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Come to Denver, The Mile High City
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CFHA's 15th Annual Conference
October 10-12, 2013

Omni Interlocken Resort
Broomfield/Denver, Colorado


Denver really is exactly one mile high. In fact, there is a step on the State Capitol Building that is exactly 5,280 feet above sea level - one mile high. Which step? Well, the 11th step is carved in stone as a mile high, but in 1969, it was found that the actual spot was 4 steps higher. In 2002, it was discovered that Denver is 3 feet higher than previously thought. So take your pick of steps - but one of them is assuredly one mile high.

The biggest surprise for visitors to Denver is the climate. The arid conditions bring only 8 to 15 inches of annual precipitation and locals wake up to more than 300 days of sunshine a year. That’s more annual hours of sun than Miami and San Diego. Winters are mild with an average daily high temperature of 45 degrees Fahrenheit and days reaching 60 degrees are not uncommon. Autumn can arrive early in the high country and the colorful turning of the aspen trees occurs in the mountains from mid-September to mid-October. 

Denver is just 340 miles from the exact center of the Continental United States – closer to the center of the nation than any other city our size. In addition to easy air access, Denver is at the intersection of two major Interstate highways (Interstate 70 and Interstate 25), has four AMTRAK passenger trains daily and is a major hub for interstate motorcoach travel.

Denver International Airport (DEN) is the fifth busiest airport in the nationand 10th busiest airport in the world. It offers non-stop service to more than 160 worldwide destinations, including 19 international cities, and nearly 1,700 daily flights. DIA is a hub for three airlines – United, Southwest and Frontier.

A Little Business, A Little Pleasure:  Denver is the gateway to pre- and post-meeting adventure in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. In a little more than an hour, you can hike or fly fish in Rocky Mountain National Park; climb the world’s highest railroad to the top of Pikes Peak; play poker, Black Jack and roulette in Old West mountain mining towns; go river rafting down spectacular Clear Creek Canyon or just relax in luxury at a variety of international ski and summer resorts like Vail, Breckenridge, Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Beaver Creek, Keystone and the Broadmoor.

Upscale and Affordable: Denver is the 21st largest city in the U.S. in terms of metro area population and ranks about the same in national cost studies. The city has more than 2,000 restaurants. According to the 2010 Corporate Travel Index, Denver is a bargain, ranking 69th out of the top 100 cities in food costs, less expensive than all major cities.

Enjoy a Tall, Frosty One: Denver brews more beer than any other city with 100 different beers brewed in town daily and at the Coors Brewing Company – the largest single brewing site on earth. The world’s largest beer festival is held every September, the Great American Beer Festival, with a Guinness World Record 2,400 different beers available for tasting in 2010.

A Sports Fan’s Dream City: Denver is one of only two cities to offer seven professional sports teams.

Hit the Links: Denver has 90 golf courses that remain open all-year long and have been played as often as 30 days in January.

A Two-Wheel Town: Denver boasts 850 miles of bike trails, all part of the largest city park system in the nation. In 2010, Denver launched the nation’s first major bicycle sharing program, B-cycle, with 500 shiny red bikes available for sharing at 50 stations. 

Of all the great things Denver has to offer, the greatest may be its ability to serve as a base camp for incredible one-day excursions. Denver offers quick, easy access to the state’s biggest attraction, the Rocky Mountains, where a wealth of national and state parks, national forests and scenic areas fill your senses. Gold rush mountain towns and ski resorts are great places to spend a day shopping, exploring and taking in the amazing scenery. From Denver, your next great adventure is just around the bend or right over the next ridge. And remember, when you're out in the city, stop in at one of the city's conveniently located Visitor Information Centers for more day trip tips. For more great trip ideas, check out Denver itineraries.

High Altitude Tips

DRINK WATER! Before your trip to Denver, and while you are here, drinking plenty of water is the number one way to help your body adjust easily to our higher altitude. The low humidity in Colorado keeps the air dry, like the desert, so you need about twice as much water here as you would drink at home.

Monitor Your Alcohol Intake: In Denver's rarified air, golf balls go ten percent farther… and so do cocktails. Alcoholic drinks pack more of a wallop than at sea level. It is recommended that you go easy on the alcohol in the mountains and in Denver, as its effects will feel stronger here.

Eat Foods High in Potassium: Foods such as broccoli, bananas, avocado, cantaloupe, celery, greens, bran, chocolate, granola, dates, dried fruit, potatoes and tomatoes will help you replenish electrolytes by balancing salt intake.

Watch Your Physical Activity: The effects of exercise are more intense here. If you normally run 10 miles a day at home, you might try 6 miles in Denver.

Pack for Sun: With less water vapor in the air at this altitude, the sky really is bluer in Colorado. But there's 25 percent less protection from the sun, so sunscreen is a must. Denver receives over 300 days of sunshine each year (more than San Diego or Miami). Bring sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm… even in winter.

Dress in Layers: Two days before your trip to Denver, check the weather and use this information to pack appropriately. Because Denver is closer to the sun, it can feel much warmer than the actual temperature during the daytime, but then become very chilly after sundown, particularly in the Spring and Fall. It is best to layer your clothing.

Enjoy Yourself: Don't let anything you hear about the mile-high altitude scare you. The air is just thinner and dryer. In fact, many people with respiratory problems move to Denver for the benefits of the dry air. Just follow these simple tips and you will very likely not even notice the difference.

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CFHA is a member-based, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to making integrated behavioral and physical health the standard of care nationally. CFHA achieves this by organizing the integrated care community, providing expert technical assistance and producing educational content.