Your last chance to try Owlbear Barbecue
Plus, camping, RTD, and the Aspen X Games…
Hey City Casters!
I’ve got your regularly scheduled weekend roundup just a few scrolls away, but first, a heads up:
Today is an especially exciting Friday for me, because tomorrow… I’m getting married! 🍾🥂 Yay! Then, I’m leaving for my honeymoon. So while my name will not be popping up in your inbox for a little while, fret not — you’ll still get your daily news download, which I’m leaving in the very capable hands of my City Cast Denver colleagues.
Catch ya on the flip side! 💒 😎
— Peyton Garcia, City Cast Denver Newsletter Writer
🍗 SOMETHING YOU CAN HELP US WITH
Hey! You helped us vote on the top burgers in town. Then you pointed us to the best breakfast in burritos. Now, we are on the hunt for Denver’s favorite fried chicken, and we are calling on you for nominations! Email your pick to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave us a voicemail at 720-500-5418.
🏂 SOMETHING TO ROAD TRIP FOR
X Games Aspen
The biggest names in skiing and snowboarding (ahem, Jamie Anderson, Gus Kenworthy, Mark McMorris…) come together this weekend to shred some pow at X Games Aspen, a world-renowned annual three-day snow sports showcase. Attendance is free for the public (with proof of full COVID-19 vaccination), and the X Fest Fan Zone will host live DJs, athlete meet-and-greets, and sick swag giveaways. In true Aspen style, the whole town is doing it up big with dining events, live concerts, and legendary après-ski parties that alone are worth the three-and-a-half-hour trek from Denver. And bonus: It’s also Aspen Gay Ski Week — the longest running gay ski week in America!
🏕️ SOMETHING TO PLAN FOR
I know it’s January and there’s snow on the ground, but have you booked a campsite for Fourth of July yet? If you’re new to Colorado, or new to camping in Colorado, beware: campground reservations get snatched up quickly. State parks, national parks, and national forests accept reservations up to six months in advance, so someone who’s a better planner than me might have nabbed that Rocky Mountain site I had my heart set on. But the good news is, campgrounds are headed back to full capacity (it was slashed to 50% last summer for social distancing). So get booking!
- Make reservations for national parks and forests here.
- Make reservations for state parks here.
- Look for dispersed (non-designated) campsites here.
🍖 SOMETHING TO TRY BEFORE IT’S GONE
I’ve only ever tasted the smoky meats of Owlbear Barbecue at the occasional food festival (maybe two or three times). But its prominent appearance in a number of “best barbecue” listicles quickly landed it on my “need-to-visit” list. But sadly, I may never get to go.
A post on Owlbear’s Instagram account this week read: “Owlbear will be open this Saturday and Sunday. However, these will also be our last days open. … Thank you to each and every one of you that came through our doors and trusted us to feed you something delicious. Owlbear will always love you.” Owner Karl Fallenius says food cost was the biggest reason for the decision, but a long, complicated series of unfortunate events — a delayed opening due to permit snafus, closing due to stolen property, closing again due to COVID — didn’t help. “I love Owlbear,” Fallenius told Westword. “But I’m looking forward to not being stressed all the time.”
Your last chance to try Owlbear is this weekend. They typically dish up meats beginning at 11 a.m. until they’re sold out.
🚏 SOMETHING TO DEBATE
Earlier this week, City Cast Host Bree Davies talked quite a bit about Colorado’s Regional Transportation District (RTD). She chatted with transportation reporter Nathaniel Minor about RTD’s recently announced plans for “massive overhaul.” And she offered some personal perspective, sharing her own experiences with public transit in the newsletter.
So we asked you: What are your thoughts on RTD, public transit, and driving in the city? Here’s what you told us:
“Denver is a car-based city, but it doesn’t have to be that way! It doesn’t. It feels like RTD is designed for a smaller Denver – a Denver of, perhaps, 20 years ago. It’s not keeping up with the shift here and worse, it doesn’t appear that it can. … I truly wish ‘just take the train’ was embedded in our culture here the way it is in other, bigger cities. There’s a lot of value in that. But it isn’t. It could be, but we don’t have strategic leadership that is really envisioning where this should go.” — Paul M.
“I have a memory of standing on the platform at Nine Mile in the cold, snowy weather for over an hour, waiting for the R train to arrive. I finally accosted an RTD officer, and he told me that it was delayed. There was no announcement when it would arrive and the RTD website was never updated. Don’t even get me started on those signs that never worked at Nine Mile. I took the train back to my house and drove to work.” — Carol P.
“I’m someone who drives but thinks about riding the bus. I used to commute regularly by RTD, but it’s gotten more complicated since having kids, and there’s no direct route between my home and my work. I either have to transfer buses or walk several extra blocks. It’s a maddening feedback loop—I know if no one rides, RTD takes away buses. But if RTD keeps taking away buses, no one’s going to ride.” — William D.
🔎 SOMETHING TO KEEP AN EYE ON
- Public employees — think: people who work for cities, counties, schools, and other government entities — are fighting for the right to unionize.
- The city of Denver wants residents to start paying for trash pickup. Here’s what that means.
- Colorado schools are still experiencing a decline in enrollment. Data shows it’s partially due to big picture trends (like a dip in birthrates), but it’s also because students who opted for pandemic homeschooling have not returned.
- Where you can and cannot pick up free KN95 masks. (PSA: There’s none at Denver Public Library.)
- Under circumstances created by the Marshall Fire and omicron, state officials have reopened the enrollment period for marketplace health insurance. It will run now through March 16.
🎙️ SOMETHING YOU MAY HAVE MISSED
A look back at our shows of the week
- TODAY: Friday chat: Trouble at Tattered Cover and the return of Tom’s Diner (kinda)
- THU: Everything you wanted to know about Denver but were too afraid to ask.
- WED: Why is RTD “dramatically” overhauling bus routes now?
- TUE: Five Points has changed. Is there still room for Welton St. Cafe?
- MON: There was no podcast in observance of MLK Day.
👉 Find all our shows at denver.citycast.fm.