Everyone knows that Denver is nicknamed the Mile-High city because the 13th step of the Capitol building is located exactly 5,280 feet above sea level. But did you know that Denver also has the largest city park system in the U.S.? How about that 32 peaks towering over 13,000 feet are visible from the city? Here are five other quirky, weird and little-known facts about Colorado’s capital city.
D.I.A. is made up of 53 square miles of hangars, runways and terminals. In fact, it’s so big that the top four airports in the nation in terms of air traffic (Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, O’Hare International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport) can all fit within its borders. Not only that, when you land, you are welcomed to our city by “Blucifer,” a massive blue mustang sculpture with bright red eyes that is rumored to be cursed. The sculptor of the masterpiece, Louis Jimenez, was killed during its construction in a freak accident in which a piece of the statue fell on his leg, severing an artery.
PHOTO GALLERY: DIA Mustang Sculpture
Although there is much debate about who invented one of America’s culinary staples, Louis E. Ballast of Denver owns the trademark for the beefy creation. Owner of the Humpty-Dumpty Barrel Drive-In, Louis created and trademarked the delicious treat in 1935, and is now honored by a stone slab on the Northwest side of Denver. Other cities in Kentucky and Wisconsin claim to be the birthplace of the cheeseburger, but it’s pretty hard to argue against a trademark, so we’ll take it.
The fact that the Capitol’s 24-karat gold plated dome is not the rarest thing about it is pretty astounding. Not only is the top of the capitol covered with millions of dollars worth of bling, but the inside is made with copious amounts of Colorado Rose Onyx. Coming from a quarry in Beulah, Colorado, the entire world’s supply of the onyx was used, making the Denver Capitol building the only place in the world you can find this precious stone.
Colorado is home to nearly 230 different breweries, with a good majority found in Fort Collins, Boulder and Denver. The Coors Brewery in Golden is the largest brewery in the world, and the Great American Beer Festival held in Denver each year holds the Guinness World Record for the destination where you can find the largest number of beers on tap. This all makes sense, since the first permanent structure constructed in Denver was reportedly a saloon. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to enjoy as much beer as you can guzzle; The altitude makes each drink almost twice as powerful than if you were at sea level.
As the story goes, Elvis Presley and a few buddies from Denver were hanging out at Graceland in Memphis when Elvis spoke of a monstrous sandwich he’d had at the Colorado Mine Company in Glendale. Rather than tell them all about it, he told one of his pilots to fire up a private jet and off they flew to Denver. Awaiting Elvis and his crew in a special hangar at the Stapleton Airport was champagne, sparkling water and 22 Fool’s Gold loaves on silver trays. Now, the Fool’s Gold sandwich isn’t just your run of the mill hoagie; It’s an entire hollowed out loaf of Italian bread, filled with a jar of jelly, a jar of creamy peanut butter and one pound of fried bacon. The creation is then deep-fried and served to whichever guest wants a heart-attack next. Elvis and his crew began eating at 1:40 a.m. and didn’t finish eating until nearly two hours later, at which point they promptly hopped back aboard the Lisa Marie and returned home to Graceland.
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