Denver (/ˈdɛnvər/), 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, and 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 704,621 in 2017, Denver is the 19th-most populous U.S. city, and with a 17.41% 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 2017 population of 2,888,227 and is the 19th most populous U.S. metropolitan statistical area. The 12-city Denver-Aurora, CO Combined Statistical Area had an estimated 2017 population of 3,515,374 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 2017 population of 4,895,589. 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.
|City and County of Denver|
Location within Colorado
Location within the United States
Location within North America
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|City and County||Denver|
|Founded||November 17, 1858, as Denver City, K.T.|
|Incorporated||November 7, 1861, as Denver City, C.T.|
|Consolidated||November 15, 1902, as the City and County of Denver|
|Named for||James W. Denver|
|• Type||Consolidated City and County|
|• Body||Denver City Council|
|• Mayor||Michael Hancock (D)|
|• State capital and consolidated city-county||154.97 sq mi (401.36 km2)|
|• Land||153.33 sq mi (397.13 km2)|
|• Water||1.63 sq mi (4.23 km2) 1.1%|
|• Metro||8,414.4 sq mi (21,793 km2)|
|Elevation||5,130–5,690 ft (1,564–1,734 m)|
|• State capital and consolidated city-county||600,158|
| • Estimate |
|• Rank||US: 19th|
|• Density||4,519.94/sq mi (1,745.15/km2)|
|• Urban||2,374,203 (US: 18th)|
|• Metro||2,888,227 (US: 19th)|
|• CSA||3,515,374 (US: 15th)|
|Time zone||UTC−7 (MST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−6 (MDT)|
80201–80212, 80214–80239, 80241, 80243–80244, 80246–80252, 80256–80266, 80271, 80273–80274, 80279–80281, 80290–80291, 80293–80295, 80299, 80012, 80014, 80022, 80033, 80123, 80127
|Area code(s)||303 and 720|
|GNIS feature ID||0201738|
|Major airport||Denver International Airport|
Capital and most populous city of the State of Colorado
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 make it 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 the site of 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 territorial capital. 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. A daunting 100 miles away, citizens mobilized to build a railroad to connect Denver to the transcontinental railroad. 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 the poverty and crime 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 like 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 enticed laborers to work in these factories. Soon, in addition to the elite and a large middle class, Denver had a growing population of German, Italian, and Chinese laborers, soon followed by African-Americans and Spanish-surnamed workers. Unprepared for this influx, the Silver Crash of 1893 unsettled political, social, and economic balances, laying the foundation for ethnic bigotry, such as the Red Scare and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, as well as corruption and crime.
Between 1880 and 1895 the city experienced 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 experienced 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.
In 1901, the Colorado General Assembly voted to split Arapahoe County into three parts: a new consolidated City and County of Denver, a new Adams County, and the remainder of the Arapahoe County to be renamed South Arapahoe County. A ruling by the Colorado Supreme Court, subsequent legislation, and a referendum delayed the creation of the City and County of Denver until November 15, 1902.
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 study by the Jefferson County health director, Dr. Carl Johnson, in 1981, 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, and 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, which were subsequently 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, who 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, taking the opportunity to promote the city's status 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 also 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.
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.
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.
|North: Adams County, Berkley, Northglenn, Commerce City|
|West: Jefferson County, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Lakeside, Mountain View, Edgewater, Lakewood, Dakota Ridge||Denver
Enclave: Arapahoe County, Glendale, Holly Hills
|South: Arapahoe County, Bow Mar, Littleton, Sheridan, Englewood, Cherry Hills Village, Greenwood Village, Aurora|
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 interpolated 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 a daily average temperature of 74.2 °F (23.4 °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 a daily average temperature of 29.9 °F (−1.2 °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 three 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.
|Climate data for Denver (DIA), 1981−2010 normals,[a] extremes 1872−present[b]|
|Record high °F (°C)||76
|Mean maximum °F (°C)||64.7
|Average high °F (°C)||44.0
|Daily mean °F (°C)||30.7
|Average low °F (°C)||17.4
|Mean minimum °F (°C)||−3
|Record low °F (°C)||−29
|Average precipitation inches (mm)||0.41
|Average snowfall inches (cm)||7.0
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||4.1||5.3||5.9||9.1||9.4||8.4||8.3||8.6||6.5||5.3||4.7||4.1||79.7|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||5.0||5.3||5.8||4.1||0.6||0||0||0||0.5||1.8||4.9||5.3||33.3|
|Average relative humidity (%)||55.2||55.8||53.7||49.6||51.7||49.3||47.8||49.3||50.1||49.2||56.3||56.6||52.0|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||215.3||211.1||255.6||276.2||290.0||315.3||325.0||306.4||272.3||249.2||194.3||195.9||3,106.6|
|Percent possible sunshine||72||70||69||69||65||70||71||72||73||72||65||67||70|
|Source: NOAA (sun 1961−1990)|
|U.S. Decennial Census|
|Black or African American||10.2%||12.8%||9.1%||2.4%|
|Asian or Asian American||3.4%||2.4%||1.4%||0.2%|
|Hispanic or Latino (of any race)||31.8%||23.0%||15.2%||n/a|
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:
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, but in 2015 for the category of never-married ages 25 to 34, there were 121.4 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.
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.
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.
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 Inc. 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. 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.
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 current 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, Noble Energy, and Anadarko 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, Dish Network Corporation, Starz-Encore, 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.
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.
While Denver may not be as recognized for historical musical prominence as some other American cities, it has an active pop, jazz, jam, folk, 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, 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 residents. 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 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.
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 Broncos Stadium 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.
|Club||League||Venue||Attendance||Attendance Rank in League||Start||Championship|
|Denver Broncos||NFL||Broncos Stadium||76,446||5th of 32||1960||1997, 1998, 2015|
|Denver Nuggets||NBA||Pepsi Center||14,770||30th of 30||1967|
|Colorado Rockies||MLB||Coors Field||37,233||7th of 30||1993|
|Colorado Avalanche||NHL||Pepsi Center||16,176||25th of 31||1995||1996, 2001|
|Colorado Rapids||MLS||Dick's Sporting Goods Park||15,333||21st of 23||1996||2010|
Denver has several additional professional teams. In 2006 Denver established a Major League Lacrosse team, the Denver Outlaws. They play in Sports Authority 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.
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.
As of 2006, Denver had over 200 parks, from small mini-parks all over the city to the giant 314 acres (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.
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.
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.
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.
The City and County of Denver levies an Occupational Privilege Tax (OPT or head tax) on employers and employees.
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, 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.
The Denver Metropolitan Area is served by a variety of media outlets in print, radio, television, and the Internet.
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.
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).
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 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 third 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, hundreds of bikes, and by beginning service during the winter months.
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.
A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked Denver sixteenth most walkable of fifty largest U.S. cities, though massive gaps in the city's sidewalks remain an oft-discussed issue. Many walkability advocates believe the city's need for pedestrian infrastructure is only growing as Denver and the Colorado Department of Transportation place the needs of cars over the needs of people by widening roads or the purposeful plowing of snow onto sidewalks during winter storms.
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.
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.
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.
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, L, R, W, and H with a total of 57.9 miles (93.2 km) of track, serving 44 stations. All lines are Light Rail except the A Line and B Line, which are Commuter Rail, with the G Line to the suburb of Arvada, opening soon pending federal approval in 2017, and the N Line to Commerce City and Thorton, soon to open in 2018. 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. 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 to be finished sometime after 2040. In addition, the N Line, under FasTracks, is another Commuter Rail line currently under construction with an expected completion date in 2018 and will serve the suburbs of Commerce City and Thorton.
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 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.
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 eighteenth busiest airport in the world and ranks sixth in the United States, with 58,266,515 passengers passing through it in 2016. 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.
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:
The 2016 NFL Draft was the 81st annual meeting of National Football League (NFL) franchises to select newly eligible American football players. As in 2015, the draft took place in Chicago, Illinois at the Auditorium Theatre and Grant Park. The draft began on Thursday, April 28 with the first round, and ended on Saturday, April 30. The Tennessee Titans, the team with the fewest wins in the NFL for the 2015 season, traded the right to the top pick in the draft to the Los Angeles Rams, the first time the top pick was traded before the draft since 2001 when the San Diego Chargers traded their first pick to the Atlanta Falcons. Ohio State became the second school to have three players drafted in the top ten and to have five players drafted in the first round.2017 NFL Draft
The 2017 NFL Draft was the 82nd annual meeting of National Football League (NFL) franchises to select newly eligible American football players. It was held in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art on April 27–29, returning to Philadelphia for the first time since 1961.The player selections were announced from an outdoor theater built on the Rocky Steps, marking the first time an entire NFL draft was held outdoors. The NFL announced that the draft was the most attended in history, with more than 250,000 people present. Starting with this draft, compensatory picks could be traded. A record 37 trades were made during the draft itself, surpassing the 34 trades made during the 2008 NFL Draft.AFC Championship Game
The AFC Championship Game is the annual championship game of the American Football Conference (AFC) and one of the two semi-final playoff games of the National Football League (NFL), the largest professional American football league in the United States. The game is played on the penultimate Sunday in January by the two remaining playoff seeds, the AFC postseason's first two rounds. The AFC champion then advances to face the winner of the National Football Conference (NFC) Championship Game in the Super Bowl.
The game was established as part of the 1970 merger between the NFL and the American Football League (AFL), with the merged league realigning into two conferences. Since 1984, each winner of the AFC Championship Game has also received the Lamar Hunt Trophy, named after the founder of the AFL and the founder and owner, until his death, of the Kansas City Chiefs, Lamar Hunt.AFC West
The American Football Conference – Western Division or AFC West is one of the four divisions of the American Football Conference (AFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The division comprises the Denver Broncos, Los Angeles Chargers, Kansas City Chiefs, and Oakland Raiders.
The division has sent teams to the Super Bowl sixteen times beginning with Super Bowl I vs. Green Bay. Currently, as of the 2017 season, the Broncos and Raiders are tied with the most Super Bowl wins within the division with 3 each; Denver and Oakland have appeared in the Super Bowl 5 and 2 additional times respectively. The Chiefs are 1-1, while the Chargers lost their lone Super Bowl appearance in Super Bowl XXIX.Adam Gase
Adam Gase (born March 29, 1978) is an American football coach who is the head coach of the New York Jets of the National Football League (NFL). Gase has also coached for the LSU Tigers, Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears, and Miami Dolphins. Gase was the offensive coordinator for the Broncos when they broke the New England Patriots scoring record for a single season in 2013, scoring an NFL record 606 points.C. J. Anderson
Cortrelle Javon "C. J." Anderson (born February 10, 1991) is an American football running back for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at California and was signed by the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 2013. With Denver he made one Pro Bowl and won Super Bowl 50.Carmelo Anthony
Carmelo Kyam Anthony (born May 29, 1984) is an American professional basketball player for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He has been named an NBA All-Star ten times and an All-NBA Team member six times. He played college basketball for the Syracuse Orange, winning a national championship as a freshman in 2003 while being named the NCAA Tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
After one season at Syracuse, Anthony entered the 2003 NBA draft, where he was selected with the third overall pick by the Denver Nuggets. While playing for Denver, he led the Nuggets to the playoffs every year from 2004 to 2010, winning two division titles in that span. In 2009, Anthony led the Nuggets to their first Conference Finals appearance since 1985. In 2011, he was traded from Denver to the New York Knicks just days prior to the NBA trade deadline. On January 24, 2014, against the Charlotte Bobcats, Anthony set the Madison Square Garden and Knicks' single-game scoring record with a career-high 62 points. Anthony is also one of six players to record at least 24,000 points, 6,000 rebounds, 2,500 assists, 1,000 steals and 1,000 3-point field goals.Anthony has been a member of the USA Olympic basketball team a record four times, winning a bronze medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics and gold medals at the 2008, 2012, and 2016 Summer Olympics. He is the United States Olympic men's national basketball team all-time leading scorer, leader in rebounds and games played.Colorado
Colorado ( (listen), other variants) is a state of the Western United States encompassing most of the southern Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains. It is the 8th most extensive and 21st most populous U.S. state. The estimated population of Colorado was 5,695,564 on July 1, 2018, an increase of 13.25% since the 2010 United States Census.The state was named for the Colorado River, which early Spanish explorers named the Río Colorado for the ruddy silt the river carried from the mountains. The Territory of Colorado was organized on February 28, 1861, and on August 1, 1876, U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant signed Proclamation 230 admitting Colorado to the Union as the 38th state. Colorado is nicknamed the "Centennial State" because it became a state one century after the signing of the United States Declaration of Independence.
Colorado is bordered by Wyoming to the north, Nebraska to the northeast, Kansas to the east, Oklahoma to the southeast, New Mexico to the south, Utah to the west, and touches Arizona to the southwest at the Four Corners. Colorado is noted for its vivid landscape of mountains, forests, high plains, mesas, canyons, plateaus, rivers and desert lands. Colorado is part of the western and southwestern United States, and is one of the Mountain States.
Denver is the capital and most populous city of Colorado. Residents of the state are known as Coloradans, although the antiquated term "Coloradoan" is occasionally used.While Colorado has a strong western identity, it tends to be more socially liberal than neighboring states. Same-sex marriage in Colorado has been legal since 2014, and it was the first state in the U.S. to legalize recreational cannabis, and one of the first jurisdictions on Earth to do so by popular referendum. The state is known for its progressive views on abortion and assisted suicide; Coloradans rejected a 2008 referendum that would have criminalized abortion, and approved a measure in 2016 that legalized assisted suicide in the state, and remains one of six states (along with the District of Columbia) to have legalized assisted suicide. Colorado became the first U.S. state to elect an openly gay governor, Jared Polis, in the 2018 gubernatorial election.Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos are a professional American football franchise based in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos compete as a member club of the National Football League (NFL)'s American Football Conference (AFC) West division. They began play in 1960 as a charter member of the American Football League (AFL) and joined the NFL as part of the merger in 1970. The Broncos are owned by the Pat Bowlen trust and currently play home games at Broncos Stadium at Mile High (formerly known as Invesco Field at Mile High from 2001–2010 and Sports Authority Field at Mile High from 2011–2017). Prior to that, they played at Mile High Stadium from 1960 to 2000.
The Broncos were barely competitive during their 10-year run in the AFL and their first seven years in the NFL. They did not complete a winning season until 1973. In 1977, four years later, they qualified for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history and advanced to Super Bowl XII. Since 1975, the Broncos have become one of the NFL's most successful teams, having suffered only seven losing seasons. They have won eight AFC Championships (1977, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1997, 1998, 2013, 2015), and three Super Bowl championships (1997 (XXXII), 1998 (XXXIII), 2015 (50)). However, the Broncos share the NFL record for most Super Bowl losses (5) with the New England Patriots. They have eight players in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: John Elway, Floyd Little, Shannon Sharpe, Gary Zimmerman, Willie Brown, Tony Dorsett, Terrell Davis, and Brian Dawkins.Denver International Airport
Denver International Airport (IATA: DEN, ICAO: KDEN, FAA LID: DEN), locally referred to as DIA, is an international airport primarily serving metropolitan Denver, Colorado, United States as well as the greater Front Range Urban Corridor. At 33,531 acres (13,570 ha, 52.4 sq mi), it is the largest airport in North America by total land area and the second largest in the world. Runway 16R/34L, with a length of 16,000 feet (4,877 m), is the longest public use runway in North America and the seventh longest in the world. With over 35,000 employees, the airport is the largest employer in Colorado.
Denver currently has non-stop service to 205 destinations throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. It is the fourth airport in the United States to reach the 200 marker. It also has the 2nd largest domestic network of any airport in the country with flights to around 185 U.S. destinations. As of 2017, DIA was the 20th busiest airport in the world and the fifth busiest in the United States by passenger traffic handling 61,379,396 passengers.
The airport is a hub for Frontier Airlines, United Airlines, and is a main operating base for Southwest Airlines. These three airlines' combined operations made up about 83% of the total passenger traffic at DIA as of December 2017.Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets are an American professional basketball team based in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member club of the league's Western Conference Northwest Division. The team was founded as the Denver Larks in 1967 as a charter franchise of the American Basketball Association (ABA), but changed its name to Rockets before the first season. It changed its name again to the Nuggets in 1974. After the name change, the Nuggets played for the final ABA Championship title in 1976, losing to the New York Nets.
The team has had some periods of success, qualifying for the ABA Playoffs for all seasons from 1967 to the 1976 ABA playoffs where it lost in the finals. The team joined the NBA in 1976 after the ABA–NBA merger and qualified for the NBA playoffs in nine consecutive seasons in the 1980s and ten consecutive seasons from 2004 to 2013. However, it has not made an appearance in a championship round since its last year in the ABA. The Nuggets play their home games at Pepsi Center, which they share with the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Colorado Mammoth of the National Lacrosse League (NLL).Gary Kubiak
Gary Wayne Kubiak (born August 15, 1961) is an American football coach and former player who is currently assistant head coach and offensive advisor for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL). He served as head coach for the NFL's Houston Texans from 2006 to 2013 and of the Denver Broncos in 2015 and 2016 before stepping down from the position on January 1, 2017, citing health reasons. Earlier in his coaching career, he served as an assistant coach for the Broncos, Texas A&M University and San Francisco 49ers. He was also the offensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens in 2014.
Kubiak played quarterback in college at Texas A&M. He was drafted in the eighth round of the 1983 NFL Draft as the 197th overall pick by the Broncos where he played from 1983 to 1991 as the backup to John Elway.
Kubiak has participated in seven Super Bowls, losing three as a player with the Broncos, winning three as an assistant coach with the Broncos and the 49ers and winning Super Bowl 50 as the head coach of the Broncos.John Denver
Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. (December 31, 1943 – October 12, 1997), known professionally as John Denver, was an American singer-songwriter, record producer, actor, activist, and humanitarian, whose greatest commercial success was as a solo singer. After traveling and living in numerous locations while growing up in his military family, Denver began his music career with folk music groups during the late 1960s. Starting in the 1970s, he was one of the most popular acoustic artists of the decade and one of its best-selling artists. By 1974, he was one of America's best-selling performers, and AllMusic has described Denver as "among the most beloved entertainers of his era".Denver recorded and released approximately 300 songs, about 200 of which he composed, with total sales of over 33 million records worldwide. He recorded and performed primarily with an acoustic guitar and sang about his joy in nature, his disdain for city life, his enthusiasm for music, and his relationship trials. Denver's music appeared on a variety of charts, including country music, the Billboard Hot 100, and adult contemporary, in all earning 12 gold and four platinum albums with his signature songs "Take Me Home, Country Roads", "Annie's Song", "Rocky Mountain High", "Calypso", "Thank God I'm a Country Boy", and "Sunshine on My Shoulders".
Denver appeared in several films and television specials during the 1970s and 1980s. He continued to record in the 1990s, also focusing on environmental issues by lending vocal support to space exploration and testifying in front of Congress in protest against censorship in music. He lived in Aspen, Colorado, for much of his life and was known for his love of Colorado, which he sang about numerous times. In 1974, Denver was named poet laureate of the state. The Colorado state legislature also adopted "Rocky Mountain High" as one of its two state songs in 2007.
Denver was an avid pilot who died at the age of 53 in a single-fatality crash while flying his experimental Rutan Long-EZ canard aircraft.John Elway
John Albert Elway Jr. (born June 28, 1960) is a former American football quarterback who is currently general manager and president of football operations of the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL).
Elway played college football at Stanford and his entire 16-year professional career with the Denver Broncos. At the time of his retirement in early 1999, Elway recorded the most victories by a starting quarterback and statistically was the second most prolific passer in NFL history. He was also a prolific rusher of the ball, being one of only two players ever to score a rushing touchdown in four different Super Bowls (the other being Thurman Thomas) and the only quarterback to do so.Elway set several career records for passing attempts and completions while at Stanford and also received All-American honors. He was the first selection in the 1983 NFL Draft, famously known as the quarterback class of 1983, where he was taken by the Baltimore Colts before being traded to the Denver Broncos. In January 1987, Elway embarked on one of the most notable performances in sports and in NFL history, helping engineer a 98-yard, game-tying touchdown drive in the AFC Championship Game against the Cleveland Browns. The moment is known in National Football League lore as "The Drive." Following that game in Cleveland, Elway and the Broncos lost in Super Bowl XXI to the New York Giants.
After two more Super Bowl losses, the Broncos entered a period of decline; however, that ended during the 1997 season, as Elway and Denver won their first Super Bowl title by defeating the Green Bay Packers 31–24 in Super Bowl XXXII. The Broncos repeated as champions the following season in Super Bowl XXXIII by defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34–19. Elway was voted MVP of that Super Bowl, which was the last game of his career, and in doing so Elway set a then-record five Super Bowl starts which was broken in February 2015 when Tom Brady of the New England Patriots started Super Bowl XLIX. As Denver's quarterback, Elway led his teams to six AFC Championship Games and five Super Bowls, winning two. After his retirement as a player, he served as general manager and executive vice president of football operations of the Broncos, which won four division titles, two AFC Championships, and Super Bowl 50 during his tenure. Elway has been a member of the Broncos organization for all three of their Super Bowl victories, two as a player and one as an executive.
Elway was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004 in his first year of eligibility and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000.Mike Munchak
Michael Anthony "Mike" Munchak (born March 5, 1960) is a former professional American football player and current offensive line coach for the Denver Broncos. A graduate of Penn State, Munchak played left guard for the Houston Oilers from 1982 until 1993 and was a nine-time selection to the Pro Bowl. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001.
After his retirement, Munchak continued his association with the Houston franchise by becoming an assistant coach. He joined the staff in 1994 and stayed with the franchise after it moved to Tennessee and became known as the Tennessee Titans, eventually becoming its offensive line coach.
Munchak became Titans head coach in 2011 and was fired after the 2013 season, ending his thirty-one year association with the franchise. He currently serves as offensive line coach for the Denver Broncos.Peyton Manning
Peyton Williams Manning (born March 24, 1976) is a former American football quarterback who played 18 seasons in the National Football League (NFL), primarily with the Indianapolis Colts. Considered to be one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time due to his numerous career achievements, he spent 14 seasons with the Colts and was a member of the Denver Broncos in his last four seasons. Manning played college football for the University of Tennessee, leading the Tennessee Volunteers to the 1997 SEC Championship in his senior season. He is the second son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and older brother of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
Manning was selected by the Colts as the first overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. From 1998 to 2010, he improved the fortunes of the struggling Colts franchise and helped transform them into consistent playoff contenders. During his tenure as starting quarterback, Manning led the team to eight division championships, two AFC championships, and one Super Bowl title, the franchise's first in over three decades, as well as their first since relocating to Indianapolis.
After undergoing neck surgery that forced him to miss the entire 2011 season, Manning was released by the Colts and signed with the Broncos. Serving as the team's starting quarterback from 2012 to 2015, he contributed to the Broncos reaching the top of their division each year and his playing career concluded with a victory in Super Bowl 50.
Manning holds many NFL records, including touchdown passes (539), AP MVP awards (5), Pro Bowl appearances (14), 4,000-yard passing seasons (14), single-season passing yards (5,477 in 2013) and single-season passing touchdowns (55 in 2013), and is second in career passing yards (71,940). A two-time Super Bowl winner and the most valuable player of Super Bowl XLI, Manning is also the only quarterback to start the Super Bowl for two franchises more than once each, with different coaches at each Super Bowl start (Dungy, Caldwell, Fox, Kubiak), and the only starting quarterback to win a Super Bowl with two franchises. At 39 years of age, Manning was the oldest quarterback to start in and win a Super Bowl.During a 2009 Monday Night Football game, Manning received the nickname "The Sheriff" from color commentator Jon Gruden due to his tendency to audible prior to the snap, and he was one of the most recognizable and parodied players in the NFL. Teams led by Manning typically utilized the hurry-up offense in place of the standard huddle.Shannon Sharpe
Shannon Sharpe (born June 26, 1968) is a former American football tight end who played for the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL), as well as a former analyst for CBS Sports on its NFL telecasts. He is a TV presenter who co-hosts Skip and Shannon: Undisputed with Skip Bayless.
Sharpe was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 6, 2011. He played 12 seasons for the Broncos (1990–99, 2002–03) and two with the Ravens (2000–01), winning three Super Bowls and finishing his career as the NFL’s all-time leader in receptions (815), receiving yards (10,060) and receiving touchdowns (62) by a tight end, until Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten surpassed all three of those records. He was the first tight end to amass over 10,000 receiving yards. He was named to the First Team of the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990s.Vic Fangio
Victor John Fangio (born August 22, 1958) is an American football coach who is the head coach of the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). Fangio was previously the defensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers and Stanford Cardinal, linebackers coach for the Baltimore Ravens and defensive coordinator for the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Carolina Panthers, and Chicago Bears.Wade Phillips
Harold Wade Phillips (born June 21, 1947) is an American football coach who is the defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams of the National Football League (NFL). He also served two stints as Defensive Coordinator of the Denver Broncos, where his team was Super Bowl finalists in his first stint and champions in his second stint. He has served as head coach of the NFL's Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, and Dallas Cowboys. He was also an interim head coach for the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, and the Houston Texans. His career winning percentage as a head coach is .546. Phillips is considered to be among the best defensive coordinators in the NFL.