Denver is an extremely fun city to live in. It has wonderful weather, nice people, successful sports teams, great cultural experiences, great place for singles and it sits right next to some of the best mountains in the world. But whether you’ve lived in the Mile-High City your whole life, or are just preparing to go for the first time, how much do you really know about it?
Have you ever wondered where the name came from? It was chosen after the governor of the Kansas territory, James Denver. The locals thought he would give them some extra credit for the honor, but it backfired because he was no longer in his position by the time the name actually happened.
Colorado had a big boom because of gold in the mountains, and Denver really found its place as the home of railroad connections around the country. In honor of this history, the capital building did something pretty impressive. The whole dome is coated in 24 karat gold.
The nickname for Denver is the Mile-High City, and there’s a very good reason for that. Parts of the city sit at exactly 5,280 feet above sea level. If you want to be sure, head on out to Coors Field where the Rockies play. Most of the seats are the same color, but there’s a row of purple seats to show the exact mile-high mark. Or, just go over to the capital building. The 13th step in front of the building is exactly the elevation – how’s that for some political luck?
A lot of newcomers struggle with the altitude change, but it does have its benefits. Athletes love training here because they’re more efficient at lower elevations, and golfers love to play because the ball flies 10% farther.
Colorado is a place full of fit people, and in May 1970 the International Olympic committee announced that the capital city would host the 1976 Games. But, the residents did something a little surprising, and they changed their mind about being hosts. The price tag and environmental impact turned off a lot of people, and the city of Innsbruck, Austria ending up hosting the event.
Fortunately, the Olympic situation didn’t scare off other athletes. Denver is one of only 13 cities in the nation to have a professional team in the four major sports (football, basketball, baseball, and hockey).
Everyone associates Denver with skiing, but the city isn’t in the mountains itself. This surprises some newcomers, but they settle down when they realize that the city has a nice view of 200 mountain peaks that were significant enough to get a name.
If you like basking in the sun, then you might want to think twice about heading to a tropical island. Denver gets 300 days of sunshine every year, so that means you can catch some rays year round. And what about constantly having snow in the winter? That’s a myth – it usually melts within hours after the sun comes out again.
You keep hearing how Denver is becoming more popular and growing fast, but do you ever wonder if that’s just locals exaggerating because they miss the good old days? It’s not. During the period between 2010 and 2015, the population of the city increased 13.8 percent.
The city has been known for quite a while as having the largest population of Baby Boomers in the country, but the times are changing. The Census Bureau recently said that the population of millennials has gown higher than that of the older generation.
Colfax Avenue has quite the reputation, but it also happens to be the longest commercial street in the United States. At a length of 26.5 miles, they’ve even been known to hold marathons on the street.
Denver is such an amazing place that tons of people flock to the city every year. Do you want to see some proof of that? How about this: in 2015, Denver International Airport was the sixth busiest airport in the United States.
Speaking of the airport, if you’ve driven in or out of it, you probably noticed the large and terrifying blue horse statue with flaming red eyes. The statue is called Blue Mustang, and it may in fact have a demon inside. Part of the 32-foot-tall statue fell on the creator as he was finishing the piece of the art, and it unfortunately killed him. So, yes, you’re wise to be a little bit frightened of it.
History is Being Written
This is just a small assortment of unique facts about Denver, and if the wild history of the city has shown anything, the list is just going to keep getting more interesting. Will you hang around to see how it evolves?