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In May 1970, Denver was awarded the 1976 Olympic Winter Games. In November 1972, an amendment to the state's constitution outlawing the use of state money for the Olympics was passed 60 percent to 40 percent. The opposition's primary concerns were finances, environment, transparency of effort and insufficient answers. However, a lot has changed in Denver since 1976. See some of the differences between 1976 and today:

 
  • Denver has connected to the world. Denver added Denver International Airport (DEN) in 1995, now serving the fourth most destinations in the country and is one of the highest ranking airports for international flights, with nonstop flights to 25 international destinations.

  • Denver has grown its love of sports. Denver was home to two professional sports teams and now has seven.

  • Denver has become a global destination for events. Denver has hosted numerous high-profile and high-security events like the Pope’s World Youth visit (1993), Summit of the Eight (1997) and Democratic National Convention (2008).

  • Denver can accommodate more people. Denver grew its hotel inventory from approximately 10,000 hotel rooms in 1976 to more than 47,000 metro-wide rooms today.

  • Denver has grown its meeting facilities. Denver added the Colorado Convention Center in 1990, doubled its size in 2004 and is currently planning for its next expansion.

  • Denver has embraced transit. Denver added 88 miles of  passenger rail, including a rail line from DEN to downtown.

  • Colorado has increased access to the mountains. Colorado added a second tunnel next to the Eisenhower Tunnel and added a third lane to a portion of I-70 in times of high usage.
     
  • Colorado Hosts Winter. Vail/Beaver Creek hosted the FIS Alpine World Championships three times and is a regular stop on the World Cup tour. Halfpipe, Big Air and Slopestyle events have been held at Copper Mountain, Breckenridge and Snowmass. The ESPN Winter X games have been in held in Crested Butte and, in Aspen since 2002. The National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) is one of the largest outdoor therapeutic recreation and adaptive sports agencies in the world, based out of Winter Park Resort.

  • The following investments have been made since 1976:
    • Boettcher Concert Hall
    • 16th Street Mall
    • Cherry Creek Shopping Center
    • Colorado Convention Center
    • Colorado Rockies
    • Denver International Airport
    • Coors Field
    • Elitch Gardens relocated to downtown
    • Avalanche Hockey
    • Colorado Rapids
    • Pepsi Center
    • Denver Pavilions
    • Buell Theater
    • Invesco Field at Mile High
    • Colorado Mammoth
    • FasTracks approved (eight rail lines built including A Line commuter train from DEN)
    • Remodel of Ellie Caulkins Opera House
    • Hyatt Regency Denver at Colorado Convention Center
    • Denver Art Museum Hamilton Wing
    • Denver Outlaws
    • Dicks Sporting Goods Park
    • Museum of Contemporary Art
    • Infinity Park
    • Clyfford Still Museum
    • History Colorado Center
    • Remodel of Union Station
    • Expansion of National Western Center & Colorado Convention Center approved
    • New Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art