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Show off the Mile High City to out-of-town football fans

January 7, 2015

Out of town friends or family traveling here for the AFC Divisional game at Sports Authority Field Sunday?

Denver welcomes Colts and Broncos fans alike with suggested hotels, dining options and sightseeing venues. The Mile High City loves out-of-towners who spend their money here and go home, but if you’re betting on the wrong horse, let there be no doubt that this is Broncos country.

Visitors coming to see the Denver Broncos face off against the Indianapolis Colts at 2:40 p.m. Sunday can also see a priceless exhibition of jewelry, dine out in a restored train station, stay at new “historic” hotels, grab brunch in the trendy LoHi, Baker, or RiNo neighborhoods, or take a walk on the Denver Beer Trail in America’s craftiest beer city.

Here is a list of stay, dine and see spaces compiled by Visit Denver, Denver’s convention and visitors bureau.


There are 44,000 hotel rooms in Denver with 9,400 rooms downtown offering easy access to Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium. Most of the downtown hotels are just a block or two from the 16th Street Mall, Denver’s mile long pedestrian walkway. Hop on a free bus to Union Station, and catch the Light Rail two stops to the football stadium. Or you can travel there by pedicab or join the parade of people who walk across two pedestrian bridges to the South Platte River and walk along a paved river trail to the stadium.

Some of Denver’s newest hotels include:

The Crawford Hotel

This historic 112-room property opened in August 2014 as the centerpiece of the newly restored 1914 Union Station and offers three styles of rooms. The Pullman rooms on the second floor are modeled after the luxury private sleeping cars of old. The Classic rooms on the third floor come with tall ceilings and large windows. The former attic area is now the Loft, featuring exposed wood timbers, vaulted ceilings and a more contemporary design. To make the most of the architectural features, most of the rooms in the hotel are one-of-a-kind designs and shapes. The hotel shares The Oxford Club Spa with the award-winning Oxford Hotel across the street.

Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center

This full-service, four-star, 221-room hotel opened in May 2014 in the restored Colorado National Bank Building, which was originally built in 1915 from the same white marble used in the Lincoln Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  The hotel incorporates many historic details from the old bank, including three vaults with 33-inch thick doors that now serve as meeting rooms. The ground floor restaurant, Range, specializes in foods of the American West with many Colorado specialties, while the lobby bar is surrounded by huge, wall-size murals painted by local artist Allen Tupper True. Considered one of Colorado’s premier native-born artists, True focused his work on Western subjects. The murals in the hotel depict the lives of American Indians on the Plains region during the 1800s.


Football fans are lucky that Denver is hosting two world exclusive art exhibitions in January and is a year-round destination for professional sports and locally crafted beer.

The Colorado Sports Hall of Fame and Tour at Sports Authority Field at Mile High

If you arrive a day or two early for the game, make sure to take some time to visit Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The stadium is home to the free Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, which highlights the achievements of the great athletes who have played for the Broncos, Nuggets, Rockies, Avalanche and others. You can also get a behind the scenes look at this state-of-the-art football stadium on a 90-minute guided tour (offered every hour from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Denver Beer Trail

The Mile High City brews more beer than any other city.  From the world’s largest single brewing site, Coors Brewery in nearby Golden, to small tasting rooms with only a dozen chairs, Denver has more than three dozen breweries in and near downtown and more than 100 in the metro area.  In 2013 and 2014, metro Denver opened a new brewery on average every other week. There are several beer tour companies set up that will drive you to several of the coolest – and tastiest – breweries near downtown Denver. Or, go out and explore on your own with some guidance from the Denver Beer Trail.

Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia at Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA), through April 14.

Organized by MCA Denver, this retrospective exhibition brings together the first comprehensive presentation of Mark Mothersbaugh’s art and music to date, from the beginning of his career in the early 1970s through the present. Though well known around the globe as a founding member of the popular band Devo, Mothersbaugh has been a prolific artist since before the band’s inception.

Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century at the Denver Art Museum, through March 15.

This worldwide-exclusive exhibition at the Denver Art Museum includes an astonishing assortment of jewelry, timepieces and precious objects from the Cartier collection. Many of the pieces in the exhibition were owned by aristocrats, celebrities and royalty, including Princess Grace, Elizabeth Taylor, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, J.P. Morgan and the Aga Khan, among other luminaries.


Before the game, explore some of Denver’s trendy neighborhoods, all of them accessible from downtown.

Denver Union Station

Denver’s historid Beaux Arts 1914 train terminal reopened with 10 new restaurants and bars in July 2014, as well as a selection of fine retailers including a branch of the popular Tattered Cover Bookstore. Local powerhouse chef Jen Jasinski (winner of the 2013 James Beard Award for Best Chef Southwest) has opened Stoic & Genuine, a seafood-centric restaurant in the tradition of Grand Central Station’s Oyster Bar, while Alex Seidel (Food & Wine’s Top New Chef of the Year 2010) has opened Mercantile, featuring locally sourced, farm-to-table items from his sheep farm located in nearby Larkspur. For larger groups, The Kitchen Next Door offers community-style seating and casual atmosphere. Step up to the Terminal Bar, situated in the station’s old ticket windows, to order one of 30 Colorado beers on tap, or relax in the Cooper Lounge overlooking the station’s grand hall.

Lower Highlands (LoHi)

Connected to downtown by three pedestrian bridges, LoHi has become one of Denver’s most popular dining destinations. Linger is housed in an old mortuary and was selected by Travel + Leisure for having one of “America’s coolest rooftop bars.”  Sister restaurant Root Down has a menu dedicated to locally sourced foods, while Ale House at Amato’s has 45 local beers on tap, outdoor fireplaces and an expansive city view. The walls of Denver Beer Company literally “roll up” (it was once an auto repair shop) and the outdoor beer garden has picnic tables and food trucks. Nearby, Prost Brewing has copper kettles from Germany and a delicious selection of sausages. Colt & Gray, Old Major and Duo are local neighborhood favorites, while My Brother’s Bar is a Denver institution, once frequented by beat generation legends Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassidy.

River North (RiNo)

RiNo is a former industrial neighborhood that is exploding with art galleries, restaurants, breweries, distilleries, and even a winery (with the grapes supplied from the Western Slope of Colorado). Swing by The Source, an old brick manufacturing plant that now houses a bakery, butcher, florist, the acclaimed Acorn restaurant, street tacos at Comida, Crooked Stave brewery known for their wide variety of sour beers and several shops. Work & Class, Populist, the Butcher Block, and Amerigo Delicatus are just some of the new restaurants gaining national attention. Down the block, Infinite Monkey Theorem Winery is building a name for its canned sparkling wines, while Epic, River North, Black Shirt and Our Mutual Friend are just some of Denver’s breweries located in this area.

South Broadway and Baker

Yet another hip neighborhood with new eateries, bars and nightspots is just one mile south of downtown along South Broadway. Check out the rooftop decks of the Historian Ale House or the Irish Rover, stop by for palm trees and umbrella drinks at Adrift Tiki Bar, or play a game of bowling, darts or shuffleboard at the massive 20,000 square foot Punch Bowl Social. From fine dining at Beatrice & Woodsley to homemade Sweet Action Ice Cream, Baker has a Brooklynesque feel with pizza shops next to bookstores on a street lined with one-of-kind clothing shops, galleries, original home furnishings and music clubs.

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The Seen

December 29, 2014

Seen on the Raiders sideline during Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High: “Glee” actress Naya Rivera, whose brother, Mychal Rivera, is a tight end for the Raiders.

(Fox Network photo)

(Fox Network photo)

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Chicken parm you taste so … free

December 24, 2014

Want to sing for your supper?

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. is giving away chicken parmesan sandwiches before Sunday’s Broncos-Raiders game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High to those who are willing to sing the insurance company theme song.

When game goers visit the Nationwide food truck, outside of Gate 2 at Sports Authority Field, sing the “Nationwide is on your side” jingle or come up with your own version similar to the one that Broncos QB Peyton Manning sings on the company’s TV ads .

The first 40,000 fans into the stadium also will receive a chicken-parm themed T-shirt.

(Nationwide Insurance photo)

(Nationwide Insurance photo)

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Seahawks QB autographed football up for auction here

June 30, 2014

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson’s autographed football is being auctioned off by the American Physical Therapy Association for the Bob Doctor Golf Tournament July 26 at the Colorado National Golf Club.

The football is valued at $425 with a $200 minimum bid. Here’s the link to bid: https://www.blacktie-colorado.com/auctions/index.cfm?fuseaction=Auctions.Item&aid=627&iid=597221.

The ball not only bears Wilson’s signature, but “XLVIII Champs is noted as well.” For those still smarting from the Seahawks’ drubbing of our beloved Broncos (43-8), you might want this souvenir to kick around.

Here is link to golf tournament info: http://coloradophysicaltherapists.org/apta-events/bob-doctor-golf-tournament/.

Russell Wilson Seahawks QB

The football autographed by Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson for the American Physical Therapy Association for the Bob Doctor Golf Tournament.

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Elway joining line-up of competitors in Colorado Senior Open

John Elway, Pro Football Hall of Famer and Denver Broncos general manager and executive vice president, will get to re-create “The Drive,” this time on a golf course when he competes in the 15th annual HealthONE Colorado Senior Open May 28-30 at Green Valley Ranch Golf Club.

The two-time Super Bowl Champion will compete against 155 other amateur and professional golfers in the three-day championship. Elway competed in the 2010 tournament and was low amateur after round one, made the 36-hole cut and finished in a tie for 52nd place.

Elway’s tee time is 8:05 a.m. Wednesday, May 28, and 1 p.m. Thursday, May 29. He will be paired with four-time Colorado Open/Colorado Senior Open champion Bill Loeffler of Castle Rock, and Meridian (Englewood) Golf Club head pro Paul Lobato.

Also joining Elway in the $50,000 event is defending champion Doug Rohrbaugh of Carbondale, who won the 2013 championship by a six-stroke margin, pocketing the $8,500 first place prize. Rohrbaugh’s feat was even more impressive due to the fact that he didn’t post higher than a five on any of the 54 holes over three days in difficult weather conditions. Rohrbaugh will tee off at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday and at 7:40 a.m. Thursday.

History is being made at this year’s championship as the first female competitor in a Colorado Senior Open will tee it up with the guys for the first time. Sherry Andonian, a teaching professional at Valley Country Club in Centennial, earned an exemption through the Colorado Section PGA.  Andonian was also eligible to play in the Colorado Open in July but has chosen not to compete, and she has a conflicting event keeping her from participating in the Colorado Women’s Open in August. Andonian’s tee times are 7:55 a.m.Wednesday and 12:50 p.m. Thursday.

Another new contestant in the field is Jim Chancey who played on the Champions Tour where he finished in the top-100 money list in 2006 and 2008.

Admission and parking are free to the public. Complete event details can be found at www.coloradoopen.com.

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Manning’s the man on the Letterman show

May 7, 2014

Broncos star QB Peyton Manning is two years removed from his 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, but talk-show host David Letterman remains a die-hard Manning fan even though the quarterback has left Letterman’s hometown.

After a year off the gridiron because of a potential career-ending neck injury, the Colts released Manning in 2012. Indianapolis’ loss was Denver’s gain.

On Monday, Manning made his fourth appearance on the “Late Show With David Letterman” where he talked about his 3-year-old twins (a boy and girl), the ESPN special on the football-famed Manning family, the “Omaha” signal at the line of scrimmage and the career-threatening injury.

Here are some snippets of the conversation, according to a transcript synopsis at www.cbs.com/shows/late_show/wahoo_gazette/.

Dave raves about the ESPN special on the Manning family. (Peyton’s) dad Archie was an All-American and a legendary college and pro football player. The Manning boys, Cooper, Peyton, and Eli and were just normal rambunctious kids. The special included a lot of home movies. Peyton says he wishes there was a bit less footage of Peyton crying.

Dave asked about Peyton’s career-threatening injury that required neck surgery which resulted in nerve damage in his throwing arm. Peyton lost “awareness” of his arm. When he “wanted to throw a football here, the ball went over there.”

Manning admitted there are some throws he can longer do, but has developed other parts of his game. He likens himself to an aging, crafty baseball pitcher who can no longer throw the fastball past the hitter so has to learn other ways to get the batter out.

“What’s with the ‘Omaha Omaha!?” Letterman asks. Fans can hear Peyton bark out ‘Omaha’ when at the line of scrimmage. It is his way of signaling a new play at the line.
Manning admitted he hates how the sideline microphones can pick up what he’s yelling because other teams can pick that up and learn from it. “I’m thinking of barking out some derogatory comments about the NFL Commissioner (Roger Goodell) for everyone to hear instead of ‘Omaha Omaha.’…

Letterman and Manning finished their segments on Broadway to participate in the Late Show Quarterback Challenge (Monday night’s challenge: throw a football through an open window of a passing yellow taxi. Peyton completes two out of three, just like his NFL average. Dave was 0-for-3.

Peyton Manning got plenty of laughs and told several stories on David Letterman's 'The Late Show' Monday night on CBS. (CBS/The Late Show photo)

Peyton Manning got plenty of laughs and told several stories on David Letterman’s ‘The Late Show’ Monday night on CBS. (CBS/The Late Show photo)

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Welker shows Kentucky Derby-goers the money

May 7, 2014

Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker was feeling his oats Saturday after a big win on a horse running in the 140th Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.

After scoring a bundle of bucks (on an unnamed horse but I’m betting it was on winner California Chrome), Welker was spotted with a friend and a police officer.

According to USA Today, super fan Marc Blandford hailed a hardy, “Wes Welker, how ya doing?” to the Mighty Mouse Bronco.

Then, Blandford told USA Today, Welker proceeded to share the wealth by handing out $100 bills to Blandford and his buddies. The story says that the Bronco handed out roughly six c-notes before the cop put a cease and desist on Welker’s largess.

Sure, Welker was feeling generous, he can afford to. After all, he signed a two-year, $12 million deal in 2013 with the Denver Broncos.

See the whole story at: http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/05/wes-welker-kentucky-derby.

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Ex-Bronco Beadles keeps promise, wins Dancing with Our Stars event

April 21, 2014

Former Denver Broncos offensive lineman Zane Beadles proved he was a stand-up guy and dancing star all in one night.

Beadles recently sign a free-agent, five-year $30 million contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars. So, no one would have blamed Beadles for reneging on his participation in the 2014 Dancing with Our Stars competition Saturday to benefit the Colorado Ballet.

But Beadles danced to a victory with partner Morgan Buchanan, who has danced with the Colorado Ballet Company since 2009.

Ed Venerable, president of Paragon Homes, and partner Maria Mosina were the runners-up.

The Dancing with Our Stars event, held at the Ritz-Carlton Denver, raised about $200,000.

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Judi’s House vying for $250K Vail Ski Challenge

April 4, 2014

If you are a fan of Judi’s House, now’s the time to help this fine organization started by former Broncos quarterback Brian Griese, by voting in the Vail Ski Challenge.

Ten worthy groups — including Concerts for Kids, Craig Hospital and the Denver Public Schools Foundation — are vying for a $250,000 donation from Vail resorts and all you have to do is visit the Vail Ski Challenge Facebook page.

You can vote for the organization that helps children and families who are grieving the death of a loved one find hope and healing within themselves. Griese started Judi’s House to honor his mother, who died when he was 12 years old.

Every vote earns Judi’s House $2.50 and it gets 2,000 votes, Griese has promised to get out the retired Broncos uniform and ski wearing his helmet, pads, the whole thing. Who doesn’t want to see that?

You can vote daily until the challenge ends April 11.

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