Civic boosters love to travel to other cities to see how they do business -- and maybe engage in some monkey business themselves. The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce's City-to-City Leadership Exchange (LEX) will make its 24th annual trip in October -- this one to Pittsburgh (last year was Austin). And this week, the Greater Richmond Chamber's InterCity program has brought 150 Virginians to Denver to learn about "downtown redevelopment, fostering creativity and entrepreneurism, retaining young professionals and promoting active lifestyles." In the snow.
Yes, the group's three-day spree starts today -- which means everyone was packing for their trip when it was 80 degrees in Denver. And although Richmond sees about ten inches of snow a year, we doubt they're used to much in May.
And if they're not being pelted with flakes outside, they'll be snowed indoors today during presentations by the heads of Visit Denver and our chamber of commerce, followed by tours of Coors Field (the Colorado Rockies are wisely in Los Angeles, preferring baseball to snowballs) and LoDo. Along for that trek will be Peter Chapman, Richmond's deputy chief administrative officer for Economic and Community Development and a former advisor to then-Denver mayor John Hickenlooper. "You will have the benefit of really delving into what I think is a compelling urban-revitalization, downtown-transformation case study," Chapman told the crew at last week's orientation for the trip, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. (Hope that orientation program included a warning about the affect of alcohol at this altitude.)
Since our visitors from Richmond will be in the neighborhood, anyway, we're offering a snow-day diversion: Head directly to the Oxford Hotel, where McCormick's Fish House and Bar offers Irish coffee for a buck whenever it snows. Drink enough that you'll need to head to the bathroom, where the men's urinals are a tourist attraction in their own right. Rumor has it that Bat Masterson once emptied his, um, weapon in these massive marble beauties that will dwarf anyone but the most confident man.
Then, back on the first floor and watching the snow still falling outside, continue drinking Irish coffee until the 4p.m. opening of Oxford's Cruise Room, a historic bar designed to look like a lounge on the Queen Mary. It launched the day after Prohibition ended.
There's no business like snow business.
We'd suggest a quick trip over to Colfax for a mid-day break -- but Smiley's, the world's largest laundromat, and Kitty's, the stroke club with the world's stickiest floor, have both closed.
What other suggestions do you have for our visitors from Richmond? Post your itineraries below. And while you're contemplating this town's important sights (and sites), enjoy this video of the Oxford urinals by Mike Deaton:
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From the Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Fifteen reasons why young people are moving to Colorado."