Photos courtesy of Chad Chisholm

It’s been talked about for a long time and thanks to a variety of visionaries and a load of partnerships, Denver's historic Union Station officially reopened to the public on July 26. The landmark structure in downtown Denver was closed for extensive renovations on Dec. 2, 2012, taking care to preserve historically significant features of the 1914 Beaux-Arts structure. A nice happy 100th birthday present to a key Denver building from the Colorado companies involved in the Union Station Alliance: Larimer Associates, McWhinney, REGen LLC, Sage Hospitality and Urban Neighborhoods.  

While it is easy to focus on the restaurants, shops and hotel, a key fact is that this is a transportation hub for Regional Transportation District (RTD) commuter rail lines, light rail and buses that connect behind the station along with Amtrak. In 2016, the rail line from Denver International Airport will connect to Union Station, a huge bonus for groups and all visitors. 

An elegant gala preview was held on July 11 with tickets being sold out at a healthy $1,000 per person, with approximately $1 million raised for 55 local charities. We’ll give you behind-the-scenes details about the gala in our Winter 2015 issue, but I couldn’t wait to share some of the great photos.

Here are a few key features:

  • The upper floors of the north and south wings of Union Station are occupied by The Crawford Hotel, a one-of-a-kind 112-room independent hotel.
  • There also are multiple restaurants on-site, all created by several of Denver’s top restaurateurs and chefs: Mercantile Dining & Provision, Stoic & Genuine, Snooze, an A.M. Eatery, The Kitchen Next Door and Fresh eXchange. 
  • Within the Great Hall are more restaurants created by Colorado-based Larimer Associates, including MilkBox Ice Creamery featuring Denver's Little Man Ice Cream, PigTrain Coffee featuring Colorado's Novo Coffee, ACME Burgers and Brats, The Terminal Bar with 30 Colorado craft brews on tap, and Cooper Lounge offering classic cocktails.  
  • The Colorado theme spills over into retail, including Tattered Cover Bookstore, Bloom by Anuschka (flower arrangements, home decor and fine jewelry), and 5 green boxes selling creative gifts and more.  

Gateway to the Rockies & Find the Fun

 

The inaugural hot springs connection, a conference designed to build relationships, share ideas and promote thermal mineral water attractions in the U.S., was held in Glenwood Springs last November. The meeting resulted in steps to form a national geothermal trade association and develop a website representing hot springs resorts. The 2019 conference will be Nov. 4-8 in Palm Springs and Desert Springs, California.

 

The annual gathering is as popular as ever, bringing together people interested in science fiction and related genres.