2020-09-13-Back to Travel-Collette tour of the West · Key Blogs

Back to Travel – Denver revitalized

Capitol building in Denver

I’ve been coming to Colorado for years frequently in previous jobs and always loved it. Now with the downtown area completely revitalized, including a spectacular Ball Park, this city has me thoroughly impressed and I recommend a visit to anyone seeking cosmopolitan charm.

Union Station in Denver – 30 years later

In fact, my first time in the mile high city dates back to March 1990 when my parents and I came here on Continental from Florida to board the legendary Amtrak Zephyr to Oakland, CA. We had stayed at a Hampton Inn back then (before Hilton took it over) right on 17th Avenue. It’s was a memorable trip then as was mine today. My only wish is that Union Station looked as good then as it does today. An impressive revitalization!

Renovated interior of Union Station
Track-side platforms

While this visit was brief, it was nevertheless memorable as I had a couple of hours to walk down the outdoor mall that is 17th Avenue. I made my daily step goal easily today with lots of airport miles and then a walk to Larimer Square and the Union station. Weather was perfect at 70 degrees with a high plateau dry and sunny disposition. Of note is the fact that Denver shares a vast homeless population widespread across Western States these days.

Collette Welcome Reception at the Sheraton

Back at the Sheraton the group gathered for an orientation and Welcome session. The meeting gave us a first-hand overview of the health & safety measures in place during our trip and included a glass of wine and tasty gourmet appetizers. kudos to Sheraton for the 100% biodegradable plates and forks. An effort I applaud and hope more hotels embrace.

Lobby bar area at Sheraton

Speaking of lodging, I would be remiss not to share that this I.M. Pro designed property was originally built as the Denver Hilton back in 1961. It became a Sheraton in 2008 and recently got renovated with an $85 million facelift.

Lobby and front desk
Contemporary room design with eclectic details

The overarching design style of the renovation is a West Elm look of today with blacks, browns, and golden accents. It is very “now” but will endure the coming decade without feeling old. overall I give it a 9 out of 10 for practicality and functionality. The Marriott influence of ownership is clearly visible and I would not be surprised if the Marriott and Sheraton brands merged into one “premium brand” offering in the near future. It would only make commercial sense.

Stay tuned for day one of actual touring which is just a night sleep away.

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