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Photos: Top ten things that make Colorado Colorado

What makes Colorado Colorado? That's what "Making Colorado," the state's new branding mission announced yesterday, wants to determine -- and it's set up a website where you can offer your own suggestions that will help determine the state's new brand. This DIY approach drew the attention of the New York Times, which yesterday posted a story titled "Colorado Looks to Its Own to Burnish Its Image." Fresh off the annual orgy of niceness that is the Best of Denver, we decided to do some burnishing of our own. Here's our early top ten list of What Makes Colorado Colorado. Number 10: As if the craft-beer craze wasn't enough reason to toast Colorado, now there are more than forty craft-spirits distilleries in the state. Number 9: The colors of Colorado: green chile, Red Rocks and the yellow of those alleged 300 days of sunshine. Continue for more of our top ten things that make Colorado Colorado. Number 8: Five seasons: Winter, summer, fall, spring and construction. Number 7: Cocktail parties with conversations centered around what you did last weekend (hiking, mountain biking, skiing), not where you work or what you wear. Continue for more of our top ten things that make Colorado Colorado. Number 6: Here's what you do wear: Shorts, flip flops and a parka for casual wear (with a hand-knit scarf if you're a hipster); a mix of business casual and outdoor apparel for business wear. Number 5: Your bike is worth more than your car. Continue for more of our top ten things that make Colorado Colorado. Number 4: Colorado redefines major-league sports, with the world's best skiing, best skateparks and two of the top roller-derby teams. Number 3: Entrepreneurs everywhere -- growing weed, growing the arts scene, growing businesses. Continue for more of our top ten things that make Colorado Colorado. Where else could a former geologist who lost his job and started a brewpub become governor? Number 1: Finally, here's a lyrical entry from a resident of southwestern Colorado now going to school in Denver:

The fact it's nestled in between a bunch of flat, boring, fly-over states -- it's sort of like an oasis of the West. If not for Denver, and Colorado in general, there would be a giant gaping hole of nothingness in the middle of the U.S. It's famous for its beer-drinking, pot-smoking, party-hungry collegians, yet it's also home to thousands of small-town ranchers who still live the same way they have for generations. But above all, it's absolutely beautiful. Virtually anything you want, you can find here. I always say: If Colorado had an ocean, it'd be the greatest place on Earth.

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For more than 400 other great things about living in Colorado, see the Best of Denver 2013.

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