Denver, Colorado

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Denver, CO
General Information

Population: 554,636
Elevation: 5280 feet
County: Denver
Land area: 153.4 square miles
Time Zone:

Mountain Standard Time:
When it is 12:00 noon in new York City, it is 10:00 AM in Denver. Daylight Saving Time is observed from April – October.

Area Code:
Area codes are 303 and 720, and local calls require 10-digit dialing.

Business Hours:
Banks are usually open weekdays from 9am to 5pm, occasionally a bit later on Friday, and sometimes on Saturday. There's 24-hour access to automated teller machines (ATMs) at most banks, plus in many shopping centers and other outlets. Generally, business offices are open weekdays from 9am to 5pm and government offices are open from 8am until 4:30 or 5pm. Stores are open 6 days a week, with many also open on Sunday; department stores usually stay open until 9pm at least 1 day a week. Discount stores and supermarkets are often open later than other stores, and some supermarkets are open 24 hours a day.

Emergencies: 911.

Rocky Mountain Poison Control Center:
all tel. 800/323-3073 or 303/739-1123.

Rape Crisis and Domestic Violence Hotline
Call tel. 303/318-9989.

The Denver Post is Colorado's largest daily newspaper. The Rocky Mountain News also covers the metropolitan area. Under a joint operating agreement, each publishes a separate weekday edition, only the News prints on Saturday, and only the Post appears on Sunday. A widely read free weekly, Westword, is known as much for its controversial jibes at local politicians and celebrities as it is for its entertainment listings. National newspapers such as USA Today and the Wall Street Journal can be purchased at newsstands and at major hotels.

State and local sales tax in Denver is about 7% (it varies slightly in neighboring counties and suburbs). The hotel tax is about 7%, bringing the total tax on accommodations to nearly 14%.

Useful Telephone Numbers:
For a weather report, time, and temperature, call tel. 303/337-2500. Statewide road condition reports are available by calling tel. 303/639-1111. For information on possible road construction delays in the Denver area and statewide, call tel. 303/573-ROAD (7623)

National Holidays:
New Year's Day Jan. 1
Martin Luther King, Jr., Day 3rd Mon. in Jan.
President's Day 3rd Mon. in Feb.
Memorial Day last Mon. in May
Independence Day July 4
Labor Day 1st Mon. in Sept.
Thanksgiving Day 4th Thurs. in Nov.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dec. 24 and 25
New Year's Eve Dec. 31

Denver International Airport (DIA)
8500 Peña Boulevard,
Colorado 80249,
Is 23 miles northeast of downtown, usually a 35- to 45-minute drive. Covering 53 square miles (twice the size of Manhattan), DIA boasts one of the tallest flight-control towers in the world, at 327 feet. The airport, which has 94 gates and 6 full-service runways, can handle around 33 million passengers annually.

The principal highway routes into Denver are I-25 from the north (Fort Collins and Wyoming) and south (Colorado Springs and New Mexico); I-70 from the east (Burlington and Kansas) and west (Grand Junction and Utah); and I-76 from the northeast (Nebraska). If you're driving into Denver from Boulder, take U.S. 36; from Salida and southwest, U.S. 285.

19th and Arapahoe streets
(tel. 800/231-2222)
Is the major bus service in Colorado, with about 60 daily arrivals and departures to communities in and out of the state.

Sserves Union Station, 17th and Wynkoop streets (tel. 800/USA-RAIL or 303/825-2583), in the lower downtown historic district.

Bus, taxi, and limousine services shuttle travelers between the airport and downtown, and most major car-rental companies have outlets at the airport. Because many major hotels are some distance from the airport, travelers should check on the availability and cost of hotel shuttle services when making reservations.

Public Transportation:
The Regional Transportation District, or RTD (tel. 800/366-7433, 303/299-6000, or TDD 303/299-6089 for route and schedule information; 303/299-6700 for other business; calls itself "The Ride." It operates bus routes and a light-rail system, with free transfer tickets available. It provides good service within Denver and its suburbs and outlying communities (including Boulder, Longmont, and Evergreen), as well as free parking at 65 Park-n-Ride locations throughout the Denver-Boulder metropolitan area. The light-rail service is designed to get buses and cars out of congested downtown Denver; many of the bus routes from outlying areas deliver passengers to light-rail stations rather than downtown.

Depending on the route, the departure time of the last bus or train varies from 9pm to 1am. Maps for all routes are available at any time at the RTD Civic Center Station, 16th Street and Broadway; and the Market Street Station, Market and 16th streets. RTD also provides special service to Colorado Rockies (baseball) and Denver Broncos (football) games. All RTD buses and trains are completely wheelchair accessible.

Free buses run up and down the 16th Street Mall between the Civic Center and Market Street every 90 seconds during peak hours (less frequently at other times), daily from 6am to 1am.

Visitors should take particular note of the new light-rail C Line, which began running in spring 2001. After diverting from the main north-south light-rail line at Colfax Avenue, it veers west and stops at Invesco Field at Mile High, the Pepsi Center, and Six Flags Elitch Gardens before chugging into Union Station at 17th and Wynkoop streets in lower downtown. The fare is the same as on any other local route, but the schedule is extended, with the last train leaving Union Station at 3am.

The open-air Platte Valley Trolley (tel. 303/458-6255; operates year-round. From late May through August between 11am and 4pm daily there's a half-hour "Denver Sightseeing Route" ride which operates from 15th Street at Confluence Park, south to Decatur Street along the west bank of the Platte River. "The Route 84 Excursion" leaves at noon Monday through Friday, and 2pm Saturday and Sunday . This 1-hour trip takes visitors west of Decatur Street, following a portion of a historic tram line that ran to Golden until 1950. Neither tour is narrated. During April, May, September, and October, the trolley runs, weather permitting, Tuesday through Sunday between 11am and 4pm; in winter, it operates only on weekends from 11am to 4pm, also weather permitting. Special charter trips can be arranged for off-hours; call for details.

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