Colorado History

Five Places to Join the Mile High Club in Denver

The mile-high step at the Colorado Capitol.
The mile-high step at the Colorado Capitol.
Long before Colorado became the first state to legalize recreational cannabis, its capital was nicknamed the "Mile High City."

This moniker reflected not the state of Denver's inhabitants, but the city's mile-high elevation, give or take a few hundred feet. But there are definitely spots around town that measure exactly 5,280 feet above sea level, some of which make it very easy to join the Mile High Club without going anywhere near Denver International Airport.

According to, "The term 'Mile High Club' refers to two people engaging in sexual activity
(sexual intercourse) at an altitude of no less than 5,280 ft (a mile high above the earth) in an airplane."

Of course, in Denver, you don't need the airplane. You just need to know where to make your mark. Here are five possibilities:
Justin Edmonds for Getty Images
The most obvious: When Coors Field debuted in 1995, it sported an amenity only possible in the Mile High City. In the twentieth row of the nosebleed, upper 300 sections, stretching from the left-field foul pole all the way to above the visitors' bullpen, there are 865 purple seats, marking where the ballpark measured exactly 5,280 feet on that first opening day. Have the seats settled since then? Fans' hopes for a winning season sure have.
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The most scenic: The Sky Terrace on the west side of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science has a scenic view of the city and the Front Range beyond...and the deck happens to be at exactly 5,280 feet. Give the kids something to see once they're tired of the dioramas.
click to enlarge The mile high line in the Mayor's Office. - SPECIAL TO WESTWORD
The mile high line in the Mayor's Office.
Special to Westword
The most obscure: When John Hickenlooper, a major baseball fan (though "just about the worst baseball player Little League had ever seen," he confesses), was mayor of Denver, he had a purple stripe painted in his third-floor office at the City and County Building at 5,280 feet — about a foot below the ceiling. Mayor Michael Hancock has retained that line.

The most visited: The west side of the Colorado Capitol has not one, not two, but three markers commemorating the altitude. The words "One Mile Above Sea Level" were carved into the fifteenth step in 1947, after thieves made off with a circa 1903 plaque that made the same pronouncement. After some measuring, a revisionist brass marker was installed on the eighteenth step in 1969. And in 2003, as Denver settled down, then-Governor Bill Owens presided over the installation of a revised revisionist marker placed on the thirteenth step, at what was then precisely 5,280 feet.
click to enlarge A bedroom on the eighth floor of the Rally. - THE RALLY HOTEL
A bedroom on the eighth floor of the Rally.
The Rally Hotel
The latest: The 182-room Rally Hotel, part of the Colorado Rockies' McGregor Square project, opened just in time for the 2021 baseball season. The eighth floor of the hotel — dubbed the “Mile High Floor" — is right at 5,280 feet, in line with the purple seats at Coors Field, and also decked out in purple, with big windows that offer guests views of the ballpark (if not the field)...and those outside the hotel views of the goings-on inside. Initially, the Rally didn't push the Mile High Club possibilities. But that changed last month.

The Rally is now offering a Mile High Club special. "Let your temptations take flight when you join The Rally’s Mile High Club, an elevated experience for guests staying on our Colorado-sunset inspired Mile High Floor," the website suggests.

Rally Hotel
"We wanted to have fun with it for sure," says Megan Copenhaver, the Rally's marketing manager. While the other floors are all family-friendly, this one is a little more "sultry, sexy, fun, date-night experience," she notes. That elevated experience comes complete with a tour of Mile High Spirits, a hotel partner, as well as "sweet and spicy aphrodisiac truffles and couple's intimacy game in your guest room," along with custom pins for those who earn their Mile High Club wings at the Rally overlooking Coors Field.