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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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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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Denver gets a one up over Seattle on ‘CBS This Morning’

January 31, 2014

The bandwagon has landed.

CBS “This Morning” correspondent Mo Rocca goes head to head with John Blackstone over which city is cooler: Seattle or Denver.

Blackstone opines on Seattle’s origin of Starbuck’s (who cares?) and fresh fish from Pike Street Market, but Rocca one ups him with our lack of need for umbrellas due to our 300 days of dry weather and sun.

I lived in the Seattle-area twice and I remember breaking down in tears in June because it was pouring rain and way cold and I was wearing a raincoat. Just gross!

Rocca even goes so far as to try Rocky Mountain oysters at The Buckhorn Exchange, which many visitors shun. Right now, everyone whether on local or national TV is jumping on the bandwagon, but it’s beyond fun to see our Mile High City getting so much positive publicity!

You know that our Visit Denver folks are salivating!

See the whole bit at http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/seattle-vs-denver-which-super-bowl-city-is-best/. Freaking hilarious!


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All bets are on versus Denver and Seattle sports card dealers

January 31, 2014

With the Super Bowl nearly here, so much of the focus has been on Peyton Manning versus Russell Wilson and Demaryius Thomas versus Richard Sherman, but the real attention should be on Mike’s Stadium Sportscards in Aurora versus DJ’s Sportscards in Renton, Wash.

“I was lucky enough to be at the Broncos victory over the Patriots,” said Michael Fruitman, owner of Mike’s Stadium Sportscards.  “When Denver won, I talked to a shop owner I knew near San Francisco and also talked to Don Joss, owner of DJ’s, about setting up a friendly challenge on the game.  For years we have seen political leaders offer Rocky Mountain Oysters and other interesting items in friendly wagers and I wanted to add a little spice to this year’s game.”

Instead of a traditional bet, charity will be the winner.  Should the Seahawks win, Fruitman will be making a $250 donation to The Shepherd’s Crook Ministries, which partners with adoption agencies to match special needs children with families who are able to adopt him.  http://theshepherdscrook.org/about/purpose/.

“Seattle fans eagerly await the chance to end a 40-plus year championship drought as well as avenge the embarrassing and historic playoff upset of the Seattle Sonics at the hands of the Denver Nuggets years ago” said Joss.  “I hope that Dikembe Mutombo is nowhere near MetLife Stadium anytime soon.”

If the Broncos win, Joss will be making a $250 donation to the Share Basket Project. The Share Basket Project is organized by Barbara Fruitman who can be reached at 303-699-9808 or BarbaraFruitman@yahoo.com.

In addition, the winning card store also will be sharing an entire 12-box case of 2013 Topps Magic NFL with collectors.  Each box of Topps Magic yields three autographs on average and with some luck, you could pull autographs of players like Denver Broncos rookie Montee Ball,  Seattle Seahawks veteran Marshawn Lynch, Bo Jackson, Barry Sanders, Andrew Luck, Drew Brees and more superstars.

“When Denver wins, we are looking forward to giving away all 288 packs of Topps Magic football to all of Bronco Nation one pack at a time” Fruitman said.  “I can’t wait to see some incredible signatures come out of our packs and the idea of helping families enjoy a complete Thanksgiving dinner would be the perfect topper to Denver’s third NFL championship.”

Topps 2013 Majic box

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Frontier flight attendant’s dress scores at SAG Awards

January 31, 2014

Frontier Airlines flight attendant and Aurora resident Madelene Sabol struck a winning pose during the Screen Actor Guild Awards on Jan. 18.

The night before the Denver Broncos’ 26-16 victory over the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game on Jan. 19, Sabol wore a Broncos-themed gown to the awards ceremony in California.

Sabol’s daring Broncos gown garnered the attention of actors from the AMC series, “Breaking Bad,” ABC’s comedy “Modern Family” and Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons, who all flocked to get pictures with Sabol and her Broncos wear, created by local designer Kingsley Nti.

Wonder what she’ll be wearing for Sunday’s Super Bowl?

Madeline Sabol with "Breaking Bad" actor Dean Norris. Below, Sabol poses with dress designer (Facebook photos)

Madeline Sabol with “Breaking Bad” actor Dean Norris. Below, Sabol poses with dress designer Kingsley Nti. Bottom, she poses with Academy Award-winning actress and SAG Award special honoree, Rita Moreno. (Facebook photos) Sabol with dress designer Kingsley NtiSabol with Rita Moreno



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Odd Broncos endorsement from troubled Toronto mayor

January 29, 2014

Beleaguered Toronto Mayor Rob Ford showed off his Super Bowl favorite by wearing the No. 74 Denver Broncos jersey during a press conference on Monday.

Ford, whose term as mayor has been riddled with scandals of drinking and crack-smoking, wore the jersey in support of Broncos offensive tackle Orlando Franklin, who lived in Toronto until his high school days. Franklin and his family moved to Florida when he drew interest as a football player. Franklin attended the University of Miami before being drafted by the Denver Broncos.

Orlando Franklin, above (the real No. 74 for the Denver Broncos) and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, below, who showed his support for the AFC champions and Franklin, a former Toronto resident, during a press conference this week. (Denver Broncos photo/Twitter photo)

Orlando Franklin, above (the real No. 74 for the Denver Broncos) and Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, below, who showed his support for the AFC champions and Franklin, a former Toronto resident, during a press conference this week. (Denver Broncos photo/Twitter photo)RobFord_Broncos fan

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Denver and Seattle face off in giving challenge

January 29, 2014

As the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos prepare to face off in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, community foundations in their home cities are calling on their communities to face off in a contest of charitable giving, called First and Give.

In Denver, the message is to be United in Orange to Fight Childhood Hunger, raising money to help feed hungry kids through the Food Bank of the Rockies, a flagship community partner of the Denver Broncos. Both The Denver Foundation and Food Bank of the Rockies are waiving all administrative charges so that every dollar raised will go directly to buy food for children in need.

In Seattle, they’re flexing their charitable muscles through the 12thManGives, raising money for Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington, which grants wishes of children diagnosed with life-threatening medical conditions. The team will be sending kids to the Super Bowl through Make-A-Wish.

The great thing about First and Give is that everyone wins – the contributors, the youth, and the communities.

Beginning today, the foundations will be competing to see which organization can raise the most money and garner the highest number of individual donors through 10:59 p.m. MST on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 2.

 With two measures of success, the “competition” could easily result in two winners!

“We are united in orange, and we’re united in big giving,” said Denver Foundation President and CEO David Miller. “The Metro Denver community can turn our Broncos team spirit into generosity. It’s time to ride!”

The Seattle Foundation’s president, former Seattle Mayor Norman B. Rice, was born and raised in Denver but has been a Seahawks fan since the team launched in 1976 and is a Seahawks season ticket holder.

“This is a victory for both our cities,” Rice said. “Of course, I have no doubt that the generosity of Seattle’s 12th Man fans will put us on top!”

To give go to www.denverfoundation.org, click on “donate now” and designate to United in Orange to Fight Childhood Hunger. The Denver Foundation will forward all proceeds directly to Food Bank of the Rockies to help feed hungry children in Metro Denver.

All gifts to the fund are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law, and will be distributed quickly to help fight childhood hunger in our community.

United in Orange1


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Archie Manning to headline Jewish Family Service luncheon

January 27, 2014

Jewish Family Service of Colorado welcomes Archie Manning, football star and legend in life, as the speaker for its 10th annual JFS Executive Luncheon fundraiser on April 30.

The luncheon will be held at the Grand Hyatt Denver, 1750 Welton Street. Doors open at 11:30 a.m., and the program will start at noon. Tickets are $150 and sponsorship packages start at $1,500. For more information or for tickets, contact Dawn Richard at 720-248-4605 or go to www.jewishfamilyservice.org/luncheon.

All proceeds from the event will help support programs of JFS, including mental health counseling, senior and adult in-home care, disability and employment services, and family safety net services. Founded in Denver in 1872, JFS is a nonprofit community agency serving people regardless of age, race, faith, or income.

When people think of Archie Manning, football immediately comes to mind. But Manning has inspired many with his warm personality, humor, drive, and commitment to family and community.

Manning and his wife, Olivia, have three sons, Cooper, Peyton and Eli. Archie and Olivia raised their sons with the philosophy that, “It’s the right thing to do, so do the right thing.” The result, which Archie and Denver Broncos’ quarterback Peyton capture so clearly, is a tribute to the values that Americans hold dear: work hard, stand up for what you believe in, treat each person with respect, and be grateful for what you have and for what you have achieved.

A former Pro Bowl quarterback and NFL MVP, Manning enjoyed a fabled football career, beginning at the University of Mississippi where he was named an All-American and is the only Ole Miss player to have his number retired.  He was elected to the 50-Year All-South Team (1940-90), named one of the Top 25 Athletes of the Century in Louisiana, and he and his son, Peyton, were named among the 100 all-time greatest college football players.

In 1971, Manning was the second player chosen in the NFL draft and the No. 1 draft choice of the New Orleans Saints. He set Saints’ passing records, played in two Pro Bowls and was named the NFL Most Valuable Player in 1978. His prowess on the field and his sterling character have earned him as many awards as he scored touchdowns. Archie Manning concluded his 15-year NFL career in 1985.

Manning since has devoted his life to his family and to causes that he believes in, supporting the Special Olympics, Boy Scouts of America, The Salvation Army, and the United Way, among others.

Archie Manning will be the keynote speaker at the .

Archie Manning will be the keynote speaker at the 10th annual Jewish Family Service of Colorado Executive Luncheon fundraiser on April 30.

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Super Bowl cities Denver and Seattle have much in common

January 24, 2014

In perhaps an unprecedented move, Visit Denver and Visit Seattle — the booster organizations for both Super Bowl cities — issued a joint press release Thursday listing the similarities between the two (now) rival burgs. Here’s what it said:

“Their geographic locations could not be more different.  Denver is located 5,280 feet above sea level on high rolling plains at the base of the Colorado Rocky Mountains.  Seattle is located in one of the most spectacular natural harbors of the world. But despite these physical differences, Denver and Seattle actually share much in common.

Not on the list is the fact that I have lived in both cities – twice! And that Colorado and Washington both voted to approve recreational marijuana sales.

Other than that little-known factoid, compare these stats:

“Denver – founded in 1858 as a gold-mining camp.

“Seattle – founded in 1851 as a logging and fishing center.

“Denver – 2012 population of 634,264 making it the 23rd largest city in the U.S.

“Seattle – 2012 population of 634,535 making it the 22nd largest city in the U.S.

“When bypassed by the transcontinental railroad, Denver built its own connecting railroad in 1869.

“When bypassed by the transcontinental railroad, Seattle forced its own connecting railroad in 1883.

“Denver was rescued from a deep depression by the discovery of gold nearby in Cripple Creek in 1890.

“Seattle was rescued from a deep depression by the discovery of gold nearby along the Klondike River in Canada in 1897.

“Denver has a history of boom and bust economies and is currently booming with eight new downtown skyscrapers, 1,500 hotel rooms and a rail line from downtown to Denver International Airport all under construction.

“Seattle has a history of boom and bust economies and is currently booming with aerospace, computer software, biotech, e-commerce and international trade.

“From the late 19th to mid 20th century, Denver was known as The Queen City of the Plains.

“From the late 19th to mid 20th century, Seattle was known as The Queen City.

“Denver has a national reputation for beer, including Coors, Great Divide, Breckenridge and Wynkoop breweries.

“Seattle has a national reputation for beer, including Red Hook, Pike and Pyramid.

“The cartoon South Park takes place near Denver and frequently features Denver landmarks.

“The comic strip Doonesbury takes place in Seattle and frequently features Seattle landmarks.

“Denver is home to the first Chipotle and the first Quiznos, both of which started here.

“Seattle is home to the first Starbucks, Nordstrom, Boeing and Amazon.com, which started there.

“Favorite city movie titles: ‘Things to do in Denver When You’re Dead.’ ‘Sleepless in Seattle.’

“Actors from Denver: Amy Adams, Don Cheadle, Keri Russell, AnnaSophia Robb, Matt Stone, Trey Parker.

“Actors from Seattle: Anna Faris, Raine Wilson, Tom Skerritt (who ironically lived in Crested Butte for awhile), Bruce Lee.”

But come Super Bowl Sunday, these towns will have nothing in common except the desire to win!



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