Planet Fitness Lakewood

In an age of unprecedented narcissism among Americans, the slickest fitness companies are able to slim down your love handles and your bank account. Planet Fitness breaks the mold. The nationwide company's ongoing special is a $10-a-month membership with a $1 start-up fee. That's $121 a year for unlimited access to the gym, with absolutely no contract. How do they do it? Well, their amenities are admittedly thin — there's no pool or basketball court. What they do offer is a line of top-notch weights, treadmills, ellipticals and the like. It isn't a 24-hour joint, either, but this deal is good for your fiscal health. Plus, if the big, expensive, meathead gyms scare you, you'll appreciate the "judgment-free zone" of Planet Fitness.

Best and Only Free Part of the Denver Aquarium

Sharkey Fun Zone

Downtown Aquarium

The Denver Aquarium is loads of fun, what with sunken temples, re-created flash floods and piranha tanks, but it's also pricey. Between parking fees, multiple gift shops and added activity charges on top of already steep admission costs, a visit there can waterlog your credit card. Luckily, there's Sharkey Fun Zone, a nearly hidden indoor play area at the back of the complex (accessible via a door near the restaurant entrance) packed with giant-sized whales, sharks, octopi and other sea creatures that your kids can romp on for as long as they'd like — for free!

BMX Supercross made its debut as an Olympic medal sport in Beijing in 2008, with American Mike Day grabbing gold and Donny Robinson and Jill Kintner each bringing home bronze medals. All three trained on the ABA-sanctioned track at Pikes Peak BMX, which boasts a replica of the Beijing Olympic track. To start training for London 2012 — or to watch the thrills and spills from the stands — check out the weekly races featuring everything from first-timer's races for kids to serious amateur and pro showdowns.

Telluride Ski Resort

Okay, so it's not exactly a "lift," per se, but the gnarliest new way up a hill this year is Telluride's stairway to heaven in the Gold Hill Chutes on Palmyra Peak. It consists of a pair of steel staircases and a bridge flown in by helicopter that now link Gold Hill Chutes #8 and #9. After a twenty- to thirty-minute hike from the Revelation lift, Gold Hill Chute #9 starts out with a steep, narrow drop-in, then opens up into the Palmyra Basin bowls below. This is in-bounds skiing? Only in Telluride.

Fanny Hill - Snowmass Mountain

Named by TransWorld Snowboarding as one of the top ten sites nationwide, the three different terrain parks at Snowmass — Scooper, Little Makaha and Snowmass Park — cater to shredders of every stripe. There's a 22-foot Olympic-sized pipe in the mix, along with some of the biggest rails, boxes and jump sets in the state. And the best part? You can watch the yard sale unfold from the comfort of your lift chair on the Coney Glade.

Best Guess for When Colorado Will Host the Winter Olympics

2026

Colorado had its chance to host the Winter Olympic Games back in 1976, but after winning the bid, voters — egged on by then-governor Dick Lamm — rejected the award. Every four years since then, Coloradans have debated the economic and environmental impact of making another attempt. The talk is now on for a try at the 2022 Games, but that's four years too soon. Why? 2026 will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the last try and give the state sixteen years to get a high-speed train running between Denver and the mountains. Plus, somewhere there's a Colorado kid being born who will grow up to win the gold in snowboarding that year.

A Carmelo-like no-brainer here: Conor Casey's 2009 season not only cemented him as the anchor of the Rapids, but he emerged as an MVP candidate, setting a club record with sixteen goals and coming one score shy of the league's goals title. The hometown fave — he graduated from South High — earned himself an all-star berth and a place on the U.S. national team, for which he netted two goals in a World Cup qualifier against Honduras. There's a Golden Boot award in Casey's future; let's just hope it happens here.

Those are hard words to read, considering that Clint Hurdle managed to lead the Rockies to their first World Series appearance. But last spring, with the Rockies limping out of the gates, it was time for a change, and GM Dan O'Dowd pulled the trigger, ousting Hurdle in favor of bench coach Jim Tracy. Whatever Hurdle was selling, the players weren't buying — and the change of salesman helped the Rockies shock-and-awe their way back into the playoffs.

Saddle Rock Golf Course

Public golf must be measured by value, and few courses in the metro area combine the value, character and playing conditions of Saddle Rock. Built in 1997, the course — tucked into the southeast corner of Aurora — features 7,351 yards of well-manicured rolling plains, with large elevation changes and swaths of ravine making it a challenge from every tee box. It's riddled with memorable holes, including the short-but-sweet second, the enormous par-five sixth, the water-guarded ninth...and that's just the front side. The back is just as fun, and with greens fees peaking at $36, playing all eighteen is a steal at any time, on any day.

Forney Museum of Transportation

The Forney Museum of Transportation is an often-overlooked Denver attraction, featuring one of the world's largest locomotives, early electric-car prototypes and other eccentric vehicles. What makes it even cooler? The kitsch-tastic Denver Wax Museum, closed to the public in 1981, lives on inside the Forney like some sort of creepy alien symbiote. The Forney purchased the wax museum's figures when it shut down and has installed them among its exhibits. A bug-eyed Amelia Earhart sits in the actual "Gold Bug" Kissel Speedster she made famous, and Mark Twain and Huck Finn snuggle up in a corner. All that's missing is General George Custer cruising by in a Rolls-Royce.

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