Rocky Mountain Highlife
Denver’s geography isn’t the only upward trend in the Colorado capital
Denver’s geography isn’t the only upward trend in the Mile High City
Colorado’s progressive new marijuana laws were signed into effect this spring, which establishes the state as the nation’s first legal, regulated and taxed recreational marijuana market for adults. Some wags have chosen to point to the legislation as the reason for the state capital’s nickname,“The Mile-High City.” But in reality, it’s Denver’s position above sea level – at exactly 5,280 feet, one mile – that really gives the city its moniker.
But Denver’s“Rocky Mountain high” doesn’t end there. Once a mere cow town, this city has experienced phenomenal growth and development over the past two decades right through a period when much of the country was caught in an economic downturn.
“We weathered the recession well because we are diversified,”says Rich Grant of the Denver Convention and Visitors Bureau. He points to the momentous decision voters made to increase taxes in order to fund the innovation and recreation; 122 miles of light rail transportation, a new opera house, an art museum and more. Time will soon tell if the combination of 850 miles of paved off-street biking and 83 bike sharing stations around town, together with its rarified altitude and 300 days of sunshine, will help the city retain its esteemed status as the“Leanest City in America.”
All this progress is getting attention beyond the Mountain states, as national media take notice. The short list includes: unemployment report shows Colorado’s rate at 6.6 percent, a full point lower than the national average. Development Corporation study shows positive five-year job growth for a majority of the Metro Denver region’s key industries.