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Denver is an outdoor city with spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains and plenty of urban adventures for all ages. Explore The Mile High City’s farm-to-table cuisine, local craft breweries and unique live music venues like the famous Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre. Visit the Denver Art Museum with its famous Indigenous art and Western art collections, see the giant blue bear public art sculpture, shop at Cherry Creek or get an authentic western shirt at the iconic Rockmount Ranch Wear. The opportunities are endless!
Hotels | Culinary Scene | Museums & Attractions | Transportation | Sustainability
Populus at Civic Center Park, the first carbon-neutral hotel, plans to open in 2023. The 250-room, 13-story hotel will feature an event space/ballroom, multiple food and beverage venues and a rooftop deck and bar.
Flora House opened in late 2022, offering a Boutique Hotel/B&B located in Denver's Wyman Historic District, touted as the city's oldest subdivision. The six-room luxury Victorian mansion turned hotel was constructed during the late 1800's by historical Denver architect William Lang. Flora House embodies several locations in Denver also designed by Lang, including the Molly Brown House, the A.M. Ghost building and the Castle Marne (just a block north of Flora House Denver), among others.
The Kimpton Hotel Born will become a Limelight Hotel, part of the Aspen Skiing Company hospitality brand, in May of 2023. While Limelight currently operates in ski areas like Aspen, Snowmass and Ketchum, Idaho, near Sun Valley Resort, it’s entrance into the Denver hotel scene marks the first urban Limelight hotel. The Kimpton Hotel Monaco Denver building, located downtown at 1717 Champa St., recently sold to Xenia Hotels & Resorts. Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants is also constructing a new 190-room hotel with a 19th-floor rooftop bar at Belleview Station in the Denver Tech Center.
Thompson Denver by Hyatt opened in early 2022. Located in the heart of LoDo, the hotel also includes Chez Maggy by Michelin-starred chef Ludo Lefebvre.
The much anticipated Slate Hotel opened in May 2022 at the historic site of the original Emily Griffith Opportunity School across the street from the Colorado Convention Center and many other iconic Mile High attractions. This hotel adds 251 guest rooms to downtown Denver.
A new residential property, One River North, is coming to RiNo in 2023. Located right across the street from the 38th and Blake RTD Light Rail Station, the project is a carved-out, 4-story core, resembling a slot canyon, comprising over 13,000 square feet of water elements and landscaping. The project is one of two in the U.S. by MAD Architects and aims to embody the natural beauty of Colorado and all that the state has to offer.
After an extensive renovation process, family-owned 11th Avenue Hostel serves travelers as a premier hostel experience in Denver. The state and national landmark hosts modern guests in an updated setting as one of Denver's oldest hotels (built in 1903), equipped with both private and shared accommodations.
Several new hotels are set to open between 2023-2025, including the dual-brand Fairfield Inn & TownePlace Suites by Hawkeye Hospitality at 1320 Glenarm Place, a Marriott Hotel by Focus Development Group at 727 14th Street, the Train Denver Boutique Hotel by Invent Development Partners at 4000 Blake Street and a Virgin Hotel by Virgin Hotels & Vita Fox North LP at 4400 Fox Street.
Casa Bonita – What was once a Colorado staple was purchased by “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and will be reopen in May 2023. Casa Bonita, known as an “eatertainment” venue located in Lakewood, will open its doors with renowned chef Dana Rodriguez behind the new menu and offerings.
Hey Kiddo – Well-known Denver chef Kelly Whitaker is behind The Wolf’s Tailor, Basta and Bruto. He is expanding his culinary reach in the city with the opening of Hey Kiddo’ Located on the ground floor of the Asher boutique hotel in the Berkeley neighborhood, Whitaker’s “New American” inspired dining concept will also feature a cocktail bar called OK Yeah.
Welton Street Café – the historic, Black-owned Welton Street Café is back after a two-year closure due to a landlord dispute. Owner Fathima Dickerson plans to break ground on a new location in early 2023, bringing the soul food of Welton Street Café to Denver once again.
The Culinary Creative Group Additions – The thriving Denver restaurant group plans to add three more concepts to their repertoire this year. The new spots include a Detroit-style pizza Red Tops Rendezvous in Jefferson Park; Japanese eatery Kumoya moving into the current Tony P's location; and an unnamed bar next to Forget Me Not in Cherry Creek.
Fox & the Hen – Denver dining mogul and culinary director of Tap & Burger Carrie Baird is adding an all-day breakfast spot, Fox & the Hen, to the Highlands neighborhood in 2023.
Le French - Rougui Dia became the first Black woman to hold the executive-chef position at a Michelin-starred restaurant at Le Petrossian 144 in France in 2005. She went on to open Le French in the Denver Tech Center alongside her sister, Aminata in 2019. The sisters are expanding their provisions, a combination of French and Senegalese masterpieces, to a second location at the 9+CO development off Colorado Boulevard and East Ninth Avenue.
Meta Asian Kitchen – With a debut in Avanti Food & Beverage, the collective eatery concept located in the Lower Highlands neighborhood, Meta Asian Kitchen is opening a standalone location with Cantonese and American Chinese offerings.
Noisette – In August 2022, culinary couple Tim and Lilian Lu, both graduates of the French Culinary Institute in New York, opened Noisette. Located in the Lower Highlands neighborhood, Noisette is a bakery by day but transitions to an upscale French menu featuring duck breast and more by night. The trendy atmosphere paired with delicious French cuisine and exquisite cocktails has secured Noisette a spot on Denver’s culinary map.
Molotov Kitschen and Cocktails – Denver chef Bo Porytko added to his repertoire with the opening of Molotov Kitschen and Cocktails in January 2023. Porytko is known for several business ventures in Denver including Rebel Restaurant, which closed in 2018 and Misfit Snack Bar, located inside Middleman. Offering Eastern European dishes, Molotov is a product of Porytko’s Ukrainian heritage. The space embodies the culture behind his upbringings and offers a combination of traditional and eclectic dishes and cocktails to the Denver culinary scene.
Left Hand Brewing – Denver’s newest brewery opened in RiNo late 2022 next to Mission Ballroom. Left Hand Brewing started in Longmont, Colorado 26 years ago, and prioritizes sustainability. Left Hand practices include the use of flash steam recovery during brewing to eliminate energy consumption while distributing the brewery’s largest area of waste, spent grain, to a local cattle farm.
16th Street Mall Renovations - Built in 1982, the 40-year-old 16th Street Mall is currently undergoing a major restoration. The project will reconfigure the Mall’s layout to create wider sidewalks, a new amenity zone and center-running Free Mall Ride shuttle service. The renovation will also replace and expand the existing tree canopy, creating a refreshing green space in the center of the city. The project includes plans for interactive elements, along with new collections of site furnishings to help encourage more people to engage in a fun and vibrant environment along Denver’s revitalized signature 16th Street Mall. Project completion is set for 2024 and more information can be found on the project website’s Current Project Activities page. Note: Although the mall is being revitalized, it's remaining open for business during the project.
Denver Center for the Performing Arts/Denver Performing Arts Complex – The Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) boasts an impressive calendar of performances and events in 2023, including Broadway’s To Kill a Mockingbird in January; Colorado Ballet’s Cinderella in March, 2023; Disney PRIDE in Concert presented by Denver Gay Men’s Chorus March 31-April 1, 2023; and Beetlejuice at the Buell Theatre September 5-17, 2023. Presented by DCPA and located at York Street Yards, “Theater of the Mind” also continues to stun viewers. Opened Aug. 31, 2022 and co-created by Academy, Grammy and Tony Award-winning artist David Byrne and writer Mala Gaonkar, “Theater of the Mind” takes viewers on an immersive journey inside how we see and create our worlds. For more DCPA events, visit https://www.denver.org/things-to-do/arts-culture/performing-arts/.
Meow Wolf Denver – Opened in 2021, Meow Wolf, the artist collective responsible for Santa Fe’s immersive art exhibit the House of Eternal Return, added a permanent installation in Denver. The Denver venue features the work of 110 Colorado-based artists on four floors of colorful rooms, as well as a 450-person capacity music venue, café and retail space. New happenings at Meow Wolf Denver’s Convergence Station include Adulti-Verse events for 21+ visitors and an array of concerts and events throughout the year.
The New National Western Center – Renovations at the Denver Coliseum will result in a 246-acre campus to preserve the National Western Stock Show & Rodeo as Denver’s largest event for the next 100 years and add state-of-the-art spaces to hold concerts and festivals, farmers’ markets, sporting events, trade shows and conventions, as well as office space, business incubators, classes, public art, cultural events, family activities, shops and more. More than 2.2 million square feet of indoor and outdoor space is being developed, including 20 acres of public plazas and flexible stockyards.
Denver Art Museum – The Denver Art Museum (DAM) continues an extensive renovation project and plans to reveal permanent collection galleries in its Frederic C. Hamilton Building on May 14, 2023. The completed project will make the museum’s African Arts, Modern and Contemporary Art and Arts of Oceania collections on display to the public for the first time since construction kicked off in 2016. Gallery labels will offer English and Spanish descriptions for increased access to the museum. Reinstallation of the Hamilton Building contributes to the DAM’s mission to represent a broad array of art in an inclusive and thought-provoking environment. Upcoming DAM exhibitions include Her Brush: Japanese Women Artists from the Fong-Johnstone Collection on display through May 13, 2023 and Desert Rider: Dreaming in Motion from July 9-September 23, 2023.
Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA) – The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Denver now offers a viewing experience for color blind visitors. After acquiring four pairs of Technicolor-inspired glasses made by EnChroma, MCA Denver became one of the first museums to offer an experience in color to those who are used to seeing art in black and white. MCA Denver also recently acquired the Holiday Theater, located in the Lower Highlands neighborhood at 2644 W 32nd Ave. The space is currently undergoing renovations but plans to reopen in 2023 for programming including panels, performances and more to uplift the creative community and further contribute to the museum’s mission in advancing contemporary art.
Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS) – The Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS) recently announced the opening of the Infinity Theater. The new theater features improved audio and visual accessibilities, including a hearing induction loop, updated closed captioning, new programming and both 2D and 3D capabilities. The space can be used for a variety of purposes, including conferences, private events, performances on stage and infinite possibilities to showcase movies, films, videogames, concerts, live streaming and much more. DMNS will also display new exhibition Becoming Jane from May 19-October 2023, exploring a hands-on, transportive, multimedia exhibition celebrating the extraordinary life and work of world-renowned conservationist and ethologist Dr. Jane Goodall.
History Colorado Center – History Colorado Center opened its new permanent exhibit, The Sand Creek Massacre: The Betrayal that Changed Cheyenne and Arapaho People Forever in November 2022. The exhibition tells the history of the U.S. Army attack on a camp of mostly women, children, and elders at Big Sandy Creek in southeastern Colorado. The soldiers murdered more than 230 peaceful people, marking the deadliest day in Colorado history. The story is told from the perspectives of Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribal representatives, drawn from oral histories that have been passed down for generations.
As the third busiest airport in the world, DEN is Colorado’s largest economic engine, bringing in $33 billion annually.
The new gates at DEN bring the total number of gates at the airport to 156. The C-East expansion is the second of four expansion areas, including a newly constructed outdoor deck that provides prairie views with a pet relief area, outdoor seating and firepits. A similar space exists in the A-West expansion area.
With 9,750 average daily active bus stops, RTD maintains the largest fleet of electric buses in the nation (26) to service the 16th Street Mall.
The City and County of Denver is replacing the Larimer Street bridge over Cherry Creek between 14th Street and Speer Boulevard and making improvements that better support the many ways people travel along this stretch. The project is replacing the 64-year-old bridge and increasing the amount of space that is dedicated to people who pedal, roll and stroll between downtown Denver and the Auraria Campus, adding a two-way protected bikeway, 12-foot-wide sidewalks, pedestrian lighting, more seating options, public art and trees. A single travel lane for cars will also be maintained. The work is anticipated to be complete in fall 2023. Updates will be posted on the project website.
The Winter Park Express Ski Train returns for the 2023 season, taking travelers from Denver to Winter Park every weekend for a $34 one-way ticket. The ski train – which runs from Denver Union Station in the heart of downtown right to the base of the ski slopes – is the perfect way to make Denver the basecamp for experiencing Winter Park Resort’s many seasonal activities, from skiing and snowboarding to snowshoeing, tubing and more.
Denver International Airport (DEN) remains dedicated to energy efficiency and the environment. Programs like the Environmental Management System, wastewater reduction, airport solar program, single-stream recycling and a partnership with the Colorado Green Business Network support the airport’s goals to reduce its impact on the environment.
The RTD A Line offers a “green” way to travel to and from the airport.
Colorado Convention Center’s commitment to sustainability include the Waste Management Program, Energy and Water Conservation efforts, Air Quality policies and sustainable catering with the goal to make all events held in the space sustainable.
During the entire month of August 2022, RTD offered zero fares across its system as part of the Zero Fare for Better Air initiative. This collaborative, statewide initiative, made possible by Colorado Senate Bill 22-180, in partnership with the Colorado Energy Office, was designed to reduce ground-level ozone by increasing the use of public transit. Current RTD customers also benefitted as they did not have to use or purchase fare products from Aug. 1-31 2022, during Colorado’s high ozone season.
The Arkins Promenade towers above the South Platte River, with views of Denver’s skyline, the River North Art District (RiNo) neighborhood and the Rocky Mountains. The project opened in July 2022 and was designed by Denver-based Tres Birds Workshop, taking a once-forgotten stretch of road along the river and reinventing it as a human-centric park. In the last 50 years, the river entered a new phase of deindustrialization, returning it to a more natural state and rethinking it as an asset instead of an oversized gutter. The promenade’s steel walkway is supported by telephone poles and crafted from sustainably sourced lumber. Along its 400-foot length are several decks with seating; benches below are made with recycled milk jugs. For the brave, there's a triangle of webbing to climb across or lie on and look at the clouds.