If the ever-growing crowds at Denver PrideFest (www.denverpride.org) are any indication, then Denver is rolling out the rainbow carpet like never before. Some 425,000 people turned out in 2018 for the city’s LGBTQ pride festival, which takes place in June, and more are expected next year.
“Denver has become well-known as an open, welcoming city with a strong local LGBTQ community, an abundance of great offerings, and customized marketing that caters to the LGBTQ traveler,” said Jayne Buck, vice president of tourism for Visit Denver (1575 California St. Tel: 800-233- 6837. www.visitdenver.com), the city’s convention and visitors bureau. “With a nationally-renowned gay rodeo, one of the largest annual PrideFest celebrations in the country, hot culinary and craft beer scenes, unique live music venues, and amazing arts and cultural attractions, the mile high city continues to generate rave reviews as an LGBTQ-friendly destination.”
Indeed, LGBTQ travelers are attracted to Denver for a number of reasons. And Denver’s growth as a vacation destination isn’t limited to the LGBTQ market, of course. Colorado’s capital city welcomed a recordbreaking 31.7 million visitors in 2017, according to the city’s tourism office. To meet increased demand, a boom in hotel construction has brought stylish new accommodation options, while upgrades at existing properties have refreshed what was already there. A growing arts, culture, and culinary scene have also given travelers lots to do.
When you arrive in Denver, you may notice some positive changes as soon as you land. Denver International Airport is planning a $1.8 billion redesign and expansion that will relocate and improve the security flow in the Great Hall, followed by a $1.5 billion, 39-gate expansion. A new rail line, the University of Colorado A Line (www.rtd-denver.com/a-line.shtml) debuted in 2016, linking Denver International Airport to downtown Denver in just under 40 minutes for only $9. The final stop is both convenient and beautiful: Union Station (1701 Wynkoop St. Tel: 303-592-6712. www.unionstationindenver.com) is a recently renovated, 1914 Beaux-Arts gem that’s now home to a variety of gourmet restaurants and sits within walking distance of some of the city’s best hotels.