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Best Short Hop
RTD's Rockies Ride
Market Street Station

The Rockies Ride buses run every few minutes, there are no parking hassles, fans get dropped off smack in front of Mile High Stadium and the ride costs only $2 (free for kids 6 and under). If you're running late, don't worry about it: The buses keep running fifteen minutes after the first pitch. In a twist added for this season, those who get to Market Street Station on another RTD bus can transfer to the Rockies Ride for free.

Best Way to Get Folks on the Bus
Eco Pass
The people at RTD will stop at nothing to get you to ride the bus to work. The tax-deductible Eco Pass (good for one year of unlimited rides-- including the new SkyRide to DIA) is available to businesses as a benefit for employees, and the accompanying Guaranteed Ride Home Program takes the butterflies out of taking the bus to work: Participants can count on free taxi service when faced with emergencies or schedule changes.

Best Airline
Morris Air
Cramped seats, shrink-wrapped meals and aisles so narrow you can't get past the beverage cart to the bathroom--and these days, those are the expensive airline seats! At upstart Morris Air, you make the sacrifices up front. There are a relative handful of daily departures from Stapleton, the accommodations are strictly budget, things aren't always entirely organized, and whatever your final destination, you have to get there via the airline's Salt Lake City hub. But as long as you don't mind Utah, you can save up to hundreds per hop on flights through the West. At least for now, anyway: The finnicky Morris, owned by discount pioneer Southwest Airlines, recently announced it won't stick around to pay the high costs of doing business at DIA. The airline will fly off into the sunset October 3--so enjoy it while you can.

Readers' choice: United

Best Place to Ride Out of Town on a Railcar
RNTX Corporation
1444 Wazee St.

Let's say you like to ride in style, and let's say you have between $75,000 and $2 million burning a hole in your pocket. Why not visit RNTX Corporation and commission a private train car so luxurious it's known in the trade as a "land yacht"? Brett Hall and his craftsmen can find you the perfect little conveyance--they have sources all over the U.S., and a client list to back it up. "We made a car for Merle Haggard," Hall recalls, "though, of course, the IRS has it now. Other than that, our customers are plumbers, printers, politicians--anything." Shouldn't you get on track?

Best Valet Parking
Larimer Square
It doesn't seem that long ago that downtown Denver was deserted at night. Now it's hot, hot, hot, and parking is at a premium--particularly in the neighborhood of Larimer Square. Which is why the Square's neighborly gesture of offering valet parking is particularly welcome. Just pull up near the Champion Brewing Company and hand over the keys. At just five bucks, it's the best deal going--and most Larimer Square businesses will pick up part of the tab.

Readers' choice: Cherry Creek Mall

Best Place to Buy a Teddy Bear
Coppelia Classical Dolls, Bears and Cookie Jars
1084 S. Gaylord St.

At Coppelia, Smokey gets in your eyes--and he's likely to be a collector's item. Choose from the VanderBears collection, featuring impersonating bruins like Cyrano, Einstein and the leather-clad Rebear Without a Cause, or pick a nostalgic vintage reproduction. And that's just the bears. Don't miss the fancy Madame Alexander dolls with ruffly details and real eyelashes.

Best Alternative to Barbie
Jus' Like Me!
9216 W. Euclid Ave., Littleton

Let's face it: No matter how much a growing girl binds her feet and watches her fat intake, she's never going to grow into anything remotely resembling that Barbie doll she plays with. So why not start her out with a more reasonable role model--herself? Jus' Like Me! creates hand-painted, cloth portrait dolls that look just like their owners.

Best Toy for Grown-ups
Cross Conditioning Systems
1898 S. Flatiron Ct., Boulder

The rowing machine sailed into the sunset at your last garage sale; the Stairmaster no longer rises to the occasion. For a real workout, try the XL 100, the brainchild of the Cross Conditioning Systems. This high-tech, high-priced (factory-direct at $4,995) ultimate workout machine exercises legs and arms simultaneously, involving more muscles than any other machine on the market.

Best Mobile Munchies
Tasty Taxi
When you're recovering from a hard day at the office--or just suffering from a bad case of recliner butt--who has the energy to cook? Tasty Taxi delivers meals from a wide range of local restaurants for just a $3 service fee.

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