National Western complex goes to pot: Welcome to the Mile (really) High City

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

If the National Western Stock Show moves to Aurora -- and don't hold your breath for a big financial farewell from Denver voters -- it will leave one big gap in a part of Denver that's already been a dump site for polluting industries and a neighborhood-dividing Interstate. So why not an empty, hundred-plus-year-old Arena, a sixty-year-old coliseum and other abandoned facilities?

There are only so many monster truck shows that this metro area can sustain -- and no matter where it's built, a new National Western complex will need to fill the joint during the 345 days a year when it isn't occupied by the Stock Show.

But that's Aurora's problem. Denver will have to deal with uses for the land where the current complex is located, which doesn't seem a likely candidate for a big Lowry or Stapleton urban infill project.

Our solution? The world's largest grow facility for medical marijuana. After all, there are already growhouses along the Platte and up Brighton Boulevard, in all those old industrial spaces.

And while we hear that the National Western hasn't been very friendly to featuring any MMJ activities in the upcoming Denver County Fair, there's no denying that pot is one of this state's biggest cash crops. In fact, if Denver hurries, it could submit a regional tourism subsidy application to the state -- the deadline is today, which explains the wild ride to find a new location for the Natonal Western -- asking for financial help to turn the spot into a working farm/pharmacy pot amusement park.

Welcome to the Mile (really) High City, where there's some pot in every chicken!

Take that, Aurora.

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "National Western Stock Show heading to Aurora? Hold your horses!"

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.