Hotel Test Drive: Classic Train Station Now Hip, Happening, Downtown Hotel

March 20, 2015 Posted In

Written by Larry Olmsted, Forbes

To put it  simply, the Crawford in Denver is the coolest new hotel I have visited in a long time. It breaks the urban mold.

The hotel opened last July as part of a total renovation of historic Union Station in the heart of Downtown. This capped a 20-year process of massive upgrades to the neighborhood that have made Denver the foremost example of downtown urban revival in the entire country. The investment in infrastructure has been staggering, starting with Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, within walking distance of the hotel. Also close at hand are NHL, NBA and NFL arenas. Across the street is Denver’s first microbrewery – the first of many, now a signature of the city. Other additions in the period include a new convention center, a new city park, the nation’s fourth largest public library (designed by Michael Graves), a new wing on the Denver Art Museum, an all-new Denver Contemporary Arts Museum, and a recent $120 million high-tech History Museum. One of the only U.S. Mints with public tours is nearby, as is the State Capital, the 16th Street Pedestrian Mall, and upscale retail and dining enclave Larimer Square. As a result, the population in the concise Downtown area has grown about fifteen-fold in the past two decades, and while new additions will continue, the $54 million Union Station restoration was the final major piece of the puzzle. It is the hub for the area’s new light rail network, which stretches all the way to Golden, CO and will soon connect directly to the airport. Once that happens next year, no hotel in Denver will be easier or faster to reach upon arrival than The Crawford.

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