Even the most beautiful natural setting and a hospitable business climate can't close the winning argument for Choosing Denver without relying on a strong, planned, and highly maintained infrastructure throughout our built environment. Across the board, Denver compares very favorably to other communities of comparable size, and wins hands-down on its strength of a world-class airport and exceptional transit system.
There are 41 light rail stations throughout the metro area, including 21 in Denver. Our path to success is about maximizing opportunities around where people live, work and play with affordable, energy-efficient convenience. Denver never has been known for traffic congestion and staggeringly long commutes, and we believe this spirit of transit-inspired development—along with the rise of projects encouraging bicycle use around town—will help ensure it never will be.
Development along rail, bus and multimodal transportation corridors creates beautiful, vital and walkable neighborhoods; provides housing, shopping, and jobs; and ensures access to employment opportunities, essential services, health care, higher education, arts and culture, and recreation.
Today DIA is the sixth busiest airport in the nation. Currently celebrating its 20th year, DIA is within four hours’ flying time of every North American city with a population of at least 1 million, and offers nonstop service to 180 domestic and international destinations. International carriers connecting here include Aeromexico, Alitalia, Air Canada, Air France, British Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Icelandair, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic Airways, and Volaris.
On its 53 sq mi campus in northeast Denver, DIA has six runways and 157 gates (including those in regional jet facilities) serving 16 commercial carriers.
Reliever airports include Centennial Airport to the south in Arapahoe County (three runways, 850 based aircraft), and Front Range Airport to the northwest in Adams County (two runways, 310 based aircraft).
Denver is served primarily by major Interstates 25 (north-south) and 70 (east-west) that connect downtown to industrial corridors, the Denver Tech Center, DIA, surrounding business districts, and a wealth of exciting mixed-use infill projects.
Metro Denver’s award-winning Regional Transportation District (RTD) will celebrate a major expansion of its light rail network in 2016, with riders from Denver’s Union Station traveling 22.8 miles to DIA.
FasTracks is RTD's $7.4 billion plan for the design and construction of high-quality transit facilities throughout the metro region. When completed, FasTracks will add 122 miles of new light and commuter rail, 18 miles of bus rapid transit service, and more than 21,000 new parking spaces at rail and bus stations. FasTracks will also redirect regular bus service to better connect outlying communities and will add 57 new transit stations.
Colorado has 14 freight railroads operating on more than 2,660 miles of track, two Class I railroads, 76 public use airports, and thousands of miles of roadway to support the shipping needs of growing firms. Freight service by rail includes Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and the Union Pacific Railroad; Amtrak provides passenger service.
The stations throughout Denver’s light rail system are spawning neighborhood shopping districts, high-density housing and walkable attractions.
A prime example of blossoming coordinated development, although by no means the only one, is at Colorado Center at the intersection of I-25 and Denver’s Colorado Blvd. This premier TOD station is in final stages of development, having opened with the 2006 Southeast line and serving a retail/commercial office/restaurant mix that includes cafes and entertainment to create a thriving post-work atmosphere.
One of the most exciting economic development announcements in Denver's history came in late 2014 when Panasonic Enterprise Solutions revealed its intention to build a hub for its fast-growing business solutions operations and a technology center adjacent to DIA. Creating an estimated 300 jobs, the location is part of a 400-acre master planned TOD called Peña Boulevard Station located along the east rail line at 61st St. and Peña Blvd.
Learn more about Denver's leadership and ambitious plans for transit-oriented development here.
Denver is essentially landlocked, which is why we take such pride in demonstrating how well the city maximized several large parcels of developable land that came available in the past 20 years.
When DIA opened in 1995, the site of the former Stapleton International Airport was converted into a blended residential community which today is home to nearly 12,000. Stapleton is one of the largest undeveloped and developing parcels of land in the heart of a major U.S. city.
Similarly and just a few miles south, a nationally admired model of suburban mixed-use, sustainable, master planned growth emerged like a phoenix for Denver when its longtime Air Force base and training center closed in 1994, creating a boon of new infill opportunities for housing and commercial development. Today Lowry is home to 10,000 residents and several dozen retail and restaurant offerings amid 800 acres of open space with parks and ballfields, bikeways, schools, an aviation museum, professional/medical services, and an exceptional public art collection, all highly walkable and linked with bike trails.
These Denver projects represent visionary land use made real with significant development opportunities for commerce, education, healthcare, residential infill, and retail.
On the horizon, one of the most ambitious redevelopment projects in the Western U.S. lies within the city’s boundaries as well: the century-old legacy of the National Western Stock Show and its outdated complex shall rise again with a beautiful, multi-use campus that will accommodate both the annual stock show in the twenty-first century but also livestock and equestrian centers, a research and education center, and a beautiful integration of the South Platte Riverway. This $90 million revitalization will rejuvenate the entire North Denver crescent, which serves as the launching point of the 23-mile “Corridor of Opportunity” of developable land that connects downtown to DIA.
Focused long-range planning and a reputation for regional cooperation are paying huge dividends for the Denver metro area.
We’re committed to making sure that our metro region’s “rising tide raises all ships.” Economic development professionals here are colleagues and friends; if you seek to work with a collaborative team of state and city people, or on a project involving several counties, you’ll find that we share a common commitment to your success and our regional vision.
Our focus on this site is naturally about the City & County of Denver itself, so if your interests expand to the greater metro area or Colorado's Front Range, you'll also want to consult the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation's substantial web resources here.
The history of the West is, perhaps more than anything else, a history of its natural resources. The primary source of Denver's water is snowmelt from the high Rocky Mountains. The region is also in a unique situation to draw water from Colorado's Western Slope and envision its future on a platform combining long-range planning, regional cooperation and conservation efforts. We take very seriously our plans for resources needed not merely to sustain this beautiful place but ensure its well-being for generations to come.
Colorado continues to rank high in the nation in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) buildings certified by the U.S. Green Building Council, currently ranked #2 and trailing only Illinois. A certification indicates that the building uses energy efficient or other green attributes in its design and operation.
Denver's LEED buildings include the Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s Morgridge Family Exploration Center, which received a LEED Platinum rating in 2014.
Conventional infrastructure is strong here, but so are our wireless and wired networks. AT&T has invested nearly $550 million in wireless and wired networks across the state over the past four years, including 292 network upgrades in 2013 alone. Verizon Wireless launched faster mobile broadband technology, while Sprint launched its enhanced LTE network in Denver. In 2014, CenturyLink started offering internet speeds of 1 gigabit per second to metro Denver customers. Overall, Colorado ranks ninth in the country for web use.