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Another piece of Colfax history demolished

BY BREE DAVIES | @CocoDavies


Current-day, mid-demolition Ramada Inn.

At this point, I think my affection for Colfax and all its weirdness might border on unhealthy. I mean, I have a tattoo memorializing Smiley’s, the laundromat where I used to run a side hustle getting perm solution out of towels for a hair salon (called Flamingo Junction, of all things). And today I find myself writing yet another goodbye to a random commercial outpost on the strip. This time, the Ramada Inn.

If you wanna feel sad about it with me for a moment, past City Cast Denver guest and artist/documentarian of Denver, Karl Christian Krumpholz, posted this depressing video of the hotel being torn down over the weekend:

Did I ever stay at the Ramada Inn? No. But I sure did drink there. And I’m not talking about drinking there during arguably its most memorable hotel bar iteration, Tiki Boyd’s. Back then it was run by Boyd Rice, a fixture of the Denver modernism scene and noted racist (who is still up to his boring, old tricks, peddling Nazi merch on the internet somewhere I won’t link to).

No, no. I’m thinking of a few years before that time, in the early 2000s. In this particularly fond memory, a blizzard had hit Denver. Stuck in Cap Hill after a concert at the Bluebird, I was snowed in at my ex-boyfriend’s apartment for days, and a random, nameless restaurant in the Ramada was one of the only places in the neighborhood that was open and offering food (and booze, of course).

I don’t remember what the restaurant was called, or even what we ate – but I know we survived on whatever was left of their menu and got smashed in the process. It was one of those glorious Colorado moments where time stops because the weather forces it to. We were snowed in and the Ramada’s restaurant was there for us.

Years later, I ended up working in an office across the street from the Ramada (above the Irish Snug, RIP) and watched its comings and goings all day long. Between the hotel and Paul’s Liquors across the street, there was plenty of Colfax action to be seen. If I miss anything about working outside the home, it’s the people-watching. And Colfax people-watching is unparalleled: guys wearing bathrobes in public; couples fighting, then making up, then entering the hotel; adults buying booze for teens around the corner from the liquor store.

The thing about the Ramada Inn is, it wasn’t always a bland, tan box on Colfax. Back in the middle of the last century, it was known as the Heart O’ Denver Hotel, painted bright colors and sporting some actual architectural charm. It looked like a place I really wanted to stay, kind of like the Royal Palace Motel up the road at Colfax and Colorado Boulevard, which used to have an outdoor glass elevator that I found to be the epitome of “fancy” as a kid.

While I don’t think there will be much of a collective outcry over the loss of a pretty nondescript hotel on Colfax, there’s something sad about a place disappearing that holds memories. It will be replaced and forgotten, and rightfully so. Cities change. Buildings disappear. But my memory of a random man wearing multiple gold chains and sunglasses after dark filming himself walking out of the Ramada Inn on Colfax like it was the Four Seasons will last forever. 


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You know that spot on I-70 on the way into the mountains? That spot where it goes from three lanes to two, and there’s always traffic? Well, it’s called Floyd Hill, and last week the Colorado Department of Transportation kicked off a new $700 million effort to fix it. But is their plan really going to address the root problem? Host Bree Davies talks to Colorado Sun environment reporter Michael Booth about why our elected leaders are so eager to cheer on the project and how CDOT is planning to mitigate the climate impact. 


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🗳️ Know what you’re voting for: This election season, the city is debuting SearchLight Denver, a custom software that will help voters more easily figure out where money for certain politicians or ballot measures is coming from.

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