Best Ex-Athlete to Follow on Twitter 2018 | Mark Schlereth | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

Schlereth was part of a Denver Broncos offensive line whose members famously didn't speak to the press. But since ending his on-field football career, he's made up for all those years of silence. He's currently co-host of Schlereth and Evans, the morning-drive show on 104.3 The Fan, a commentator and more for Fox Sports and FS1, and a sometime actor who's made multiple appearances on the HBO show Ballers. How the hell he finds the time to tweet is beyond us, but he sends out messages all the time, engages in back-and-forths with fans and detractors alike, and somehow manages to shift effortlessly between goofiness and seriousness without losing his personality.


Best Sports Mascot to Follow on Twitter


Courtesy Miles the Mascot Facebook page

In the past, we've been lukewarm about Miles, who doesn't boast the majesty of real-life horse Thunder or the flat-out strangeness of predecessor Huddles — especially when the latter was being portrayed by future Denver mayor Michael Hancock. But his Twitter account has made us change our minds. Miles documents plenty of charitable activities, such as hospital visits in the company of players or cheerleaders, but what we like best are the offhand moments, such as admitting "I think I'm going to barf" during a tense moment in the U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey team's battle for gold in South Korea. The squad wound up a winner — and so is Miles's Twitter account.

Denver Broncos


Courtesy Platte River Fort Facebook page

For an unforgettable frontier experience, nothing beats a weekend getaway to Platte River Fort, a working cattle and guest ranch with some serious Western flair. Platte River Fort is open for visitors year-round, but our favorite time to visit is in the fall, when Colorado history comes alive right before your eyes on "roundup" weekends. During roundups, guests hop onto ATVs and follow cowboys and girls as they herd dozens of longhorn cattle on the 235-acre property. After the roundup, learn to use a lasso, try skeet shooting and archery, pet an alpaca, and visit the resident bull. There's always plenty of good down-home cooking prepared in an on-site gourmet kitchen. For overnight guests, we highly recommend hunkering down in the covered wagon.

Best Place to Make an Olympics-Style Clean Sweep

Denver Curling Club

Courtesy Denver Curling Club Facebook page

As folks across the country watched the U.S. men's team win a gold medal in curling, their thoughts were the same: "This is amazing! But what the hell's going on? And why do those guys have brooms?" The answers to these questions and plenty more can be found at the Denver Curling Club, one of the few rinks dedicated to curling in the West; the next closest centers are in Bismarck, North Dakota, and Tempe, Arizona. The huge center is easy to find and regularly sponsors two-hour introductions to the sport that cost $40 per session or $130 for a five-to-six-session curling course and mini-league membership. Taking part requires a strong back; the so-called rocks that curlers slide along the ice weigh 42 pounds. But four years from now, during the next Winter Olympics, you'll be one of the lucky few in the know.

Best Mountain for First-Time Skiers and Snowboarders


Courtesy Eldora Facebook page

Think Eldora is too close to Denver to be a "real" ski resort? Think again. Located in Boulder County a few miles west of downtown Nederland, Eldora gets over 300 inches of snow annually and has 680 acres of skiable terrain that's perfect for a low-key but insanely fun experience for beginner skiers and snowboarders — or anyone looking to dodge the crowds in Summit County. Eldora's Mountain Explorer package is the best way to introduce skiing and snowboarding to children ages four to fourteen. Since 2016, the resort has also offered its Woodward Experience for those looking to develop skills. Adult beginner group lessons for ages fifteen and up teach newbies everything they'll need to know to get after it on the slopes, chairlift basics included. Reservations are recommended for lessons, but walk-up registration is also available on a first come, first served basis seven days a week, beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Indian Peaks Lodge. For cross-country enthusiasts, nothing beats Eldora Nordic Center's forty kilometers of scenic trails weaving through quiet forests.

Keystone Facebook page

If there's anything more embarrassing than face-planting off a rail in front of a full chairlift, we don't want to make that mistake, either. The truth is, the intimidation factor cannot be overstated when it comes to terrain parks, and so we fully appreciate the lengths to which Keystone Resort keeps going to help riders and skiers get better the right, and easy, way. Enter A51, the name for the resort's six terrain parks in one sixty-acre area, with lines that lead from beginner to expert, all served from one dedicated lift. With 116 features and more on the way, the park offers extra-small, small and medium features — a variety of pipe sizes, along with boxes, barriers, rails, ramps, tubes, tables, jibs and jumps — plus a staggering selection of big ones, with each skill level smoothly transitioning to the next. Start extra-small on Easy Street, then head to I-70 and the Alley, with their slightly larger features. By the time you hit the hardest area, Main Street, you'll be ready to go pro.

Readers' Choice: A51 Terrain Park

If you're looking for a double-diamond run that will scare the ski pants off you and possibly make you weep, S1 is the one and only. The second in the series of north-facing (and thus snow-holding) steeps known as the Dumps, S1 flows from International off Ruthie's lift (you can also link runs to access it from the Silver Queen Gondola, which allows you to check it out to the right on your way up). This shorty is so vertical that it feels like you're standing on top of an eighty-story building, albeit one covered with rocks and lined with tight, tight trees. You have two choices here: Take the blind rollover and hit the air to drop in, or curl up in a little ball and hope some other crazy person finds you.

Readers' Choice: Pallavicini

Courtesy Vail Facebook page

Most ski areas struggle at some point with the flow of skiers and snowboarders, and the sheer size of the 5,289-acre Vail means it has bigger problems than most. What makes the popular resort stand out, though, is its willingness to address the issues, and a big schuss in the right direction was the upgrade of the Chair 11 lift on the front side to a faster six-pack. The revamped Northwoods Express — the resort's tenth new lift in eleven years — debuted in December, and it immediately had the intended effect of shortening lift lines and wait times for folks trying to access Vail's intermediate and expert terrain, as well as helping everyone move more efficiently through to the Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin. It also means getting to the area's namesake trail quicker: the popular and super-wide Northwoods run, a beautiful blue with a moderate pitch and plenty of space for big carving, with access into the trees that border both sides.

Readers' Choice: Northwoods Express (#11)

Courtesy Sunlight Mountain Resort Facebook page

Considering that a pair of wooden skis or a snowboard from Meier — handmade in Colorado, btw — is going to set you back at least $700, Sunlight's deal is pretty sweet. For that same $700 ($600 for snowboarders), you get the skis (or snowboard), plus a single-day lift ticket (which usually costs $65) to a ski area famous for its 67 mostly intermediate trails, free parking and no lift lines, plus a day pass to soak away your sore quads at the lovely Iron Mountain Hot Springs (regularly $20), with its seventeen pools of varying sizes and temperatures and enviable mountain views. Don't need new sticks? Spring for the Slope & Soak four-pack for $249, a bargain that gets you access to either the Iron Mountain or Glenwood hot springs.

Readers' Choice: Epic Pass

Dinosaurs roamed the volcanic buttes formed 65 million years ago in Golden — and there are still traces of them everywhere. The first T. rex specimen was discovered on South Table Mountain, and if you're interested in playing paleontologist, hop onto the Camp George West trailhead for 4.1 miles of low-key scenic hiking with panoramic mesa-top views and plenty of dinosaur tracks for those who are looking. Just remember to stay on the trails, as undesignated paths degrade the mesa ecology.

Best Of Denver®

Best Of