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The land that Elitch Gardens sits on has increased in value since 1995.

What If? Elitch Gardens Move Downtown Reconsidered

When Elitch Gardens moved downtown in 1995, Denver officials saw it as a coup. Today there's a sense an amusement park isn't the best use of the 68 acres of prime real estate in the Central Platte Valley, but there's no clear path to redevelopment in the near term.

streetcars

What If? Streetcars a Possible Panacea for Colfax

As Denver becomes a more urban city, it's also becoming more congested. Increasing public transit can help fix the issue, and many cities, from Portland to Salt Lake City to Washington, D.C., are bringing back streetcars to make transit better for residents and visitors.

entre

National Roundup: Pittsburgh's Young Entrepreneurs, Denver's New Breweries, Tampa's Next Hot 'Hood

Confluence Denver is one of 22 publications run by Issue Media Group, a Detroit-based media company. Our sister sites such as Model D in Detroit, Elevation DC in Washington, D.C., Fresh Water in Cleveland and Pop City in Pittsburgh have also been covering the latest in urban innovation and development. This is the first in a monthly series that will aggregate top news from around our network and profile what's next for cities.

City Summit

A Focus on Regional Collaboration at the Rocky Mountain CitySummit

The fourth annual Rocky Mountain CitySummit is slated to take place in Denver next week. The event is all about connecting, educating and inspiring urban leaders in their city-building efforts in Colorado and beyond.

Vets

Veterans to Farmers Shows Promise as it Gears Up to Build Premiere Greenhouse

One local entrepreneur has found an unusual way to support a historically neglected demographic while tapping into the "eat local" food movement. Veterans to Farmers will teach military veterans how to farm in urban environments, with its flagship greenhouse coming soon to the Curtis Park/Five Points area.

The area is further distressed by relatively high crime rates and a homeless population attracted to nearby social services.

What If? Greyhound Bus Station Staying Put, Efforts to Move Stall

The Greyhound bus station in downtown Denver has long been a hub of transit for the city's residents. However, as Denver continues to grow and mature, the location of Greyhound's station -- smack dab in the heart of downtown -- has caused some to question whether it is the best use of an entire city block. Despite recent efforts to push the station to a new location, and then revitalize the area, Greyhound says it's staying put.

Chocolate

Paging Dr. Angst: Chocolate Crisis Center Offers Sweet Medicine

For Valentine's or any other day, the Chocolate Crisis Center in RiNo offers a prescription for chocoholics in need. Owners Lisa Heppner and J.C. Bourque applied their marketing and branding know-how to create a compelling brand.

Breweries

New Breweries Taking Off in South Denver

As many as five new craft breweries might be in business by mid-2014 along or near South Broadway and East Evans Avenue in south Denver. Former Future Brewing Company was first to open last weekend, and Declaration BrewingGrandma's HouseFermæntra and Denver Pearl Brewing Company are currently in the planning or construction stages.

Kids made paper airplanes trying to understand weight and accuary during the 4-H Science class at Athmar Recreation Center.

Urban 4-H: This Ain't Your Cousin's County Fair

4-H is famous for its rural clubs and championship cattle, but in the 21st century -- and especially in the city of Denver -- 4-H-ers are more devoted to robot technology than the livestock trade. Defying expectations is nothing new for Denver 4-H.

 The new Union Station is transforming what was once a void right in the middle of the city's urban fabric into a human-friendly place.

Denver Union Station a National Standout for Urban Depot Redevelopment

Denver's Union Station is in the final months of a five-year, $500 million redevelopment project. As it prepares to open this summer, other cities are renovating their own urban train stations into neighborhood amenities, with multimodal transportation hubs, vibrant public spaces, and mixed-use projects rethinking the old Amtrak-based model.

Bike Lanes

Denver Bridging Gaps for Walking and Pedaling

Over the past decade, Denver has built new pathways for the city's bipedal travelers, including the Millennium Bridge between LoHi and LoDo. Now the city is working on new projects to make the city more navigable by foot and bike, including a pedestrian bridge in the RiNo neighborhood that will cross a tangle of railroads and access the forthcoming light-rail station near Blake and 36th streets. Other parts of Denver still need help -- and some are starting to get it, with $10 million worth of projects in the works.

Itchy-O

The itchy-O Marching Band: Chaos of the Best Variety

Denver's itchy-O Marching Band is a 36-piece collective and one of the city's most compelling musical acts. Their shows are less likely to be on the calendar than not -- expect itchy-O to put on a show in unexpected venues, without any prior notice.

City Park

The City Loop Alley-Oop

Close collaboration and compromise between local parks services and neighborhood advocates may be the ticket as the re-imagining of Denver's beloved City Park is, well, re-imagined once more. Can the vision hurdle controversy and become a Rocky Mountain counterpart to Chicago's Millennium Park?

DHM

Denver Housing Authority and Rocky Mountain Institute Push for Superefficient Housing in Denver

The Denver Housing Authority and the Rocky Mountain Institute teamed to push sustainable development in Curtis Park and beyond. Next: a development plan for Sustainability Park in the coming months, with groundbreaking slated for 2015.

Boutique Hotels

The Denver Hotel Boom

Denver's hotel landscape is growing by leaps and bounds with about 1,400 rooms in planning or under construction. Respectively slated to open in July and April 2014, The Crawford Hotel at Union Station and Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center in the historic Colorado National Bank building are two of the most awaited properties downtown. But local hotel experts also see plenty of room to grow in neighborhoods beyond the city center.

IMA

IMA Financial Group Moves into Swank New HQ at Union Station

The IMA Financial Group moved into its slick new headquarters on the north side of Wynkoop Plaza at Union Station in LoDo. The Denver-based financial services firm is the first arrival at the $500 million redevelopment.

The space has a lot of potential to be redveloped as residential space.

Gates Demolition Underway, Redevelopment Next

The former Gates rubber factory has blighted the South Denver landscape for more than a decade. Now that demolition is underway, can the redevelopment reality match the award-winning mixed-use plan that fell apart five years ago?

Voodoo

Voodoo Doughnut Puts its Magic in the Hole on Colfax

Voodoo Doughnut picked Denver over Austin, San Francisco, New York and Las Vegas for its first location outside of Oregon. Co-Founder Tres Shannon and GM Laura Wolken share why the city is perfect for the one-of-a-kind doughnut business.

The CBCA's Leadership Arts program focuses specifically on arts and culture.

Civic Engagement Starts Here

Engaging with nonprofits on a meaningful level isn't always easy. Enter four unique organizations, each designed to facilitate philanthropic collaboration: Social Venture Partners, CBCACityBuild and JVA Consulting are pushing Denverites to do something great.

CU Denver

CU Denver Marks 40 Years with Big Changes

Four decades after its establishment as an independent institiution, CU Denver has come a long way. Today the university is in the midst of another major evolution, with its first independently owned building underway as the neighborhood-oriented master plan for the Auraria Campus becomes a reality.

Hope Tank is owned and operated by Erika Righter.

Hope Tank: The Business of Giving

During the holiday season, people tend to think of those less fortunate and how to give to them. They also think about all the things they want to buy for their friends and loved ones. What if you could do both? Enter Hope Tank.

Swap

Startups Leverage the Power of Sharing

The rise of the sharing economy has created a new class of entrepreneurs. Their startups are monetizing everything from tool swaps to unused parking spots in cities, and one of them might just be the next Airbnb

Turkey Trot thumb

Turkey Trot Turns 40

The Mile High United Way's 40th annual Turkey Trot in Washington Park raised over $450,000 for a wide range of community initiatives. With nearly 10,000 runners, it was the Denver nonprofit's biggest Thanksgiving race yet.

Screwtooth

An Artistic X-Ray: Adam Stone and Screw Tooth

Denver's new theater company Screw Tooth is genre-defying, experimental and brutally honest, just the way Founder and Artistic Director Adam Stone wants it. Show #1.5, 2GD2B4G-10 (that's alphanumeric for "too good to be forgotten") starts Dec. 13 at Buntport Theater in the Art District on Santa Fe.

Fresh Food

Healthy Food For All: The Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund

Denver's food deserts could soon be a thing of the past. With nearly $10 million in hand, the Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund aims to make healthy food available to everyone. Its first loans are expected to close in early 2014 to provide funding for new groceries and expansion of existing stores.

THe source

Photo Essay: A Good Look at The Source

The Source, the historic foundry turned artisan market and foodie hub, opened in Denver's RiNo neighborhood in August. With tenants like Crooked Stave Artisan Beer Project and Acorn, there's plenty of good stuff to drink and eat. And there's nothing else like it in Denver. Confluence Denver Managing Photographer Kara Pearson Gwinn recenty snapped a few shots of the much buzzed-about market.

Adam Lerner is the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Adam Lerner Mixing Tastes at MCA Denver

Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA Denver) Adam Lerner says his critics find him either too populist or too intellectual. It's a contradiction he takes as a compliment and an indication he is striking the right balance.

Pearl thumb

History Repeats on Old South Pearl Street

In Platt Park, Old South Pearl Street is sporting a new look. The nine-block stretch between Buchtel Boulevard and Evans Avenue has been a commercial district since the streetcar era more than a century ago, and Sushi Den has been the catalyst for the last 25 years. Can another anchor eatery help the area emerge as a dining destination that rivals LoHi?

A rendering of Belleview Station.

Belleview Station Leads the Way for Transit-Oriented Development

Colorado's Bansbach family has owned the land around the light rail's Belleview Station since the late 1800s. But now the family is leading an effort to redefine the character of this area from a staid suburban location into a thriving, walkable urban destination for upscale Denverites.

Dennis Taylor, program coordinator, teaches a signature cooking class.

Quite Simply, Cooking Matters

Of all the things to be thankful for this season, a full belly and good health are two of the most robust blessings. When it comes to making sure every Colorado kid remains healthy and full, Cooking Matters Colorado believes that cooking is what matters most.

Rob McGowan and Ben Olson are the Co-Founders of Fin Art.

Material Alchemists at Fin Art Remaking Denver's Interior Spaces

As the art of making furniture evolves, one standout Denver duo dreams up the bones of some of the city's  most iconic interiors. Fin Art has its fingers in all sorts of new projects in the city, from brewpubs to hostels.

To date this year, the Ubuntu Farm has produced approximately 6,500 pounds of organic produce.

For the Love of Chard: The First Bantu Harvest in the New World

Earlier this year, Confluence Denver brought you the story of the Somali Bantu refugees and the Ubuntu Urban Farm in Denver's Westwood neighborhood. It was the beginning of a learning experience for the refugees of war-torn Somali who, though farmers by tradition, were not used to farming in a climate anything like Colorado's. Now they've harvested their first full season of crops, providing them to the Bantu, CSA (community-supported agriculture) members and a restaurant.

Street Art

Top 10 Denver Feeds on Social Media

Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, YouTube -- there are so many ways to go down the rabbit hole. If you have the time to surf, here are Confluence Denver's picks for the 10 best Denver feeds on social media.

Gus Peterson juggles kettlebells, and teaches his clients to do the same.

Kettlebell Ringers: Russian Workout Catches on in Denver

First used by Russian soldiers, the kettlebell provides an effective full-body workout that incorporates both strength and cardio. Denver trainers are increasingly hip to the benefits of these cast-iron, kettle-shaped weights.

John McCaskill, along with Rob Bell, open MegaFauna, a philosophy-driven artist collective.

MegaFauna Makes Moves, Remains in RiNo

MegaFauna has taken retail to a new level: Production often takes place in the RiNo shop. More than 200 vendors have embraced the concept as the store settles into a new space at 3102 Blake St.

Nicole McGee is a Cleveland artist who makes jewelry, bouquets of flowers and artwork out of scraps of vinyl flooring, plastic bottles, corks and other things people throw away.

Turning Trash into Treasure, Creative Reuse Movement Boosts Urban Economies

Creative reuse centers are shops or warehouses where you can buy materials in bulk that would otherwise wind up in the landfill. Geared towards artists, teachers, parents and crafters seeking raw materials, they have been growing quickly across the U.S. They're treasure troves of creative possibilities for anyone with an artistic mindset.

MOOCs allow for a hybrid of educational models, with online lectures and project work in the classroom.

Can MOOCs Rewire Higher Education?

The MOOC, or Massive Open Online Course, might just be the next big thing in education. CU Denver and CSU are getting in the game, and a few colleges are offering real credits. Is this a paradigm shift for education or is the hype overselling the reality?

Andrea Fuller, a single working mother from Denver, was a recipient of the organization's services after she contacted their hotline in 2011.

Hunger Free Colorado: Fighting Colorado's Hunger Crisis

Hunger Free Colorado is working to solve Colorado's hunger crisis with a host of programs and initiatives. The nonprofit's food truck and work to increase access to the USDA's school breakfast program are just two examples of how the organization is helping nourish the state's hungry residents.

 A custom Yeti animatronic terrorizes the 13th Floor.

Screamworks on the 13th Floor and Rising

Screamworks has been in business since 2002, but the RiNo-based producer of the 13th Floor and other haunted houses has soared to terrifying new heights in the last three years.

Kate Armstrong is an urban forager who's made a career of living off our urban landscape by supplementing her diet with edible weeds.

Kate Armstrong, Urban Forager, Waxes on Weeds

Welcome to sunny Denver, where farmers markets reign supreme and foodies asking servers about the origins of their free-range chicken is as ordinary as a fork. But even here, the idea of living "authentically" sounds a little foreign, a little too Portlandia, doesn't it? Not if you're Kate Armstrong, the urban forager who's made a career of living off our urban landscape by supplementing her diet with edible weeds.

Phelyx

Professor Phelyx and the Trick of Mentalism

Professor Phelyx is no ordinary magician -- he's a magical entertainer and mentalist with jaw-dropping talents that delight and amaze audiences from Denver to Ireland. And now for his next trick, a Wonderbound ballet!

Drag Machine covered the history of drag through performers depicting different decades.

Innovative and Askew, Off-Center @ The Jones Launches Third Season

Off-Center @ The Jones is the "test kitchen" at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Co-Curators Emily Tarquin and Charlie Miller discuss the third season, starting Oct. 10.

Bovine Metropolis Theater owners Denise Maes and Eric Farone.

Improvising a Business: Bovine Metropolis Brings Improv to the Masses

When the husband-and-wife team of Eric Farone and Denise Maes established Bovine Metropolis Theater in 2000, they left the stability and benefits of their corporate jobs to take a leap of faith toward a mutual dream -- to create a training theater that would develop Denver's improv community and bring the art of improv to the masses.

Ruby Hill

Ruby Hill Park Getting Ready to Shine

Welcome to Ruby Hill. The long underused city park is going through an extreme, culturally infused makeover that is expected to turn it into a Denver gem. It's quite a turnaround for a former landfill with a considerably lower profile than many other parks in the city.

Sweet Action, a welcome addition to the neighborhood, opened its doors in 2009.

The Baker Boom: Revitalization on Broadway Hits Fever Pitch

Development in Baker has exploded in recent years, and the curve is steepening as of late 2013. Can one of Denver's most distinctive 'hoods balance explosive growth with the preservation of its quirky character?

Landon Meier's masks of Ron Jeremy, Mike Tyson and babies.

Hyperflesh's Signed Breaking Bad Mask Auctioned on eBay after Series Finale

Hyperflesh's super-realistic, signed mask of Breaking Bad's Walter White (a.k.a. Heisenberg) attracted bids north of $40,000 after the series' critically acclaimed finale. The Art Distict on Santa Fe-based Landon Meier tells us when latex and silicon masks cross the boundary and become art.

Ken

Confluence Q&A: Ken Schroeppel, CU Denver and DenverInfill

Confluence Denver talked to DenverInfill Founder and CU Denver Instructor Ken Schroeppel about Denver development, parking lots and the best places in the city.

Warm Cookies of the Revolution encourages active citizenship with monthly meetings covering everything from poop to pro sports.

Civic Health Club: Warm Cookies of the Revolution

Warm Cookies of the Revolution encourages active citizenship with monthly meetings covering everything from water treatment to pro sports. Founder Evan Weissman is looking to expand the concept with a permanent storefront and more frequent gatherings.

Andrew Novick is an artist, collector, photographer, chef and coveter of the strange.

The Weird World of Andrew Novick: Blood, Pancakes and Punk Rock

The parallels to the legendary Andy Warhol are uncanny: identical infatuations with pop culture, both extraordinary collectors and coveters of the strange and they even share a name. What does a humble genius reminiscent of Warhol and undeterred by limits do in his free time? (Hint: The answer isn't "sleep.") Here's a brief review of all things Andrew Novick.

The original Chipotle on East Evans Avenue.

Top 10 Denver Startups of All Time

For Denver Startup Week, we pondered a question: What are the greatest startups to ever call Denver home? From burritos and suitcases to software and fishhooks, here are Confluence's picks.
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