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Going Where My Feet Can Take Me


With this week’s upcoming Franchise Expo West in Denver, I’m packing my bags and building an itinerary to see the best sights in the Mile High City. The one requirement? I’m only going where my feet and public transit can take me. Surprisingly, in such a transit-friendly town, this gives me a lot of options.

Flying into still-futuristic Denver International, like most of the show’s far-flung attendees, I’m delighted to be able to step onto a train and head right into downtown. No annoying rental car counters or rush-hour traffic to contend with.

Once I glide into Union Station, itself a remarkable attraction and hub of activity, I’ll be right on the edge of the super-hip LoDo district and the central business district where I’ll be staying for the show. I’m planning to check out the walkability, storefronts and pedestrian-focused spaces before hopping on the MallRide bus that traverses 16th Street and leads right to my hotel.

With a network of streetcars and bus lines in the central city and its surroundings, my agenda will also include stops at the well regarded Denver Art Museum, the state capitol grounds and possibly also City Park, which includes the Denver Museum of Nature & Science among others. I don’t typically make time for the zoo, but stranger things have happened.

What I’ve learned is that most of what I’m interested in about Denver is right at my fingertips, and fully accessible by my own two feet. There’s a reason growing numbers of people move to cities like Denver, and why the city’s skyline has seen a host of new additions in these post-recession years. People want to be here, because it’s easy to get to and around.

Investments in the pedestrian realm, public spaces and mass transit lay the groundwork for massive returns by the business community—and should be on the radar of the entire franchise industry. I’ll be watching.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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