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After a recent visit to Denver, Colorado I learned that every city is evolving and can change in the blink of an eye. Denver is now a vibrant, fun, eclectic, and young town. But as every local I spoke to told me this hasn't always been the case. Denver used to be a dinky city just like any other in the United States. Yeah people would visit to see the surrounding mountains but there wasn't anything special about it. Denver didn't used to have an identity which was hurtful to the city's tourism aspect. In the last few years Denver has established itself and really transformed its image in a positive way.
Denver has grown its population on average 15,000 every year since 2014. That has to blow your mind in some way. That's a ton of people every year that are deciding to move to Denver. And it's all because of the evolving identity of Denver.
Why is this important? Because, if a city doesn't has a strong and unique identity no one will visit or move there. We all want to visit the hip and upcoming cities so we can Instagram cool pictures and make memories to carry with us for years. When was the last time you heard someone say they wanted to visit, Tulsa or Kansas City? No offense to those cities but they don't have a special image that you can see in your head when you think of them.
Visiting Denver was a whirlwind because of how much you can do and see there. Five days wasn't nearly enough time to take in all that Denver offers. Now more then ever Denver is the city to see. You can experience so much here that the list is never ending. I went to a baseball game, shopped, and even explored the city on an electric bike.
But as the locals said this wasn't the case 3-4 years ago. This makes me wonder if such a drastic change to a city's identity is a good thing or not. Denver had an identity before all the recent changes. If I asked someone who visited 10 or 20 years ago they wouldn't necessarily have the same memories that I might have. They might say that they liked Denver just the way it was. Or they could say that the city is ever adapting to culture change. In my opinion I think the city has changed for the better. Their economy is now booming with so many tourists visiting and people relocating. It is now a bustling city with a bright future.
So what happened in recent years that led to Denver's drastic change? Well the short answer is, weed. Marijuana was legalized in Colorado in 2012 and the first stores starting opening in 2014. This set off a chain of events that led to Denver transforming into a young and hip city. With the legalization came of course tons of marijuana shops which boosted the economy. After this people started to wonder what else could they do in Denver other then get weed? Artists started emerging and claimed the river arts district. New young restaurants, bars, and shops started opening as well to meet the new young demand.
Just to clarify this is my opinion on why Denver has became such a popular city. Just think about it, it makes sense.
In conclusion, go see Denver! I would have stayed there for a month plus if I could have. There was so much to do that I only touched the surface in five days. And now I wonder what other new and upcoming cities are out there? Well, the only way to find out is to go out and explore!