Anyone who took advantage of The Passport Program in Denver last year surely tried out several new bars and drinks. With so much success it’s no suprise the program, which promotes different bars and restaurants, has announced to plans to launch in four new cities this summer including Boulder, Brooklyn, Fort Collins and Nashville.
“Last year Denverities came out in droves and received more than 20,000 stamps,” said PJ Hoberman, co-founder of The Passport Program. “Our goal was to get people to explore Denver and check out bars outside of their everyday neighborhoods.”
In 2013, The Passport Program was introduced in Denver. The idea was simple: a pocket-sized black book full of two-for-one drink specials at more than 50 of the best bars in town. The Passport aims to help people find new, independent, local places to hang out and to provide participating venues with a new base of interested customers.
The program launches Memorial Day weekend and runs through Labor Day weekend. Each Passport is valid for one special at each establishment; upon redemption, bartenders will stamp the Passport to show where guests have enjoyed a beverage.
Passports will be available for $10 in Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins and Nashville and $25 in Brooklyn at ThePassportProgram.com…. so stay tuned!!
Get a glimpse into life in the fast lane at Unser Karting in Denver, Colorado. The race cars can accelerate to speeds of up to 50 MPH on the quarter mile indoor track. Inside you can also fine a bar, restaurant, batting cages and plenty of games to keep the fun coming.
Check out the Q&A below with owner and founder of Unser Racing, Scott Sutton.
Q: How did the idea for “Unser Racing” come to be?
A: In 2007 while on a business trip, I visited a venue called Chicago Indoor Racing. I had a great time and left that night saying what a great business. After selling my tech company and doing a start-up for another organization, I decided to investigate starting another business. Over dinner one night in late 2009, my wife and kids suggested that I look into that indoor kart thing that I talked about several years ago. I did some research, wrote a business plan and in July of 2010, signed a lease and started building the business. We opened in October of that same year.
Q: How has your background as a business owner played into Unser?
A: It’s helped a lot but the entertainment industry is a very different animal then the tech industry. In my first venture I didn’t know what to expect and didn’t plan as much as I should have. I overcompensated this time and initially put a ton of plans in place only to find out that they were terrible ideas. On paper, this business seemed pretty simple compared to the complex tech solutions my previous company designed and delivered. It’s far from simple and involves multiple moving parts. It took the first few years of trial-and-error to refine our operation. We’re certainly not perfect yet and are always striving to improve the experience but we deliver a much better product today then we did 3 years ago.
In both of my business ventures I’ve been a big believer in creating a positive and fun culture. It has become very obvious that it’s even more critical this time around. My leadership team and I spend a lot of time on improving and maintaining our fun and enjoyable culture which translates into a much better product for our customers. We believe in having fun both as a team and as our key deliverable. How many companies do you know where the employees insist on having their holiday party where they work? That’s cool.
Q: What is the biggest reward of owning a business?
A: I’ve got a few. The first and biggest reward so far has been our ability to create a great vehicle for our 38 employees to not only enjoy their jobs but to provide for themselves and their families. The second I’ll call the helmet effect. When our customers come off the track and take their helmets off and that adrenaline and excitement comes flowing out, that’s pretty memorable and a great reward. If I’m stressed or just need some energy, I go hang out trackside to experience the helmet effect.
Q:What do you most love about Colorado?
A: The outdoors and the people. I’m a big cyclist and love the cycling culture not to mention the great roads and trails in my backyard. I grew up in Washington State and lived in Portland, Oregon for 10 years after college which are really cool places as well. From my neighbors to our customers, everyone is really friendly. Colorado has been a great place to raise my family.
Q: What is something readers would be surprised to know about you or your business?
A: The first surprise about the business would be our initial difficulty in getting open. On the surface it looked like we moved in and started racing karts. It was not only much more difficult then that but much more expensive. We unfortunately had to deal with a municipality that didn’t want us to open, occupy a vacant building, or create jobs. In mid 2010 it was hard to believe that could have been the culture and environment that small start-up businesses had to deal with. They did everything they could to prevent us from opening.
I think people would be surprised that I never aspired or pictured myself as an entrepreneur. I started my first business out of frustration and found that I really love it. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Q: What are the plans for expansion for Unser?
A: We’re pleased with how things are going here so we have big plans for expansion. Our first stop is Dallas. We’ve committed to a 5 acre site to develop a facility from the ground up in North Dallas in a really exciting retail development. We’re attempting to raise some funds to support that expansion and hope to have several more locations in the next 4-6 years.
In December of 1956, rock and roll history was made. That’s when Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley had a spontaneous jam session together in Memphis, TN. Luckily, someone in the sound booth hit record… because the evening became known as one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll jam sessions in all of history.
The recordings have been turned into a show now playing at Denver’s Buell Theater. Million Dollar Quartet will take you inside the studio with music portraying these legendary characters and featuring a score of timeless rock hits like “That’s All Right” and “Ring of Fire.” Just try to resist tapping your toes to “Blue Suede Shoes” or showing off some moves when you hear “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.” This show is about great music, plain and simple. But there is some drama and a few plot twists that hold the audience’s attention throughout.
Grab your tickets now for the national tour of Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet, a high-energy, rock ‘n’ roll-inspired show that will be at Denver’s Buell Theatre through March 9 only. At only $20 per ticket, this Tony award-winning show had the audience on its feet most of the night and was worth every penny.
Carri’s Catch: Don’t miss the one-of-a-kind Hard Rock International Memorabilia displayed in the lobby of the Buell Theatre. The cases contain priceless items such as Jerry Lee Lewis’ paisley velvet jacket, Elvis Presley’s long brown suede trench coat, Johnny Cash’s Natural 1971 Martin D-35 guitar and Carl Perkkins’ Blue Gibson ’96 Country Gentleman electric guitar.
Million Dollar Quartet performance dates are Tuesday to Sunday at 7:30 PM, and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 PM. For tickets, visit denvercenter.org.
When you think of a winery, what comes to mind? Chances are, you’re envisioning rolling hills, spacious vineyards and elegant tasting rooms. But you’ll find none of that at Infinite Monkey Theorum, a unique urban winery that opened in 2008 and has grown into a popular destination for locals in Denver, Colorado.
“We want you to judge the wine on its merits, and not on its surrounding meadows,” explained owner Ben Parsons. “You don’t see Tuscan-style facades on the walls.”
Instead you’ll find a gritty, edgy, graffiti-displaying setting at this winery in the blossoming RiNo Art District of Denver. Infinite Monkey Theorum is the epitome of counter culture in winemaking, and the city embraces it: Denverites love to consume locally-made, high quality products regardless of their surroundings.
Catering to its audience, Infinite Monkey Theorum’s goal is to make delicious wine accessible to more people, including outdoor adventurers. They produce wine in bottles, kegs and even cans, which are ideal for drinking on the go. They’re single serve and weigh a whole lot less than a traditional glass bottle.
On a Thursday or Friday night, you might find about 100 locals hanging out and enjoying the top-rated wine in the low key, laid back atmosphere of Infinite Monkey Theorum’s tap room/wine lab.
If you haven’t had a chance yet to see Passport to Paris at the Denver Art Museum - you better get on it! This weekend is the last chance before the French art heads out of town. Inside you will find art from the 1600s to 1900s through a trio of exhibitions. Each show contains masterpieces by rock stars of the art world including Monet, Degas, Cézanne, Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh.
To get your healthy dose of joie de vivre visit: ParisinDenver.com.
Here’s a look at the exhibitions you will find inside.
Court to Café: Three Centuries of French Masterworks from the Wadsworth Atheneum
Court to Café features 50 masterpieces that highlight French painting from the 17th through the early 20th century. You’ll see religious and mythological subjects, portraits, landscapes, still lifes and genre scenes from Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and Claude Monet.
Nature as Muse: Impressionist Landscapes from the Frederic C. Hamilton Collection
Focusing on landscape paintings, Nature as Muse features pastoral works from the late 19th century, including gorgeous pieces by Cézanne, Monet, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley.
Drawing Room: An Intimate Look at French Drawings from the Esmond Bradley Martin Collection
Get an up-close-and-personal look at the creative mind at work. This exhibition features 39 works-on-paper, from rapid sketches to finished pastels. Artists featured include François Boucher, Jacques-Louis David, Théodore Géricault, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Toulouse-Lautrec, Monet and Sisley.
Address: 100 W 14th Ave Pkwy, Denver, CO 80204