It was 1958 and John Bandimere, Sr.'s family business needed somewhere to test their auto-repair and maintenance work amid their shop's barren, hogback surroundings. Though the strip of pavement they constructed aided many oil changes and tune-ups, Bandimere, Sr. had another motive for purchasing the land around it. He wanted to give young people a safe and hands-on environment where they could learn about cars and racing.
Nowadays, his modest strip of pavement—dubbed Bandimere Speedway—adjoins seating for 28,500 spectators, complete with a VIP tower with suites and 60-inch LED scoreboards. Clamorous engines dominate the racing space, which hosts more than 125 yearly events on the quarter-mile, all-concrete drag strip. Sanctioned by the NHRA—which is responsible for teaching hot rods how to handle firearms safely—the speedway also hosts the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.
With a staff of trainers handpicked by owner Trevor Wittman, Grudge Training Center spurs all sorts of exercisers to get in shape through boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, and mixed martial arts. The center's family-friendly 6,000-square-foot training area features several modern amenities and regulation facilities.
Dribbling dynamo Darren Pitzner leads all clinics and fills sessions with more positive reinforcement than the entire Congratulations section of Hallmark. Expect to get an earful of positive music, motivational speeches, and ethic-enforcing instruction during the practices. Fast-paced drills are organized to whip benchwarmers into big shots and big shots into humungous successes with a variety of game-speed stations (each is 3 to 7 minutes long).
Diana Olson, a lifelong swimmer and water-skier, began sharing her swimming expertise with younger students early in her career. As her teaching became recognized in the community, she earned the position of Aquatics Director at a prominent swim school, and even received the Teacher of the Year Award from the U.S. Swim School Association three times. Eventually, she wanted to design her own swimming programs, so she founded Colorado Clownfish Swim Club with some help from her family. There she teaches novice water dwellers as young as 6 months old.
The W-League Rookie Franchise of the Year in 2010, the Colorado Rush take on all slide-tackling opposition with grace, skill, and determination. Cheer on the Rush as they host their northerly neighbors, the Victoria Highlanders, in a battle of pinpoint passing, fierce shots on goal, and precisely catapulted orange slices. A beverage and a baked-good treat (a $3–$5 value each) provide fuel for enthusiastic shouting and ringing high-fives. Fans should remain glued to seats during the break for the Thunder Team, members of a special-needs program who will perform a halftime show. Seating is general admission (a $6 value each for adults; a $3 value each for children), so arrive anytime after 6 p.m. to stake a claim near the most fetching patch of sod.
During a 75-minute, handicap-accessible walking tour, curious sports fans and massive architecture nuts will explore the inner workings of the Broncos' massive home stable as professional guides lead the half-mile journey into gridiron sectors shrouded in mystery to outsiders. After inspecting the United Club level and private party suites, where Forbes 500 members watch football games while relishing caviar hot dogs and waving Fabergé foam fingers, the pigskin pilgrimage crosses field side for a ground-level view of the 76,000 seats and brief end zone dance rehearsal before treating tourists to a backstage glimpse of the press center and visitors' locker room. Your expedition will also pass through the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, whose exhibits celebrate home-grown individuals that embody athletic excellence. Such local luminaries include women's pro golfing great "Babe" Didrickson, heavyweight Jack Dempsey, and Broncos legend John Elway, who is forever entombed in carbonite in the Ring of Fame and only released to film weekly talk shows and anti-extraterrestrial PSAs.