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Aurora History Museum: Welcome to Colorado, now go home

Aurora's tourism efforts got a big boost Friday, when the state's Economic Development Commission approved $81 million in Regional Tourism Act incentives for the hotel/resort/convention complex planned by Gaylord Entertainment Co. The project could open by 2016 -- which means Aurora has a few years to roll out a real welcome mat for visitors.

The Aurora History Museum has an entertaining permanent exhibit describing the town's past as well as some worthwhile visiting shows and an always impressive price tag: It's free, which earned the spot our Best Free Entertainment award in the Best of Denver 2012.

So wouldn't it be nice if, when visitors stopped by to see one of those exhibits, the show was actually open? We hurried over yesterday afternoon to catch the last day of My Colorado Vacation, a collection of 130 postcards from the collection of the Aurora History Museum as well as the Denver Postcard Club, only to find that the gallery where the show was located was hosting a baby shower...two hours before the scheduled 4 p.m. closing time.

There were no warning signs on the Aurora website or in the museum itself...just a lot of balloons and potluck dishes where we'd hoped to see a collection of postcards promoting Colorado tourism.

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Welcome to Aurora.

Good luck, Gaylord.

Aurora isn't putting all of its economic eggs in the Gaylord basket. For more on the city's marketing efforts, read Melanie Asmar's March cover story, "Wish You Were Here."

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