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SPIRE-tini: The new taste of downtown living

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Spire, the 42-story condo tower going up at 14th and Champa streets, is all about the cool. From its energy-efficient design to its so-called attainable unit prices (60 percent of its cushy units will go for less than $400,000) to its strikingly illuminated facade, this ain't your granddaddy's high-rise.

That was clearly the message at the swanky launch party last night for the opening of Spire's marketing center in the Colorado Convention Center, located across the street from where the 483-foot residential tower (the largest built around here in decades) has now been topped off. The shindig, in an adjacent convention center space, was the place to be, with suited-up power players strutting their stuff and the gossip flowing more freely than the complimentary booze. Performance artist Brian Olson, known for his impromptu paintings of famous dead people, whipped off an enormous, colorful portrait of the Spire to go alongside his renderings of Jimi and Marilyn. It felt like Denver circa 1987, quipped one observer, when the idea of any new building was reason enough for a party.

The pièce de résistance of the whole night was the special drink served at one of the bars: the SPIRE-tini, a cocktail of vodka and elderflower liquor infused with cucumber and green apple puree.

Sure, the concoction was a gimmick, but it was also pretty darn good. We're hoping the Nichols Partnership Inc., Spire's developer, follows through with the idea. We want a lifetime supply of SPIRE-tinis to come with every unit. Maybe that means a concierge going door-to-door bearing a frosty pitcher of the stuff. Or a Kegerator in each stainless-steel kitchen dispensing 'tini from its tap.

With an amenity like that, Spire's sales will go quick, even in this sour economy.

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