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What an Old Map of Denver Can Teach a Newcomer

There’s more to the fast-changing Mile High City than beer, hiking, and skiing. An old map gave me a clue about where to look.
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Madison Johnson/CityLab

I am the target audience for Denver’s marketers. I ski. I hike. I like beer. Maybe I’ve tried weed. And when a good job opened for my partner Elisa, I happily moved to the Colorado capital in 2015. We picked a new building behind Union Station, the fast-redeveloping transit hub of downtown. I arrived jobless, clueless, and exhilarated to finally be out West.

We were among the more than 70,000 new transplants—many of us white, relatively young, and affluent enough to make such a move—who have arrived since 2010 in the city of Denver. Among its many draws: It’s more affordable than many West Coast cities, has more jobs than many Southern cities, and boasts more mountains than either.