Denver is the largest city and the capital of Colorado. With a population of about 700,000 in one of the more sparsely populated regions of the country, it is also the largest city for 500 miles. It is nicknamed the "Mile High City", due to its elevation of 5,280 feet (1 mile) above sea level. It has sports teams in all four American major leagues, (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL) as well as having teams in other sports (Soccer, Lacrosse, Arena Football, Rugby, a few minor league teams, and even serves as the home base of Furniture Row Racing, one of the few NASCAR teams based outside Charlotte, North Carolina; let's just say it's a sports obsessed town). The team with the biggest following is the NFL's Denver Broncos.
It is home to several universities, among them Metropolitan State University of Denver ("Metro State"), University of Colorado Denver, University of Denver, and Regis University. The Molly Brown House, residence of one of the most famous Titanic survivors, is there.
Despite having a high level of local government corruption (police corruption was once ranked as highest in the US) and ranking second in the US for pollution, Denver is generally portrayed as clean and friendly. It is also often depicted as being next to the Rocky Mountains and being very cold and snowy, even though Denver is actually on the flat plains (though the mountains are still visible in the backgroundnote ) and late spring through mid fall can be notoriously hot with arid and dry (albeit cold) winters being the norm.
Due to its location, the city has a very outdoorsy culture. Residents naturally love heading up to the mountains on weekends for activities like skiing, camping, hiking, and kayaking.
Denver in fiction:
- South Park ventures there on occasion, and South Park itself is "close enough" to Denver anyway.
- The real South Park is a large empty basin in the Colorado mountains, and another real-life South Park is right next door to Denver: a street in Littleton, Colorado.
- Although judging by the town's location, size, and other characteristics, it is more likely to be based on co-creator Trey Parker's hometown of Conifer, Colorado, which is a small exurb located just west of Denver.
- Conifer actually has been seen a couple of times in-show.
- The Eddie Murphy film Imagine That was set here.
- Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead: Yeah....
- We're the Millers starts here before the main characters drive to Mexico.
- In some episodes of Mork & Mindy (set in nearby Boulder), the gang would come to Denver.
- It gets blown up in the novel The Sum of All Fears. Changed to Baltimore in the Film of the Book.
- As well as in Jericho.
- About Schmidt
- Good Luck Charlie
- Community (Jeff and Shirley are from there, and Greendale is implied to be located near Denver and/or Colorado Springs.)
- Last Man Standing
- Warehouse 13 sets several episodes here, as Mycah is a native of nearby Colorado Springs, and her My Greatest Failure moment occurred in Denver.
- Denver is visited by Raiden in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. The town has a privatized police force made up of cyborg PMCs due to being the headquarters of World Marshal Inc., of which Colorado Senator Steven Armstrong is a backer.
- At the start of The War Against the Chtorr series, Denver is the capital of the United States, though it's eventually evacuated as it's impossible to keep secure.
- Denver also becomes the U.S. capital in Robert A. Heinlein's The Door into Summer (after The Six Weeks War devastates the Northeast) and Marvel Comics' New Universe (after Washington, D.C. is trashed by a fight between two paranormals).
- Also the US Capital in Resistance 2, after DC is trashed by the Chimera in the tie-in book The Gathering Storm. The city is destroyed off-screen (and most of the government killed) late in the game.
- The Perry Mason TV movies of the 1980s and 1990s were set in Denver.
- Percy and friends have a run-in with Ares here in The Lightning Thief.
- It's implied that The Capitol of Panem, from The Hunger Games, is located in what was once Denver (the book describes the "Rocky Mountains", and the film series definitely evokes the "mountainous" feel).
- In The Death Cure, Thomas and co. visit Denver in search for a former WICKED scientist who can remove the mind-controlling chip from Thomas and Minho. It's also revealed to house the other surviving Gladers after WICKED released them.
- Depending on whether they count as works of fiction, Denver infamously became a darling of Conspiracy Theories, after somebody came up with the idea that Denver's airport, on aerial photos, looks a bit like a swastika if you squint and believe in it really hard, as well as is decorated with Uncanny Valley-style murals, so it must obviously be an obvious secret NWO headquarters.
- In what is almost certainly a nod to the above theory, the final mission of Splinter Cell Blacklist takes place in an Elaborate Underground Base beneath Denver International Airport called "Site F."
- The world map in Mega Man 8 heavily suggests that Dr. Light's laboratory is located in Denver. The city itself is never seen, though Mega Man can visit Light Labs to obtain upgrades using bolts collected in-game. It is also unknown if certain levels in other titles like the opening stage of Mega Man 7, the Robot Museum in MM7 and Mega Man & Bass, and the Towntown Stage in Mega Man Powered Up are meant to represent various locations in Denver.
- The Centurions episode "Denver Is Down" has Big Bad Doc Terror sinking the entire city into an underground cavern, where he intends to turn the populace into cyborgs.
- It's off-handedly mentioned to be under siege by the Soviet Army in Red Dawn (1984). Red Dawn Plus 20 expanded on this.
Shows based in Denver:
- The Animal Planet series Emergency Vets and its spinoff E-Vets Interns were shot at the city's Alameda East Veterinary Hospital.