Interesting Denver facts

98 Dynamic Facts about Denver

The capital city of Colorado, Denver, is famous for its sports teams, proximity to the picturesque Rocky Mountains, and outdoor activities.

Find out what else the “Mile High City” is known for with these fun and interesting Denver facts! Also see these fun facts about Colorado, the state where Denver is located!

General Denver Facts

  • Denver is the capital and largest city in the US state of Colorado.
  • Denver is located at the confluence of the two major highways in the state: US Route 70, which runs east to west across the country, and Interstate 25, which is part of the Pan-American Highway from North to South America.
  • The Greater Denver Area, which includes Aurora and Lakewood, has a population of 2.97. By coincidence, it is also the 19th largest metropolitan area in the United States, between Greater Tampa, Florida, and Greater Baltimore, Maryland.
  • It is three times larger than the state’s second largest city, Colorado Springs.
  • Around 63% of all Coloradans live in the Greater Denver Area.
  • The city sits at the same latitude as Valencia, Spain.
Buildings of Denver, Colorado, with Rocky Mountains in the background
Denver with the Rockies in the background
  • The highest temperature ever recorded in Denver was 104°F (40°C) in 2018, while the lowest was −25°F (−32°C) in 1990.
  • General William H. Larimer named the city after Kansas Territorial governor James Denver in hopes of gaining political favor.
  • The nickname for Denver is the Mile High City, as its elevation is around 1 mile above sea level. The only higher state capitals are Santa Fe (New Mexico) and Cheyenne (Wyoming).
  • Slogans and mottos for Denver have included “Join the Mile High Club”, “Forward”, “Connect globally. Thrive locally.” and “Denver means energy”.
Seating area in Red Rocks at sunset
Red Rocks Amphitheater is just outside of Denver
  • People from Denver are called Denverites.
  • ¼ of Denverites trace their ancestry to Mexico.
  • Denver is consistently ranked as one of the top places to live in the US in terms of overall quality of life and affordability.
  • Denver is one of the sunniest major cities in the US, with over 300 days of sunshine per year.
  • Denver’s flag features a horizontal white zigzag stripe on a field of blue and red. Blue is featured above the zigzag, while red is featured below it. A yellow circle is featured in the center above the zigzag stripe.
The official flag of Denver city
The Denver city flag
  • The colors of the Denver flag symbolize the geographical features of the city: yellow symbolizes the central location of the city; white represents Denver’s Native American heritage; clear blue skies are symbolized by blue; while the city’s soil is represented by the color red.
  • Denver has 10 sister cities including Brest (France), Takayama (Japan), and Nairobi (Kenya).

Interesting Facts about Denver Places

  • Elvis Presley once described the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver as “the best hotel in the world”.
  • Denver Mint is the largest producer of coins in the country and world. Every coin made there has a small D somewhere on it.
A close up of a USD coin with a D for Denver mint
The small D on the coin means it was made at Denver mint
  • The tallest building in Denver is the Republic Plaza, which has 56 floors and stands 717 ft (219 m) tall.
  • Other iconic buildings in Denver include the Union Station, the Colorado State Capitol, the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, the D&F Tower, and the Denver City Council.
  • The Denver Botanic Gardens are one of the largest in the country and feature one of the world’s biggest collections of plants from cold climates.
  • Denver has one of the largest city park systems in the country, with over 250 parks in the city and nearby foothills and mountains.
Aerial view of a lake and trees in Denver City Park
City Park is the largest of Denver’s many parks
  • Mount Evans, a 14,267 ft (4350 m) peak, is only 28 miles (46 km) from the Denver city limits. The highest paved road in the US, Mount Evans Scenic Byway, is also nearby. Mt. Evans dominates the skyline in Denver.
  • At Red Rocks, west of the city, there is a huge amphitheater carved into a natural rock face. Performances there have included the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, the Supremes, John Denver, U2, and the Grateful Dead.

Denver Economy and Society Facts

  • The Greater Denver area has the 18th largest economy in the United States, between San Diego, California and Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Denver is home to 5 Fortune 500 countries, including VF, DaVita and Newmont.
Logos of 4 companies that started in Denver
Famous brands that originated in Denver
  • Other famous companies and restaurants that started in Denver include Ando Media, RE/MAX, Samsonite, Quiznos, Chipotle Mexican Grill, and Qdoba Mexican Grill.
  • Denver’s crime rate is similar to that of Brooklyn, New York (in other words, it’s quite high).  
  • The Denver International Airport is the 3rd busiest airport in the US and in the world, after those in Atlanta, Georgia and Dallas, Texas. It is also the largest airport in the Western Hemisphere, and 2nd largest in the world after King Fahd International Airport in Saudi Arabia.
  • United Airlines, which is headquartered in Chicago, has a major hub in Denver. United has more flights out of Denver than anywhere else.
White tent-like roofs of Denver International Airport
Denver International Airport
  • Denver has 4 billionaires with a combined net worth of 23.5 billion USD.
  • The richest person in Denver is Philip Anschutz, with a net worth of 11 billion USD.
  • 19.1% of people in Denver live below the poverty line.
  • Denver has the 17th highest percentage of LGBTQ+ people in the US, at 8.2% of the city’s population.
  • 55.4% of Colorado residents voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
A railway with round roof and Denver Union Station in background
Denver Union Station Train Depot
  • Denver has 5 major newspapers: The Denver Post, Denver Business Journal, Westword, Rocky Mountain News and Denver Rocky Mountain News.
  • The root beer float, cheeseburger, wheel clamp, Jolly Ranchers, and Crocs were all invented in Denver.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights as we know them can be traced back to 1907 in Denver, when red and green lights were placed along 16th Street.
  • Movies filmed in Denver include Catch and Release, The Lucky Ones, Blades of Glory, Die Hard 2, Sleeper, and In The Line of Fire.

Denver Sports Facts

  • Denver is one of only 10 cities in the US to have that many pro sports teams, and the smallest of the 13 US cities that have NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL teams.
The logos of four sports teams from Denver
Denver’s four biggest pro sports teams
  • Five of the NFL Broncos players are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame: Terrell Davis, Gary Zimmerman, John Elway, Floyd Little and Shannon Sharpe.
  • The Denver Nuggets’ name refers not to chicken nuggets but gold nuggets, an homage to the city’s gold mining past.
  • Rocky, the official mascot of the Denver Nuggets, is one of the most famous mascots in all sports. He is known for mischievous behavior like dumping popcorn on opposing fans and for sinking backwards half-court shots. He is also one of the highest paid mascots.
  • The Colorado Avalanche share a home arena with the Denver Nuggets, the Ball Arena.
Rocky, the mascot for the Denver Nuggets
Rocky” by bmyersaz is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
  • Coors Field in Lower Downtown Denver, and home to the Colorado Rockies, has one row of purple seats to mark the exact point that is 1 mile high in elevation.
  • The only team in their division not based in the Central Time Zone are the Avalanche or Avs – they are situated in the Mountain Time Zone.
  • The Avs were once called the Quebec Nordiques, when they were based in Quebec, Canada.
  • In 2010, at their second MLS Cup appearance, the Rapids won the MLS Cup.
  • Four of the NLL Mammoth players are Hall of Fame members: Gary Gait, Paul Gait, Dan Stroup and Pat Coyle.
Baseball diamond at Coors Field with stands full of spectators and purple sky
Coors Field” by Max and Dee is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
  • WWE Divas Champion Eve Torres comes from Denver.
  • Denver-born swimmer Amy Van Dyken has won six Olympic Gold medals, three FINA World Championships and three Pan American Games.

Famous Denver People

  • Actors Tim Allen, Trey Parker, Duane Chapman (Dog the Bounty Hunter), Chris Eigeman, and John Kerry were born in Denver.
  • Actresses Kristin Cavallari, Beth Chapman, Kristin Davis, and Miki Ishikawa were born in Denver.
Portraits of Dog the Bounty Hunter and Tim Allen, two famous people from Denver
Famous Denverites Dog the Bounty Hunter and Tim Allen
  • David Fincher of Denver has directed films such as Seven, Zodiac, Gone Girl and Fight Club.
  • John Eisenhower, son of former president Dwight Eisenhower, is also a Denver native.
  • Artists Tomory Dodge and Jess E. DuBois were born in Denver.
  • Singers Nathaniel Rateliff, Camryn, Shayna Rose and Ailee were born in Denver.
  • Other musicians and bands from Denver include DeVotchKa, The Fray, 16 Horsepower, The Fluid and The Lumineers.
  • Although John Denver was born in New Mexico as Henry John Deutschendorf Jr., he changed his named to John Denver because he loved the city of Denver.
Black and white portrait of singer John Denver
John Denver loved Denver so much that he took the city’s name
  • Poet and journalist Eugene Field came from Denver.
  • Denver-born Ruth Handler was an inventor and businesswoman. She designed and marketed the Barbie doll and served as the president of the toy manufacturing company Mattel.

Denver History Facts

  • The Ancestral Puebloan people were the original inhabitants of the Denver area. Other tribes like the Comanche, Apache and Cheyenne came later.
  • Denver city was founded in 1858 and was originally part of the Kansas Territory. In 1861, it became part of the Colorado Territory, becoming its capital in 1867.
A building of the university of denver
University of Denver was the first university in the Rocky Mountain region
  • In 1858, 9 years after the California Gold Rush, gold was discovered around Denver. Not much was found, but it drew in a lot of people.
  • The city’s first newspaper, Rocky Mountain News, began publication in 1859 later and continued until 2009.
  • The University of Denver was founded in 1864.
  • In 1876, Colorado became a state, but Denver’s permanent status as capital of the state wasn’t confirmed until a vote in 1881.
  • The population of Denver reached 100,000 in the mid-1880s.
The gold-covered dome of the Colorado State Capitol building, with the sun setting on the horizon behind it
The Colorado Capitol is covered in gold leaf, commemorating the Gold Rush
  • By the mid-1880s, Denver boasted 45 coaches and a sixteen-mile network of railways – the Denver City Railway.
  • In 1891, the famous Brown Palace Hotel was built.
  • In 1893, the Denver Depression began after the collapse of the silver market.
  • The Colorado State Capitol was built in 1894, followed by the Denver Zoo in 1896, Denver Public Library in 1898, Denver’s Post Office in 1916, and Denver Municipal Airport in 1929.
  • $200,000 was stolen from the Denver Mint in 1922. Its modern equivalent would be around 3.5 million dollars.
  • The population of Denver reached half a million in 1960.
Aerial view of City Park in Denver with downtown in the distance
Martin Luther King statue in Denver City Park
  • The University of Colorado Denver was established in 1974.
  • Denver held its first Pride Parade in 1976.
  • In 1993, the global spotlight was on Denver when Pope John Paul II gave a talk on World Youth Day in the city.
  • Denver International Airport first opened on February 28, 1995.
  • In 2005, marijuana was legalized in Denver.
  • In 2015, the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl for the 3rd and most recent time.
  • In 2022, Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup for the 3rd time.

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