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Paul E. Anna: High Points

Paul E. Anna
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

After the final powder days many of us will be ready to get out of town for a respite from the winter season. Sure, the beach beckons, and Mexico is just a short flight away, but some of us long for a city fix.

I know, I know. New York or San Francisco sound pretty good, but Denver is right down the road, and the former cow and rail town has gotten better every year. It may not be the Big Apple, but the city has good sports, fine dining, cool neighborhoods and a booming cultural scene. Oh, and it has a great hotel run by a former Aspenite.

The Hotel Teatro has been a favorite of Aspen locals since it opened in 1999, and many call it their “city place.” Checking in is like going to your own apartment in town. Manager David Craig, who spent a decade in Snowmass as GM of the Stonebridge Inn and at the Snowmass Club, has made an effort to make those who venture in from the Roaring Fork Valley feel at home at the luxurious but friendly boutique hotel located on 14th Street, just across the street from the Performing Arts Center and within walking distance of most of Denver’s newest attractions.



A spring check-in will give you, your honey and your dog (the hotel is not just pet friendly, they love pets) big-city amenities coupled with a friendly, knowledgeable staff who know when to pamper and when to leave you be. The rooms are lovely, and there are two Kevin Taylor restaurants, Prima and Restaurant Kevin Taylor, that are top notch. It is the kind of place where you want to check in, get a paper, order room service and never leave.

If you do leave, the city has seen an explosion in the arts recently. The Denver Art Museum is a must-stop if you haven’t been there yet. Designed by Daniel Libskind, the Hamilton Building addition opened in 2006 and is an iconic structure with a series of dramatic angled wings covered with shiny titanium. This past week a new exhibit opened: The Psychedelic Experience: Rock Posters from the San Francisco Bay Area, 1965-71. It will be on view through July.




For sports fans, the Nuggets look like they may be playing for a while. Currently in first place in the NBA’s Northwest Division, the Nuggs are fighting for playoff position. There are six home games left in the regular season, and who knows how far they’ll go in the playoffs. And the Rockies have their home opener on Friday, April 10, when they host the Phillies for a three-game set.

And you can eat well in Denver these days. We recently had a terrific dinner at Fruition on Sixth Avenue and Rioja in LoDo. Our last trip took us to a fun new place called Beatrice and Woodsley on South Broadway, which is designed to provide the feel of dining in a wooden nest. It’s also fun to head over to Federal and stop in some of the Asian places like New Saigon.

The point is you don’t have to buy a plane ticket to get away. Take a drive, or even the train from Glenwood to Denver, for your quick city fix.

It’s closer than you think.


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