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A Mile Closer to the Stars

Frequently Asked Questions about Denver and the Colorado Front Range

Where Is Denver?

Denver is the capital of the State of Colorado. It is located on the edge of the Great Plains just east of the Rocky Mountains. Only two states from Canada and one state from Mexico. It is relatively close to the geodetic center of the United States.

What Time Do the Sidewalks Roll Up?

Denver has changed a lot in the last 25 years. Most everything in the downtown area stays open till at least 8 PM, usually to 2-3 AM. There are a large numbers of restaurants, pubs, and micro-breweries in the area now. Tattered Cover has a store in LoDo. Things have changed quite a bit in 25 years.

Denver neighborhoods have nicknames, depending on their locations. LoDo (which stands for Lower Downtown) is a few square blocks at the west/northwest end of downtown. The Adam's Mark hotel is at the east/southeast side of downtown. Denver has the Mall area, Larimer Square, the Ballpark neighborhood, the Platt Valley, the Golden Triangle, North Downtown (undergoing gentrification/loft-ization and tentatively called NoDo), Uptown, Auraria, Capitol Hill, etc. The Highlands are up the hill and across the river (& I-25) from downtown. "Down" or "Lower" means toward the Platt River, 'Up' means toward the Capitol. Directionally, the mountains are always to the west and lots of people navigate by this fact.

Some retail establishments (stores) close around 8 or 9 pm. Restaurants and bars are open until 2:00 am unless they are an "after hours" place (often open until 4 am), a breakfast/brunch only place (6 am - 2 or 3 pm), or a 24 hour place. Most restaurants keep their kitchen open until 11 pm.

Have a favorite restaurant, bar or club? Tell us about your favorite spots in Denver. and I'll add your suggestion to Fan-recommended Restaurants, Bars and Clubs in Denver. We're also discussing restaurants and the like in the Devention Live Journal. Melissa Morman, the Restaurant Guide editor, is also looking for .

More tourism Information

Does Denver have WiFi?

Some areas of Denver have free WiFi, particularly the 16th Street Mall area.

How Do I Get Around in Denver?

Denver has a free shuttle along the 16th Street pedestrian mall. The FREE MallRide (36 ultra-low emission hybrid-electric buses) is available every day from as early as 5:15 a.m. on weekdays with the last complete round-trip leaving at 1:35 a.m. from Union Station. Service is sometimes so frequent - as often as every 1 1/4 minutes during rush hours - that shuttles are seldom out of sight.

The FREE MallRide stops at every intersection along the 1-1/4 mile-long mall from RTD?s Union Station at one end of the mall to RTD's Civic Center Station at the other end, with a total traveling time of approximately 11 minutes. Major connections for bus service can be made at RTD's Civic Center and Market Street Stations located along the 16th Street Mall.

Note: This map is in a different orientation from the downtown Denver map on the hotel booking form.

There is a light rail system that goes to the Convention Center. Public transportation info. Taxis are plentiful in the hotel/convention center area.

What About Parking in Downtown?

There's a good Web site that covers downtown parking.

There's information about parking at each convention hotel on the individual hotel Web page. And here's parking information for the Colorado Convention Center.

What About the Snow?

Denver itself doesn't get measurable snow in August. Really! You may see snow from Denver, but remember you're looking at the Rocky Mountains.

What Else Is There to See in Colorado?

There are quite a few places to see in Colorado, including the Mint, museums, a state capital, cliff dwellings, Rocky Mountains, and more. What do you want to see in Colorado? The Colorado State Fair is usually in mid-August in Pueblo. There are music and food festivals throughout the state in the summer (the ski resorts found something to do in the summer.) Telluride, Vail, Aspen, Winter Park, and others all offer different festivals during the summer. We have sea-bed fossils at 9500 feet; national parks and forests, gambling towns, ghost towns, gambling ghost towns, mines, wilderness areas, a lot of snow-capped mountains year-round, gorges, white-water. Pikes Peak is about 90 miles away and has one of the few cog railways running in the country, that will take you right to the top. There's plenty to do outdoors.

And the Travel Channel says that Hammond's Candies is in the top five of candy stores in the country.

Ron and Val Ontell are organizing a post- Worldcon trip of Colorado and the Grand Canyon.

How High Is Denver, Really?

Denver is really 5280 feet above mean-sea-level. There is a plaque set in the stairs of the state capital that marks the exact altitude. As we like to say "Denver is a mile closer to the stars!"

Will I Get Sick at That Altitude?

Probably not. Most people don't notice the change in altitude unless they engage in very strenuous activity. You may find yourself getting a little short of breath, but just pause for a minute or two and you'll recover just fine. It's also important to drink enough water.

You may have problems if you're too sedentary, or have a heart or lung problem. Try to give yourself a day or two to acclimate if you think you might be sensitive to high altitudes.

But I Got Sick the Last Time I Was That High Up!

In reality, most people who get sick at an altitude like Denver are not actually suffering from altitude sickness, but are in fact just dehydrated. The altitude combined with our usual dry air can make you dehydrated without you realizing it. Symptoms can include feeling dizzy, faint, or nauseous. The best remedy is to make sure you drink 2 more full glasses of water than you normally do when at altitude. If you have asthma, be sure to bring your inhaler. In short, use common sense.

A local, former EMT notes:
In addition to dehydration, genuine altitude sickness can be a problem, especially for those who are not in good cardiovascular health (and, unfortunately, many Fen are not in the best of health). Persistent headache and shortness of breath are usually the first symptoms. Please don't dismiss altitude sickness for the more out of shape Fen or you may end up with more medical emergencies than anticipated. Sea level Fen not in tip top shape should be prepared to manage their illnesses much more carefully at altitude (this includes diabetes).

Are There Any Problems with Drinking Alcohol at High Altitudes?

If there were, we wouldn't be bidding for a Worldcon! Denver has some of the best microbrews in the nation, and you can enjoy them safely as long as you remember two things:

  • The effects of alcohol increase with altitude, so it'll take fewer drinks to impair you
  • Alcohol consumption can aggravate a dehydrated condition, so make sure you drink lots of water along with the more tasty stuff

Otherwise, enjoy as you normally would.

Why Is There Air?

We don't need no stinking air! For the Definitive Answer...

Thanks to Jude, a Denver resident who provided many enhancements for this page. (Sadly, your Webmaster has never been to Denver, and has only been to Colorado Springs once, so I'm relying on you natives for more local information!)

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