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Best Of 2017


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Readers' Choice


Best Of :: Sports & Recreation

Best Budget-Friendly Family Getaway
YMCA of the Rockies
YMCA of the Rockies

Who says you have to spend a fortune on your next family getaway? YMCA of the Rockies delivers two fantastic destinations at Snow Mountain Ranch and its Estes Park Center. At each site, guests are greeted with a robust lineup of year-round activities; the experience is a little bit like camp for the whole family. In addition to hiking, horseback riding, archery, swimming, crafts and miniature golf, each site boasts its own unique entertainment: There's fishing, a summer tubing hill and llama treks at Snow Mountain Ranch, and concerts, guided hikes and a spectacular zipline at Estes Park Center. When night falls, gather 'round the campfire for a marshmallow roast, then hunker down in a lodge room or cabin — or in one of Snow Mountain Ranch's new yurts.

2515 Tunnel Rd., Estes Park, 80511
Best Stadium Jail
Coors Field

The folks at Coors Field prefer to use the term "holding rooms" rather than "jail cells" to describe the enclosures to which stadium security personnel takes fans who may have edged over the line of acceptable rowdiness. But they're definitely not places where anyone would like to hang out, especially during a game. The spaces are small and narrow, with the main decor being a metal bench. And while there are no locks on the doors, people placed in the rooms aren't going anywhere, as they're routinely handcuffed to a bar until Denver police can arrive and spirit them off to real jail. Anyone who spends time there will definitely think twice about returning.

2001 Blake St., Denver, 80205
Best Stadium Tour
Coors Field

Don't just take your kids out to the ball game — take them inside of it, with an eighty-minute, mile-long major-league romp around the Rockies' 76-acre facility. Kids get the most thrills exploring the dugout and getting an eye-level look at the massive field. Adults enjoy exploring the premier floors and suites, like the Wells Fargo Club Level and Coors Clubhouse, and geeking out over memorabilia that's scattered throughout the stadium. During baseball season, tours run Mondays through Saturdays, and times vary based on the game schedule. Younger kiddos (and superfans) might prefer a 45- to 60-minute private showing.

2001 Blake St., Denver, 80205
Best Place to Sit at a Rockies Game
The Rockpile

When Coors Field opened on April 26, 1995, one of the stadium's best features was the Rockpile, a section of seats to straight-away center that were available on game day and cost a single dollar. More than two decades later, that amount has gone up, but not outrageously: Tickets generally sell for between $4 and $8, depending on the date and opponent. That means that fans can still watch two Major League Baseball squads go at it in person for less than the price of going to a first-run movie. Better yet, folks in the Rockpile tend to make great company. They're not as jaded and/or bored as some season-ticket holders, nor are they more interested in partying than in the doings on the diamond, like a lot of those who hang out on the Rooftop. Rockpilers may not have much of a chance to snag a home-run ball, but they can catch the game itself in a great atmosphere.

Readers' Choice: The Rockpile

2001 Blake St., Denver, 80205
Best Name for Mile High Stadium
Mile High Stadium

Once upon a time, Mile High Stadium was known simply as Mile High Stadium, a name embraced by every true sports fan and concert-goer in Colorado and beyond. But then came the unfortunate trend of big-bucks deals for corporate naming rights, leading to the venue's being christened Invesco Field at Mile High and, later, Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Now, following Sports Authority's bankruptcy, the Denver Metropolitan Stadium District and the Denver Broncos are looking to find a new firm willing to pay a hefty annual fee to place its logo on this beloved pile of bricks. But it will always be Mile High Stadium to us, and we'd love nothing more than for the name to stay that way permanently.

1701 Bryant St., Denver, 80204
Best Major Sports Team Ticket Deal

Even though John Elway and Peyton Manning have both retired and the Broncos missed the playoffs last year, demand for tickets to see the squad defend Mile High Stadium continues to be astonishing: The streak of sell-outs dates back to 1970 and is now at just shy of 370. But thanks to a clause in the operating agreement for the construction of the facility, the Broncos make 2,000 half-price tickets available for each game. Team reps confirm that this deal will be repeated again this season, probably in either June or July, giving ordinary locals who bleed blue and orange a chance to experience the spectacle live. But be ready to act fast, because the bargain tickets go very, very quickly. Last year, the entire season's allotment was gone in just twenty minutes.

Readers' Choice: Colorado Avalanche


Best Budget-Friendly Family Getaway: YMCA of the Rockies


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