Colorado is getting more attention than ever. It’s hip to be square! From the Denver Broncos to Marijuana, here are ten reasons why 303 Magazine has officially named 2014 the Year of Colorado.

1. Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning versus Ron Burgundy for ESPN

Peyton Manning versus Ron Burgundy for ESPN

The record-breaking quarterback is having the best season of his life. Wearing orange and blue, of course. From constantly breaking the record for more touchdown passes thrown, surpassing Tom Brady, to making out like a bandit selling pizza at Papa Johns during the games, Peyton Manning is beloved staple in the Mile High City. Manning versus Ron Burgundy was even featured on the cover of the 3rd Interview Issue of ESPN Magazine. Manning’s luck continued when he broke his own “playoff curse” by passing round 1 last Sunday with the win against the Chargers. He is the most beloved quarterback Denver has seen since our number 2 reason…

2. John Elway, John Fox, and the Denver Broncos

Broncos Country, photo by Holly Osborn

Broncos Country, photo by Holly Osborn

Magic has happened on the Broncos team with John Elway at the reins as the franchise’s executive Vice President. Along with coach John Fox’s successful mid-season heart surgery, the Broncos have dominated their way to the playoffs yet again. Growing up a Colorado kid, John Elway is like Hercules. Elway having such a brilliant football season is a dream come true. Like the rest of the state, 303 Magazine cannot wait for the AFC West game this week!

3. Marijuana

Marijuana in Colorado, photo by Lindsey Bartlett

Marijuana in Colorado, photo by Lindsey Bartlett

Whether you’re pro-marijuana or anti-drug, there is no denying the publicity the new law has brought to the state. Publicity means headlines, tourism, and especially revenue. A whopping 25% tax on recreational marijuana directly benefits social programs and Colorado public schools. I envision the tourism industry in Denver trying to attract and accommodate those who make it to Colorado to toke. Every news outlet in the world is watching to see what Denver will do next. Read our Guide to Retail Marijuana in Colorado for more questions answered.

4. Breweries

Oktober Fest in Denver, photo by Caitlin Savage

Oktober Fest in Denver, photo by Caitlin Savage

TRIVIA: Colorado has more ___ than any other state.

A) Starbucks B) Dispensaries C) Hipsters D) Microbreweries.

Surprisingly enough, the answer is Microbreweries. There are 180 breweries/brew-pubs in the Mile High State, 4 of which rank in the top 50 in the Nation. My favorites include Oskar Blues, New Belgium, Odells, and Breckenridge Brewery. Maybe it’s in the water. The billion dollar, most Colorado idea ever: IPA craft beer somehow infused with Cannabis (You’re welcome).

5. Restaurants

Best Restaurants in Denver, photo by Caitlin Savage

Best Restaurants in Denver, photo by Caitlin Savage

Denver is upping the bar for trendy, delicious, five-star restaurants. 303 Magazine should know. We’ve eaten at every single one. The time, dedication, and sheer volume of new restaurants is taking the Denver dining experience to the next level. Read our full list of Denver’s Best Restaurants and stay tuned for all of the restaurant openings in 2014!

6. Music

Pretty Lights at Red Rocks, photo by Crystal Rhea

Pretty Lights at Red Rocks, photo by Crystal Rhea

Our venues rule. Not just a few of them. All of them. Major stars are putting Denver on their tour stops who hadn’t in the past. And others who pass Denver by, like Kanye West, are receiving a ton of flak. We’re too cool. You can’t miss us. Plus, local Colorado bands are making huge waves in the national music scene including The Lumineers, Pretty Lights, OneRepublic, The String Cheese Incident, Big Gigantic, Air Dubai, and tons more. Your favorite band under the Colorado sky at Red Rocks is simply heaven.

7. Real Estate

The Highlands Denver 303 Magazine, photo by Rhonda de Palma

The Highlands Denver 303 Magazine, photo by Rhonda de Palma

If people weren’t moving here enough the past ten years with our rapid increase in population and commercial real estate, they will be now. Among other reasons like quality of life and cost of living, the legalization of marijuana and industry growth that the law will bring has enticed even more out-of-staters.

“Our steady employment growth is driving significant new commercial real estate construction, which certainly bodes well for our economy as we begin 2014,” said Patty Silverstein, chief economist for the Metro Denver EDC and president of Development Research Partners.

8. Single Heaven

Photo by Brent Andeck from DFW

Photo by Brent Andeck from DFW

Attention single men and women: You don’t have to be forever alone. Come to Colorado. Where the beer flows like wine and beautiful men and women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano. OKC voted Colorado as the best state to be single in the country. Plus, Coloradoans are health conscious. How could you not be with so much amazing outdoor activity and 300+ days of sun a year? I don’t know if everyone at the bars in LoDo is single. But they act like it.

9. The Economy

Colorado Economy

No one took our jerbs. We have plenty. Awesome companies based out of Colorado include Chipotle, CoorsBudweiserLockheed MartinDish NetworkRemax, and many more. The Metro Denver monthly economic summary’s November 2013 unemployment rate of 5.7 percent was the lowest rate in 5 years. We have bounced back faster than most states after the recession. This means more money to spend on reasons 1-4. In moderation.

10. Shredding the Rocky Mountains

Photo by Adam Ripplinger from Dew Tour 2013

Photo by Adam Ripplinger from Dew Tour 2013

2014 has been an amazing ski and snowboard season. The perfect powder means packed lines and full capacity at ski-resorts. There’s no better time to have an old 80′s condominium in Breckenridge. The value of mountain property has tripled in the past decade. Best slopes in the country. Period.

Colorado SuperNova at Colorado Plus Brewery

Colorado SuperNova at Colorado Plus Brewery, photo by DenverStreetArt

Stay tuned to 303 Magazine for more Colorado-centric photography and reviews all year long! Tell us why you love Colorado in the comment section.

17 Responses

  1. Baal

    There is no salmon in Capistrano, unless you’re in a restaurant. Methinks you mean the swallows of Capistrano.

    Reply
  2. Bryanne Sullivan

    "Salmon of Capistrano"? I didn't know salmon flock. I think the simile the judges were looking for was "swallows of Capistrano". At least the author did not write cappucino.

    Reply
  3. Bryanne Sullivan

    Yeaaahhh…I've never seen "Dumb and Dumber". I have better ways to waste my time in this great state :)

    Reply
  4. K.C. Buck

    I was born and raised in Colorado. I have watched every broncos game so far while wearing a manning jersey. I have had my fare share of Colorado beer and bud. I saw pretty lights on new years and I’ve been skiing all the fresh powder that’s been falling. I feel like this article spoke to me and k couldn’t be happier to live in the best state in the country.

    Reply
  5. Duacee Lor

    I love Colorado for its quality of people! Super diverse populations and tons of wild personalities!!!

    Reply
  6. Shaun Kerr

    Bryanne Sullivan You're literally the only person in Colorado that hasn't seen that movie. Everyone I know here quotes it religiously.

    Reply
  7. Shaun Kerr

    Bryanne Sullivan You're literally the only person in Colorado that hasn't seen that movie. Everyone I know here quotes it religiously.

    Reply
  8. Michael Faust

    Love your article! I've been doing some research on marijuana and the real estate industry and was wondering if you have heard of ColoradoMarijuanaRealtors.com? Looks like they do what Bob Costelo does just on a way larger scale all over the state and they focus on both commercial and residential marijuana real estate. Your articles/blogs are usually very unbiased and informational and if you haven't covered this marijuana real estate network yet I would love to hear your thoughts!

    Keep up the great content!

    Cheers,

    One of your Colorado fans

    Reply

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