueblo, Lamar and Gunnison. Greyhound Lines, the intercity bus operator,
has a major hub in Denver, with routes to New York City, Portland, Reno, Las Vegas,
and their headquarters, Dallas. Subsidiary Autobuses Americanos provides service to El
Paso. Allied bus operators Black Hills Trailways, and Burlington Trailways provide service to
Billings, Omaha, Indianapolis, and Alamosa. Amtrak, the national passenger rail system,
provides service to Denver, operating its California Zephyr daily in both directions
between Chicago and Emeryville, California, across the bay from San Francisco. Amtrak
Thruway service operated by private bus companies links the Denver station with Rocky Mountain
points. In 2017 a bill was introduced into the state legislature to connect towns and
cities along the Front Range with an additional Amtrak line or state-funded alternative.
At Albuquerque, New Mexico, Denver Thruway connections are made daily with the Amtrak
Southwest Chief. Additionally, the Ski Train operated on the former Denver & Rio Grande
Western Railroad, which took passengers between Denver and the Winter Park Ski Resort, but
it is no longer in service. The Ski Train made its final run to Winter Park on March
29, 2009. The service was revived on a trial basis in 2016 with a great amount of local
fanfare. Further development of a mountain corridor rail option, though publicly popular,
has been met with resistance from politicians, namely the director of Colorado Department
of Transportation. The Ski Train did return to service under Amtrak with the name “Winter
Park Express” in 2017, and currently runs only on Saturdays, Sundays, and major holidays
during the winter ski seasons. Denver’s early years as a major train hub
of the west are still very visible today. Trains stop in Denver at historic Union Station,
where travelers can access RTD’s 16th Street Free MallRide or use light rail to tour the
city. Union Station will also serve as the main juncture for rail travel in the metro
area, at the completion of FasTracks. The city also plans to invest billions to bringing
frequent public transit within one-fourth of a mile of most of its residents.====Denver public transportation statistics
====The average amount of time people spend commuting
on public transit in Denver and Boulder, Colorado—for example, to and from work, on a weekday—is
77 minutes; 31% of public transit riders ride for more than 2 hours every day. The average
amount of time people wait at a stop or station for public transit is 14 minutes, while 25%
of riders wait for over 20 minutes, on average, every day. The average distance people usually
ride in a single trip with public transit is 6.96 miles (11.20 km), while 31% travel
over 7.46 miles (12.01 km) in a single direction.===Airports===Denver International Airport (IATA: DEN, ICAO:
KDEN), commonly known as DIA, serves as the primary airport for a large region surrounding
Denver. DIA is 18.6 miles (30 km) east-northeast of the Colorado State Capitol. DIA is the
20th busiest airport in the world and ranks 5th in the United States, with 64,494,613
passengers passing through it in 2018. It covers more than 53 square miles (137.3 km2),
making it the largest airport by land area in the United States and larger than the island
of Manhattan. Denver serves as a major hub for United Airlines, is the headquarters for
Frontier Airlines, and is the fastest-growing focus city for Southwest Airlines.
As of 2017, Denver International Airport has been rated by Skytrax as the 28th best airport
in the world, falling to second place in the United States behind only Cincinnati/Northern
Kentucky International Airport. Skytrax also named DIA as the second best regional airport
in North America for 2017, and the fourth best regional airport in the world.
Three general aviation airports serve the Denver area. Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport
(KBJC) is 13.7 miles (22 km) north-northwest, Centennial Airport (KAPA) is 13.7 miles (22
km) south-southeast, and Front Range Airport (KFTG) is 23.7 miles (38 km) east of the state
capitol. In the past, Denver has been home to several
other airports that are no longer operational. Stapleton International Airport was closed
in 1995 when it was replaced by DIA. Lowry Air Force Base was a military flight training
facility that ceased flight operations in 1966, with the base finally being closed in
1994. It is being used for residential purposes. Buckley Air Force Base, a former Air National
Guard base, is the only military facility in the Denver area.==Notable people====
In popular culture==Sal Paradise, the main character in Jack Kerouac’s
acclaimed novel On the Road, visits Denver several times in the book as he travels between
San Francisco and New York. The headquarters of Blake Carrington’s oil
empire was set in Denver in the 1980s prime-time soap Dynasty.
In Tom Clancy’s 1991 novel The Sum of All Fears, a terrorist group attempts to destroy
Denver with a nuclear weapon while it is hosting the Super Bowl. They fail to destroy the city,
but both teams and all spectators watching the game are killed. In the 2002 film version,
the action takes place in Baltimore. The 1993 Clint Eastwood film In the Line of
Fire features Denver in a scene where the President of the United States visits and
holds a campaign rally at the Civic Center south of downtown.
The setting for the 1995 movie Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead, starring Andy
García and Christopher Lloyd. The sitcom Good Luck Charlie (2010–2014)
is set In Denver. The 2016 TruTV show Those Who Can’t is based
in a fictional Denver high school and features many Denver-based comedians, including Ben
Roy, Adam Cayton-Holland, and Andrew Orvedahl. In the alternate history series The Man in
the High Castle (TV series), Denver is featured as the capital of the neutral zone between
the Japanese Pacific States and the Greater American Nazi Reich.==Sister cities==Denver’s relationship with Brest, France,
began in 1948, making it the second-oldest sister city in the United States. Since then,
Denver has established relationships with additional sister cities:
Brest, Brittany, France, (1948) Takayama, Gifu, Japan (1960)
Nairobi, Kenya (1975) Karmiel, Israel (1977)
Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico (1983) Potenza, Basilicata, Italy (1983)
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India (1984) Kunming, Yunnan, China (1985)
Axum, Ethiopia (1995) Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (2001)
Baghdad Governorate, Iraq (2012)==See also==Arapahoe County, Colorado
Arapahoe County, Kansas Territory Colorado metropolitan areas
Front Range Urban Corridor Gang activity in Denver
Historic Colorado counties List of cities and towns in Colorado
List of counties in Colorado List of mayors of Denver
National Register of Historic Places listings in Denver, Colorado
New Denver, British Columbia North Central Colorado Urban Area
Silicon Mountain==Notes

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