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Denver Real Estate Blog

Feb. 23, 2015

What to do in March in Denver 2015

Did you know the dome of the Colorado state capitol is plated with real 24K gold? We wish you all good health, good luck and much happiness this St. Patrick's day and always! Enjoy celebrating all March has to offer in this beautiful place we are lucky to call home.

Funny Final Four Round 1 (March 4)
"The Funny Final Four is a series of competitions starting with 4 teams made up of a captain, twelve New Talent comics, two alternates, and one National Touring Headliner. Every show, a different team will perform the funniest, most original show they can produce. (One year, one team did a Price is Right themed show.) And the judges are selected from the audience!" Learn more here.

Symphony at the Movies: West Side Story Presented by Arrow Electronics (March 7)
Experience Leonard Bernstein's musical masterpiece and electrifying score live, while the re-mastered film is shown in high definition with original vocals and dialogue. Click here to purchase tickets.

St. Patrick's Day ParadeLucky Laces 5K/10K & Little Leprechaun Fun Run (March 14)
Come join in the last race of the City Park Winter Running Series. There will be finisher's medals, food and drinks, music, kids activities, and much more! Learn more event details here!

St. Patrick's Day Parade (March 14)
The parade theme, Emerald Mile, is a tribute to Colorado’s Irish heritage, but also to the diverse background on a day when “Everyone is Irish.” The Denver St. Patrick’s Day Parade is unmatched this side of the Mississippi with an estimated 350,000 people lining the streets of the Mile High City for the celebration. For detailed information, click here.

Denver Home Show (March 20-22)
The Denver Home Show is the only place for you to experience what's new in Home, Remodeling, Home Decor, and More! You'll have the opportunity to meet more than 500 experts and experience thousands of products and services. Children 12 & Under: FREE. Learn more here.

Denver March Powwow (March 20-22)
The 41st Annual Denver March Powwow will be held at the Denver Coliseum. The three-day event is packed with singing, dancing, storytelling, food, art and more, ensuring a wonderful experience for everyone. Learn more here.

Mark Twain Tonight! (March 21)
"For more than 50 years, acclaimed actor Hal Holbrook has embodied Mark Twain live on stage in one of the most enduring performances in theatre history, bringing richness to the character far beyond the quoting of Twain's most memorable lines." Get tickets here.

USASA Nationals (March 27 - April 8)
Freeskiing ChampionshipsThe United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association National Championship is the largest snowboard and freeskiing event in the nation welcoming top amateur athletes to compete for the title of National Champion! Click here for event details.

Hops + Handrails 2015: Beer Fest & Rail Jam (March 28)
Back for its third year, this event in Longmont brings the best Colorado has to offer in a family friendly winter wonderland loaded with snowboards and craft beer! There will be live music, a kid zone, local food/vendors, a 50 craft brewery fest and a 40+ high snowboard ram and rail jam competition! Learn event details here.

Prehistoric Planet: Walking with the Dinosaurs 3D (Now - June 4)
Travel alongside hundreds of plant-eating dinosaurs as they face the challenges of a changing world in Prehistoric Planet: Walking with Dinosaurs 3D. Based on scientific data, the digital dinosaurs come to life against the backdrop of modern Alaska, immersing you in a Cretaceous adventure where you will feel the rumble of these massive herds as they crossed vast landscapes 70 million years ago. Watch the preview here.

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Feb. 23, 2015

February 2015 Market Happenings

"How's the real estate market?"

Because of what I do for a living I'm asked this at least once a day. I love the question because it lets me talk about my favorite subject: our always-changing, ever-fascinating real estate market! There are lots of different factors and metrics I can discuss when assessing our market, such as:

  1. Rising home prices
  2. Overwhelming consumer demand for homes
  3. A lack of inventory for sale
  4. New construction not keeping up with demand for housing
  5. Rental prices skyrocketing
  6. The effect gas and oil prices have on housing
  7. How low interest rates are continuing to make housing relatively affordable
  8. What parts of town have appreciated more than others over time
  9. And on and on...

 

home in DenverBut the thing I like to do most when explaining our real estate market is to show folks the chart at the end of this article. Truly, a picture is worth a thousand words. Please take a look at it and begin to absorb what it's telling us. Everything you need to know about our current real estate market is contained in this chart.

Sales vs. Inventory

What you see are two lines, a blue one and a red one. The blue line shows the inventory (i.e., the number) of homes for sale in metro Denver every month from January 2007 to November 2014. The red line shows the number of homes sold every month. You can see that the inventory peaked in July 2007 at 30,827 homes for sale. That was at the depth of our economic and housing downturn, when fear ruled our market, banks were being shut down, our local and national economies were in shambles, unemployment was rising, and consumer confidence plummeted. The result of course was that people didn't want to buy homes; they were afraid of the future and didn't want to take on any risk. On the seller side of the equation, many home owners were getting caught with rising monthly mortgage payments as their Option ARM mortgages adjusted upward, so suddenly they wanted to sell, at the very worst time possible. The perfect storm.

It's simple economics: if you have more supply than demand prices start to fall and that is exactly what they did from 2007 to 2009. Around 2010 and 2011 the market became roughly balanced, with 18,000 to 20,000 homes on the market. But as you can see the market did not remain balanced for long because the supply continued to fall.

Which brings us to today's market. In January 2015, there were 5,152 homes on the market, 26 percent less than January 2014 and an all-time low for a January since records have been kept! This lack of inventory defines our current housing market.

The past several years have seen an incredibly strong real estate market in metro Denver and this chart explains exactly why. The supply of homes has vanished placing an imbalance in our market. No three dimensional, super fancy, econometrics model can do a better job of explaining the imbalance in our market than this simple chart.

It's interesting to see that while the blue inventory line has dropped dramatically the past seven years, the red number of sold properties has barely inched upward, even though our population continues to rise about 1.5 percent per year. This tells me that our demand for housing is going to stay very strong for the foreseeable future.

Applying this Information

So, how do you use this information? It depends, of course, on who you are and what you'd like to do. Here are some typical situations...

If you own a home and are thinking of moving:  It's an incredible seller's market and you can expect to get top value for your home. You'll need to consider the purchase of your next home though, and make sure you have planned the process correctly so you find the home of your dreams and make the transition from your current to future home seamless.

If you are renting:  Rents continue to zoom upward to all-time highs so you might want to get out of the rental rat race and buy a home. Inventory is low so you'll need to make sure you're prequalified to buy a home and come across as a serious buyer, otherwise sellers won't even consider your offer. But because inventory is still so low we expect prices to continue to move up for several years, at least until the inventory balances with the demand. So you can expect appreciation in your home purchase for the next several years.

If you're considering buying rental property:  There's no better way to build wealth than owning rental properties for the long term. Home prices have risen, but so have rents, and interest rates remain at record lows. Smart investors don't try to time the real estate market; it's as difficult to do as timing the stock or bond market. The vast majority of Americans who have built wealth as real estate investors have done it buying rental property and having their tenants pay it off for them over time. It's not complicated and it works.

Of course, everyone's situation is unique. If you want to talk about how best to take advantage of our real estate market and see what it can do for you please give us a call at 303-991-9878. We love talking about the real estate market!

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Feb. 13, 2015

DIY for the Denver Homeowner

Homeownership is an exciting prospect, not only to those of us living in and around Denver, but to so many Americans. In purchasing your own home, you do concede to give up that one silver lining of renting, and that is a landlord that “theoretically” fixes the things in your home when they break. But, what if you’re handy? And, what if you want to not just fix your home but remodel it? A homeowner can go above and beyond the “paint one wall a light color” and “hang framed photos” ilk of the Denver renter.

Strap on Your Tool Belts

What is required of a Denver Homeowner who wants to be the fix-it guy on the weekends? The following information is for those huge construction projects. Want to replace a light bulb? Have at it. No Denver authorities need to be notified for that.

For larger standard construction on a home in the Denver metro, a homeowner must obtain a #1R permit, and a #2R permit for roofing or siding. These permits do not require any classes or testing of the owner. Depending on the project, the resident may need to submit the construction plans to the Development Services Department of Denver.

But, what about those other construction plans? Denver requires homeowners to take tests and prove proficiency if their proposed housing construction includes; mechanical, plumbing, electrical, HVAC or refrigeration construction plans. Don’t put the cart before the horse! If you are going to test in these areas, be sure to provide proof of ownership in the form of a deed. If you’ve misplaced yours, a copy of your homeowner’s deed can be purchased from the Denver Clerk and Recorder for a small fee.

What about the cons?

What are the draw backs to becoming a “weekend warrior” of your housing construction plans? I don’t know about you, but many of my previous projects have, like a teenager cleaning their room, looked worse AFTER I started than BEFORE. Granted, doing it yourself is initially cheaper than employing a contractor. However, if they accidentally put a hammer through your dry wall, it is covered by their insurance, given that you’ve taken the time to find a licensed and insured contractor, of whom Denver has quite a few.

Many of the projects that require permits also have to meet the standards of Denver’s Building Codes. If a professional contractor completes your work, he is on the hook to make sure the construction is completed to the Denver Inspector’s standards. It could prove costly if the inspector requests you redo portions of your project.

The last con I’ll mention is having a warranty. So, the amazing construction you performed using PVC pipe, bailing twine and positive thoughts doesn’t make it past 3 months? Well, usually, a professional contractor will offer at least a one-year warranty on parts and construction. There are so many contractors to choose from in the Denver area that there is really no reason not to choose one who offers a guarantee on materials, as well as labor.

Owning in Denver Makes Design a Possibility

As long as you, the homeowner, plan ahead and consider all the options, living in a space of your own design, regardless of whether it is professionally done or DIY, is one of the amazing upsides of having your own home.  As a Denver resident, the view of the majestic Rockies is clearly a draw, not to mention all the wonderful things to do. If you’re looking for a new home you would like to fix up, give us a call. You certainly can have your “mountains” and your custom construction all in one.

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Feb. 8, 2015

Do Your Own Home Inspection First

Congratulations on Finding a Great House

room in house

You did your homework, looked at many options and now you have found the perfect home. Of course you know that before you start packing boxes and changing your address labels you need to have the new house inspected to identify any problems or concerns before you make a commitment. While home inspections can be costly, and are based upon square footage, type of inspection and location, they are one of the most important parts of a new home purchase. The good news is there are several things you can be looking for that can help you make a decision before you contact the inspector.

Work Your Way Up

Start in the basement and garage. The first thing you want to look for is cracks in the floor, especially in the garage where the concrete is more accessible. Small cracks may be ok, but large cracks in the walls or floor that don’t line up are most likely signs of foundation issues. Also look for signs of flooding or water damage. Discoloration on walls or in the paint may also be indications of trouble. Examine the heating system and water heaters for obvious signs of leakage or problems.

Look High and Low

As you walk through the main living areas look for cracks in the walls, discolorations and bulging. These might be signs of foundation issues or water damage. Also pay attention to patches or quick paint jobs that may be indicators of a quick cover up. As you walk through the rooms pay attention how the floor feels. It should feel solid without any “soft spots” or dips. In the kitchen, look under the sink for drainage issues, signs of insect or rodents and other issues. Be sure to check any appliances that may be included in the sale as well as check to make sure sinks drain, have adequate water pressure and toilets flush properly.

Take a Look Outside

A quick walk around the property may reveal potential drainage problems, obvious fixes or indications of termites or exterminator plugs. If you see low spots in the yard or washed out areas these may become serious issues in the future. Be sure to check and see if the driveway is level and not cracked as well as the sidewalks and patios.

Always Contact a Professional

While you’re walk through may reveal major issues that give you good reason to not put in an offer, you may also find the house looks fine. If you plan on moving forward it is imperative you have a licensed home inspector do a thorough evaluation of the property. You can point out any concerns you have from your visit and ask specific questions about the property. Think of any costs as investment protection as they will be able to find more detailed issues that can prevent you from purchasing a home with hidden issues that could cost thousands to fix. The National Association of Home Inspectors provides some great information on what to expect and inspectors in your area.

Information is Power

Take the time to do your research on the area or ask your agent to give you details about the area, any natural disasters or history. We know the Denver area in and out and would be happy to talk to you about particular neighborhoods or things to watch out for while touring a home. If you have any questions just give us a call at 303-991-9878 or contact us. We look forward to helping you find the perfect home.

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Feb. 1, 2015

Should I Buy a New Home or Add-On to Mine?

Looking around your crowded living room full of family and friends jostling for positions and a place to sit can make us wonder if we need to buy a new home or add on to the one we have. These feelings are especially magnified during holiday gatherings and parties. One of the biggest reasons people do renovations is to gain more space and enlarge their home, but before you rush out and hire a contractor you may want to sit down and consider if renovating is right for you.

Bigger Rooms or Different Scenery

It’s great to start with a list that defines what you are trying to accomplish. Start by listing why you need more room. On another list define why you want to stay in your current home. If you have great neighbors, the perfect location and excellent schools it may make sense to stay put and invest in your current home. If you have ever considered other areas in Denver this might be the perfect time to check them out as well. You might discover that a quick search might yield new and exciting opportunities.

Make the Right Financial Choice

Renovations cost money, and depending on the scope of your project it can be much more than you are expecting. Adding a new room or second story seems simple on paper, but you also have to consider if the added space will increase the value of your home when it does come time to sell. If you have the money on-hand it gives you the ability to design exactly what you want the addition to look like and how it will function. If you are handy and can do the finish work yourself you may be able to save some money but in the end, the project may take longer and bring additional stress into the home.

Make sure you get several exact estimates from local, highly recommended contractors. In addition you will want to see samples of their work and on-time completion rate. Once you have the quotes you will need to make sure you have the money available to pay for the construction. Some families borrow money, max credit cards or take out second mortgages to pay for these costs, but this isn’t always the best solution. One advantage of looking for a new home is that you can use the money for the sale of your current home as a down payment and sometimes even reduce your monthly mortgage.

Get the Best Advice

Everyone has an opinion on whether buying a new home or an addition to your current house is better. Sometimes the best option is to add space to your home, increase the value of the property and stay in a place you love. On the other hand you may want to look around the neighborhood and see if there are any larger houses for sale that may work better for your growing family or find a new place in the Denver metro to call home. Either way, we would be happy to discuss with you your current home’s value, the real estate market and help you to make a decision that works best for everyone in your family. Simply give us a call or contact us here.

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Jan. 23, 2015

What to do in February in Denver 2015

Did you know that In 1902, the police at Denver Union Station started enforcing a "no kissing" rule on platforms because it slowed down the trains? We hope nothing slows you down as you explore a few exciting activities our city has to offer this February!

RunDenver Series (February 1 and 8)
The RunDenver Series is "the original Colorado run/walk series with five great events!" The winter months can be hard to stay fit, so keep yourself motivated by signing up for some fun February runs in Washington Park — the SuperBowl 5K and the Valentine's Day 5k!  Learn more here.
 
Cinderella (February 3 - 15)
Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cinderella is the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical showing at the Buell Theater and is "delighting audiences with its contemporary take on the classic tale. This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love: the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more — plus some surprising new twists!" Click here to purchase tickets.
 
Danny Elfman's Music from the Films of Tim Burton (February 6 - 7)
This new symphonic event "features Danny Elfman's famous film scores brought to life on stage by the orchestra, enhanced by visuals of Tim Burton's original film sketches, drawings and story boards on the big screen."  Click here to buy tickets!

Colorado Garden & Home Show (February 7 - 15)
Enjoy our region's "oldest, largest and most prestigious garden and home show — where you can find inspiration from the latest ideas and trends in landscaping, gardening and home improvement".  Register here.
 
Valentine's Weekend at Comedy Works (February 12 - 15)
Choose a "Swinging Single" ticket or a "Lovers Delight" package for one of their shows featuring Juston McKinney or Daniel Sloss this Valentine's day! Click here for tickets.
 
Downtown Horse and Carriage Ride 
Need ideas for Valentine's Day? "Take a quintessential romantic ride through downtown Denver. Sit up high snuggled under a blanket in a Cinderella carriage drawn by magnificent draft horses. As you slowly clip-clop along the streets, you'll get a different perspective of the sights and lights of downtown Denver.   Learn more here.

Valentine's Day Brunch (February 14) 
 "Take Valentine's Day to new heights by enjoying a hands-on cooking class with someone special.  Enjoy an afternoon crafting delicious and simple dishes perfect for a brunch buffet.  Enjoy quality time with you sweetie while learning how to host an elegant brunch at home."   Learn more here.

Denver's 11th Annual Restaurant Week (February 20 - March 1)
During the 10-day-long Denver Restaurant Week,  "hundreds of Denver's top restaurants will offer multi-course dinners for the tasty price of $30 per person". Learn details here.

The Denver Zoo Summer Safari Camps (Registration has begun!)
Be a zooper hero this summer! At this camp, kids will get outside and get active exploring our connections to nature. Campers participate in "hands-on activities, zoo exploration, animal encounters and observations, crafts, games, stories, projects and more." Learn how to register for a camp here.
 
Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche
Head to the official Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche websites to view their upcoming schedules and purchase tickets to cheer on our home teams!

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Jan. 21, 2015

January 2015 Market Happenings

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season!  Now, with the New Year well underway, it's the perfect time to talk about what I think the real estate market will look like in 2015. So let's jump right in...

  1. Average Home Price: The average price of a home in metro Denver leapt 11 percent in 2014, hitting an all-time high. I believe 2015 will be almost as strong with an average price increase of 6-8 percent and here's why: The number one driver of home price change is the amount of inventory on the market. In 2007 we had a peak of 31,000 properties on the market and prices DROPPED 14 percent, while in 2014 we averaged 8,000 properties on the market and prices ROSE 11 percent. For the past several years we have had record low inventory in metro Denver with absolutely no sign of it increasing. Until it does there will continue to be tremendous upward pressure on prices as demand outstrips supply. Where will the new supply of home inventory come from? It won't be bank-owned properties or shortsales. After five long years of downturn our economy is in full recovery and a better economy means fewer distressed properties. The additional supply will eventually come from home owners who finally realize what a great market it is and decide to put their home up for sale. But when this will happen is anyone's guess. People have been predicting this would happen for years now but it hasn't. Part of the issue is an interesting Catch 22 where many potential sellers look at the market and think they can't find their dream home because of the lack of inventory in the market... therefore they don't put their homes on the market... thereby contributing to the lack of inventory. I frankly don't see any reason to think this will change any time soon. Low inventory and rising prices are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
  2. Number of Homes Sold: This one caught us all by surprise. Every real estate expert in town assumed that with a tight market the number of homes sales would rise in 2014 but it didn't. There was actually a decrease in the number of homes sold year over year because there was just so little inventory on the market to buy. So while prices went up, the number of sales actually went down. I don't see any major change in 2015. I expect a 3-5 percent increase in home sales over 2014, if only because our Denver metro population is rising 1.5+ percent per year and all these people need to live somewhere. 
  3. The Condo Market: Incredibly enough the condo market did even better than the single-family home market in 2014! Just like for the single-family home market I don't see any evidence that would lead me to believe this will change any time soon. The inventory has been at rock bottom for years and until more condo inventory comes on the market prices will continue to rise. 
  4. The Investor Market: I think the real estate investor market will remain strong. The fix and flip market will continue to be profitable for those who can find underpriced homes to buy and repair. They're out there but it takes tools, patience, and work to find them. Once you get one fixed up, selling is the easy part because of the lack of competing inventory. The buy-and-hold market will continue to be extremely generous to long-term investors. Interest rates and vacancy rates are still at record lows and rents are skyrocketing. It's not difficult to buy a rental property in today's environment and put it on the path to be paid off in 12-15 years. For building long-term wealth it's tough to compete with rental property ownership. That's the one thing that never changes.

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Jan. 19, 2015

Beating the Traffic In and Around Denver

car to goGetting from Here to There

One of the main complaints of living in an urban area such as the Denver Metro has to deal with congested traffic. This necessitates, not only a strong infrastructure of public transportation, but ample alternatives to the “one car for one person” scenario. Denver, like many large cities, is one you could easily live in without owning a car.

RTD

RTD, or Regional Transportation District, is the public transportation entity providing bus and light rail options in 8 of the 12 counties comprising the Denver Metro area. The RTD has light rail and buses that cover over 2,000 square miles and employs about that many people, as well! There is even a new project, slated to be complete by 2044, that will add 122 miles of new light rail and 18miles of bus transit service. It will also add 21,000 additional parking spaces at the rail and bus stations. Most smartphones have apps that can let the user know the closest station, and the RTD schedules are clear and easy to understand. Plan your next commute by clicking here.

Bcycle

Lugging a bicycle up and down stairs may not be the most ideal way to get your cardiovascular exercise. In addition, damage and theft are concerns even in the safest of cities. That is where Bcycle comes in. Denver bicyclists join the Bcycle family through memberships. There are different membership levels. If you are just visiting Denver, you can just join for 24 hours for $9. If you are a Denver resident, then you can choose between a $15 monthly membership or an annual one for $90. This will allow you to pick up a bike at any Bcycle station and return it to the station closest to your destination.  The Denver Bcycles come with some added bonuses, like mileage and calorie counters and keeping track of the emissions you are NOT producing!

Car2Go

Car2Go is a wonderful option for those visiting Denver or those who don’t own a car. Much like the Bcycle, it is a car-sharing membership-based program. The one time set up fee is an affordable $35 plus tax. Then you get a card that will open any Car2Go. You are charged a 41 cents a minute, which is set at a maximum of $15 an hour or $85 a day. $85 a day may seem steep, but if you consider the convenience of leaving it anywhere, rather than driving it back to a rental company, it may be just what your certain situation needs. In addition, Car2Go pays for ALL the insurance and the gas. What’s more, is that if your car has less than ¼ of a tank, there is a prepaid gas card above the touch screen on the dash. If you fill up the tank with money that is already prepaid, Car2Go will give you 20 free minutes! This beats having to pay for gas, and it alleviates the hassle of car maintenance if you live close enough to most amenities not to need a car.

Get Out and Enjoy Yourself

Denver’s skyline is among the most beautiful in the nation. Though, the congestion of a big city can be daunting. That’s why Denver has gone out of its way to help travelers and commuters enjoy the landscape without growing weary from the trip. So grab an alternative form of transport and enjoy what the city has to offer without the hassle of traffic or parking.

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Jan. 9, 2015

A Great Denver Tradition - The National Western Stock Show

stock showFeeling a bit snowed in? For over a hundred years, crowds in Denver have been rushing to the National Western Stock Show. Not only is it a fantastic event for the whole family, the proceeds to go providing scholarships in agriculture and medicine to those people planning to practice in rural and under served areas. The event is filled with activities, runs for 16 days and hosts over 650,000 attendees.

You and your friends can expect to see a variety of livestock, ranging from horses to yaks; from bison to alpacas. This Denver event boasts the only carload and pen cattle show, taking place in the Denver Union Stockyards. In addition to the livestock offerings, the National Western Stock Show hosts over 350 vendors, selling products like jewelry, agriculture equipment and clothing.

Get Your Rodeo On!

In addition to all of these eye-catching exhibits, there is a pro rodeo and horse show! Each evening, the rodeo has a different theme and attracts different attendees. There is Military Appreciation night where they honor past and present members of the Armed Forces. The Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza includes: bareback riding, Mariachis, trick roping and Mexican style bull riding. It has been a feature of the National Western Stock Show in Denver for over 20 years.  These are only two of the many nights of amazing rodeo entertainment.

A Horse Lovers Paradise

Horse exhibitors from all over the United States gather in Denver at one of the most premier horse venues. The National Western Events Center hosts such notable horse attractions as: American Paint Horse Show, Quarter Horse Show, the Mule and Draft Horses shows, and much more. In addition, there are contests and shows for hunters and jumpers that include horses from all breeds. Lest you think the festivities end there, the National Western Events Center also hosts a Wild West Show, a Night of Dancing Horses and the Free Style Reining exhibition.

Western Art for Everyone

This stock show has something for everyone in the family. If you don’t like rodeos, trade shows, booths, horses or livestock, there is also a large collection of Western art pieces. The Coors Western Art Exhibit and Sale is one of the finest collections of contemporary Western realism pieces. Though the subject matter of most of the artwork is the Western portion of the United States, the artists hale from United States, Canada and even Europe.

Enjoy the Show!

From wool spinning and judging to calf catching, the National Western Stock Show in Denver, CO has something for everyone. With over two weeks completely filled with events, it has promised to entertain the family since 1906. It takes place in January each year, promising a break from the frigid weather that keeps us trapped in doors. Put on your boots, get in the car and join 650,000 of your closest friends to begin this next year off with a bang. Check out the schedule and get all the information you need here.

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Dec. 29, 2014

New Year’s Parties Denver Style

holiday lights16th Street Mall

Denver, being a thriving metropolis, promises to be the “place to be” this and every New Year’s Eve. Along the 16th Street Mall, one of Denver’s most prized attractions in itself, there will be entertainers from 9pm to Midnight. These amazing performers include: magicians, balloon artists, jugglers, clowns, stilt walkers, mascots, and even comedians will be there to help us ring in the New Year! The main attraction, the fireworks displays, will begin at 9pm and midnight. So, those of us with small children or early bedtimes don’t have to miss out on the festivities, not to mention being able to “avoid” some of the inebriated drivers who are sure to be on the roadways promptly after midnight. Just in case, there is imbibing listed on your to do list, the RTD will NOT be running their normal routes through the 16th street mall from 8pm to 1am, AND the 16th Street Mall Shuttle will stop while each firework display is going on. So, plan a crisp, clean early morning walk to the nearest “open” RTD stop. For information on parking and local restaurants, click here.

Denver Union Station

Now that the Union Station in Denver has been completely renovated, it is time for the FIRST Annual Bootlegger’s Ball. It is from 8pm to Midnight and takes place in the 100-year-old Great Hall and Cooper Lounge. The entire party is 1920’s themed, celebrating Denver Union Station’s rich and robust history. Each guest will receive complimentary bubbles and one amazing countdown! Admission tickets grant you access to the Terminal Bar and Great Hall, VIP access to the underground “speakeasy,” light hors d’oeuvres and desserts, as well as three drink tickets. There will be dancing and even a live DJ! Denver’s free bus services and light rail will be available ALL night, complements of the RTD. Denver’s Union Station will have events all through the coming year, as well. To plan your 2015, visit the Denver Union Station website.

Syntax Physic Opera

Tired of the 16th Street Mall? Over Union Stations? Why not spend your last day of 2014 at the Syntax Physic Opera at the HOWL: A NEW YEAR WAKE & REVIVAL gala? Their program goes from 7:30pm all the way until 2am! Howl will introduce its FOURTH installment of this year. The titillating and intriguing theme for this year has been early 20th-century medicine side shows! Please come dressed in your finest Old West, Victorian, Steampunk or evening attire. There will be wonderful food and authentic, turn of the century “adult” beverages, and there may be some snake oil to cure what ails ya! There is even going to be Tarot Card reading and a sound booth so you can record your New Year’s Resolutions onto vinyl!  It will answer why The Vinyl District called this event the pioneer in New Year’s Eve celebrations.  To see other events throughout the night, click here.

Butterfly Pavilion

If 2014 has tired you out, who says you have to stay up until midnight? After all, this is America! Swing or fly on over to the Butterfly Pavilion for their Noon Year’s Eve celebration. The Children’s Museum of Denver is even moving locations to count down 2014 at the Pavilion. There will be balls dropping, bubbles wafting and confetti floating, BUT at noon, instead of midnight. Balls will drop every half hour from 9:30 to 4:30, and if you are already a Children’s Museum member, this whole shindig is FREE!

So, as you can see, a Denver native or even an out-of-town visitor will be at no loss for entertainment as we say, “good bye” to 2014. Come join the Mile High City, with all its eclectic flare, in ringing in a fantastic 2015!

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