A Friend Indeed

Last week, Barbara Corcoran of “The Today Show” recognized Denver as one of the nation’s five friendliest cities, joining San Antonio, Texas; Nashville; Madison, Wisconsin; and Davis, California – an honor that’s nothing to sneeze at. And if someone does, Denverites would certainly say “Bless you” and offer a tissue with a big smile.

One would assume that “The Today Show” would have a highly scientific method for deciding which cities are the nicest: The number of hugs per day given out by citizens, perhaps? Or maybe the number of times each resident says “please” and “thank you” during the course of a day. Nope. Instead, the show heavily weighed the number of tourists, hotel rooms and bars.

Along with these highly commendable features (who doesn’t like to mix Hawaiian shirts and alcohol?), Denver rated high for safety, diversity, its number of parks and public spaces, low home prices, and pedestrian and bike routes. Cities were also held to the high standard of making fun-time for their people. Corcoran especially liked Denver’s Longs Peak Scottish Festival, National Gay Rodeo Finals, and the country’s largest Cinco de Mayo festival. Too bad, unfriendly towns, they’re ours!

Last but not least, Denver gets props for its attempts at becoming the bicycle capital of the continental U.S. With the advent of the Democratic National Convention in August, the Bikes Belong coalition plans to bring in 1,000 bikes, which people can ride for free. After all, the political celebrities will need some way to get to all those bars. -- Maddie Wolberg

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes