As 2014 draws to a close, Silver Spur has been reflecting on the year and all that has happened in Denver. We are proud to be a part of such a vibrant, unique, and ever-changing community. 2014 has brought new businesses and cultural traditions to Denver, and we have seen parts of the city change both aesthetically and intrinsically. With our focus on Design, Culture, and Economic Development, here is our version of “Denver 2014- A Year in Review.”
1. RiNo Art District
This neighborhood in Denver holds a special place in our hearts. We are inspired by the creativity that stems from the people that live there and enjoy watching the growth of the local businesses. This past year we have seen incredible growth and we are excited about the vision for the future of RiNo. You can see the the new vision here. We are also keeping our eye on the development of 2601 Larimer–a new office, retail, and restaurant space.
2. Welton St. Corridor
This Five Points neighborhood that holds so much historic significance for Denver is finally receiving some well-deserved revitalization. Thanks to a recent grant of $475,000, local stakeholders are working to preserve history while also making the neighborhood a thriving cultural scene through the mayor’s Welton Street Challenge. For more on the legendary Denver jazz scene on Welton Street check out this article.
3. Construction of the East Rail Line
How many Denver-ites grumble about the long drive to the airport? That, in combination with the expensive parking and inconvenient airport shuttles makes the trip to DIA less than appealing. Not to mention, it is not particularly convenient to pick up visitors there! We are definitely guilty of griping about this, and are thrilled about the construction for the light rail line to DIA! Although the rail will not be finished until 2016, the breaking of ground is enough for us to include in our top 10! Imagine how wonderful it will be to hop on the light rail to the airport without having to worry about traffic and parking! What a luxury!
4. The Big Wonderful
Earlier this year, we wrote a blog on Josh Sampson, the creator of The Big Wonderful. The event was a smashing success in just a matter of months! Located in the heart of Five Points, the music festival/flea market/food truck/sand volleyball/tiki bar event works to benefit the Urban Farming effort in Denver. If you haven’t been to The Big Wonderful yet, you are missing out!
5. Industry and other Creative Work Spaces
With the large number of start-ups and other jobs that allow employees to work remotely, we have noticed more and more creative workspaces emerging in Denver. One that has especially caught our eye is Industry. From the exciting Grand Opening in May to the cool office spaces and trendy tea bar, the office spaces in there are undoubtedly a hot commodity. We love how workspaces like industry bring together some of Denver’s most creative and innovative thinkers.
6. Outstanding Food City
With food trucks taking to the streets and new spaces like The Source, Denver has become quite the foodie mecca. Is it just us, or was 2014 one of the biggest years for restaurants in Denver? According to Denver Eater our “booming dining scene” has made national headlines. We especially enjoyed the Civic Center Eats this summer with the multitude of food trucks for hungry foodies in Civic Center Park. The Source has also become a favorite spot with nationally recognized Acorn and many other tasty spots!
7… and Outstanding Beer City
We can’t mention Denver’s food without also mentioning the beer. We have heard our area called the “Napa Valley of Beer”, but this year LivAbility has confirmed the name. We are ranked second in their top 10 list of best beer cities. The opening of Wynkoop Brewing Company in 1988 marks the beginning of Denver’s modern beer scene, and it has continued to thrive ever since. We won’t ruin LivAbility’s list of 10 Best Beer Cities for you, but you can read about it here.
8. Thriving Art Scene
One of our favorite parts about living in Denver is the art scene. From First Fridays in the Santa Fe Arts District to the artisans at the Denver Flea Market and the innovative exhibitions at the Denver Art Museum, Denver’s creative community never seems to disappoint. 2014 was an especially big year for new galleries and big shows. This blog points to the opening of Point Gallery and Michael Warren Contemporary, the reopening of Rule Gallery, and construction plans for Space and the Kirkland Museum.
9. IMAGINE 2020—Denver’s Cultural Plan
The mayor’s announcement about IMAGINE 2020 this year was definitely a highlight. The plan will encourage local artists, support art education in public schools, and enrich Denver’s cultural and creative scene in many ways. We are looking forward to seeing what this plan will do for Denver.
10. Union Station
Of course our list wouldn’t be complete without including the incredible new Union Station! We agree with Ryan King that Union Station feels like “the living room of LoDo.” With great restaurants, a fun bar, a bookstore and comfortable armchairs it has become quite the hangout. Not to mention the stunning architecture, top-of-the-line hotel, and convenient transportation that comes with our newly renovated Union Station. If you haven’t been there to check it out yet, we strongly encourage you to put it on your list of New Year’s Resolutions!
Wishing you a Happy New Year.