In October 1995, the Colorado Rapids were introduced as one of Major League Soccer’s 10 charter teams. As one of the league's longest tenured members, the organization has brought a number of landmark moments to Denver, highlighted by a MLS Cup victory in 2010. Three years before their championship campaign, the Rapids became the centerpiece of Dick’s Sporting Goods Park—a sprawling complex that features a total of 24 fully lit sports fields. During Rapids matches, fans get swept up in the park’s lively atmosphere driven by Centennial 38, the team's official supporters group. In their designated “Supporter’s Terrace”, C38 members lead raucous cheers and wave massive flags to inspire their side.
With its flagship campus in Boulder stationed a short trip from some of the nation's finest alpine slopes, it should come as no surprise that the University of Colorado Buffaloes have dominated the rest of the country in one sport: skiing. With 17 NCAA Skiing titles to their name, the Buffs are among nation's premier programs, and also among the premier candidates to receive a phone call from the Yeti president. The topography and altitude has also proven beneficial to distance runners, as the Buffs have won three men's and two women's cross country titles. Though the rugged outdoors may be the school's forte, its football squad and men's and women's basketball teams compete among the nation's top collegiate programs in the elite Pac-12 conference.
The Denver Botanic Gardens’ three locations house vibrant flowers, lush vegetation, and educational activities for visitors of all ages. Native and adapted plants flourish in the York Street campus, which also houses Mordecai Children’s Garden—a 3-acre lot with alpine gardens, mountain ranges, and cool bugs. Trails cut through the Mount Goliath garden, delivering explorers to scenic vistas of the Divide peaks. In contrast to the untouched beauty of Mount Goliath, the Chatfield hub features mankind's imprint on the land. As a working farm, Chatfield makes new use of a restored dairy barn from 1918 and as well as a 19th-century schoolhouse. The farm doubles as a habitat for many bird species, and offers the rare opportunity to make eye contact with a heron.
From its beginnings as an online store, Rockin’ Bead has taken its products back into the physical world with the opening of its Aurora store constructed from brick, mortar, calk, and two heaping fistfuls of beads. Seeing a wide selection of beads and stones and settings online is an experience only as wide as your computer screen, but seeing a 20-foot wall lined with over a thousand decorative pieces has caused numerous awe-induced fainting spells.
A year after Scott Kerkmans created the role of Chief Beer Officer for the Four Points by Sheraton hotels, it began to get around that Denver was the "Napa Valley of Beer." As NPR later reports, the rumor is a culmination of a life spent steeped in beer culture. Before creating Colorado Beer Week and beating out more than 7,000 applicants for the title of CBO, Kerkmans was on the production side at Alaskan Brewing Company. He’s since authored articles for Draft Magazine, taught at Cook Street School of Fine Cooking, and judged burped renditions of the Pledge of Allegiance at the Great American Beer Festival. He shares his taste in microbrews with more than 140 hotels and restaurants worldwide through the Four Point's beer program, but keeps his feet planted firmly on his home turf during his nine-day spring festival, which highlights the finest pours from Colorado breweries including New Belgium, Oskar Blues, and Ska Brewing Company.
The Centennial Village opens a window to the past with living-history demonstrations that re-create American life as it was 100 years ago. As visitors stroll through the 7-acre grounds, they can explore more than two dozen historic structures, including grand homes, a courthouse, and a blacksmith’s shop. Time-swept denizens share tales of their daily lives that provide unique insight into turn-of-the-century struggles. A vast farm area and historic gardens fill the town with lush greenery and a working merry-go-round helps distract visitors from the hourly recalibration of the park’s time machine.