Lots of spots to take eve of your senses

Column by Penny Parker

Posted 12/26/12

You can't swing a streamer around town without hitting an event or venue where you can ring in the New Year. Here are some highlights of the evening …

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Lots of spots to take eve of your senses

Column by Penny Parker


You can't swing a streamer around town without hitting an event or venue where you can ring in the New Year.

Here are some highlights of the evening festivities guaranteed to score a midnight smooch:

• Light the night during Denver's explosive fireworks displays at 9 p.m. and again at midnight above the 16th Street Mall, the Mile High City's mile-long pedestrian promenade.

Between the fireworks shows there will be DJs, live music, magicians, balloon artists and outdoor ice-skating, while horse-drawn carriages clatter up and down the street.

For information on New Year's Eve packages and deals at some of Denver's finest hotels, ranging from the luxurious to the budget-friendly, go to www.milehighholidays.com.

• The Children's Museum of Denver will ring in New Year's Eve like New York's Times Square with ball drops every hour from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children of all ages can count down the ball drops and make fireworks with their feet when they jump on massive sheets of bubble wrap. Free with admission.

• The Denver Zoo is hosting “Bunk With the Beasts,” where parents can leave their kids to explore Zoo Lights and celebrate sleepover-style in a safe environment. The evening includes pizza, snack and breakfast for $65 per member or $75 for non-members.

• The Colorado Symphony Orchestra will keep New Year's Eve classy with a Vienna-themed selection of waltzes, polkas and classics beginning at 6:30 p.m. at Boettcher Concert Hall. Tickets are from $25 to $88.

• The Crowne Plaza Denver International Airport Convention Center, Colorado's largest hotel event space, is throwing a NYE Block Party with the takeover of seven hotels within walking distance. Tickets are $49 to $79.

• Dance in the New Year at a massive celebration at the Colorado Convention Center, the biggest and most extravagant venue in Denver. Tickets are $50 to $150.

• The annual White Rose Gala at the Hilton DoubleTree DTC is a night of living theater where you are part of a musical and theatrical performance. Tickets are $59 to $499.

• 1515 Restaurant on 1515 Market St. is ringing in the New Year with a tantalizing tasting menu created by Chef Garren Teich, inspired by famed Chef Auguste Escoffier, who created the first-class menus for the Titanic.

The early seating reservations taken from 5 to 6 p.m. Dec. 31 feature a decadent three-course menu for $40 per person (not including tax and gratuity), and late seating reservations beginning at 6 p.m. features four courses for $60 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). Guests at both seatings will receive a complimentary glass of champagne and musical entertainment. Reservations are required by calling 303-571-0011 highlighting or by going to http://www.1515restaurant.com/index.php/new-year-s-eve.

• Bring in the New Year with local vocal Hazel Miller and her band at Coohills, 1400 Wewatta. Coohills is featuring three options for the event: Enjoy a casual evening in the bar with a limited a la carte menu for $40 per person or $75 per couple cover charge.

There's also a special prix fixe menu in the main dining room with early seating reservations between 5 and 6:30 pm for a five-course meal at $75 per person (not including tax and gratuity). Or try late seating reservations starting at 8 pm, featuring seven courses with music and dancing to the soulful sounds of the Hazel Miller Band for $135 per person (not including tax & gratuity). The band will perform from 8:30 p.m. till 12:30 a.m. Reservations: 303-623-5700 highlighting or at www.coohills.com.

• Revelers will have a front row seat to fireworks on Denver's largest rooftop patio at 1949 Market St. At the 60-second countdown to midnight, Tavern's Olive Drop will begin its descent. The two-foot illuminated olive will drop 20 feet into a 15-foot-tall and 7-foot-wide illuminated martini glass on the Tavern's rooftop. Tickets are $45 for arrival between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. and $50 for those arriving after 9 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in advance for $40 at www.tavernhg.com. Complimentary champagne toast and party favors will help partygoers celebrate the evening.

End of the line

The historic Burnsley Hotel, an iconic Capitol Hill building, closed recently after Denver developer RedPeak Properties acquired it.

The 17-story all-suite hotel was originally built as an apartment community in 1963. Shortly thereafter, the building was converted into a hotel and jazz club, whose owners included singer Ella Fitzgerald and actor Kirk Douglas.

In 1969, philanthropists Joy and Franklin Burns purchased the property and completely renovated the hotel.

“Mrs. Burns has decided to reduce the scope of her real estate portfolio and to enjoy more personal time,” said a press release about the closure.

RedPeak intends to reposition the property to a luxury apartment community and invest more than $5 million to achieve that goal.

“We are very excited to add this wonderful Denver story and trophy asset to our portfolio. This will further expand our central Denver apartment presence,” said Mike Zoellner, CEO of RedPeak Properties.

RedPeak plans to begin renovation in early 2013. Preliminary plans include common area upgrades, life-safety improvements, mechanical system upgrades and complete unit overhauls.

Watch list

Restaurant trend watcher FastCasual.com recently posted its “2012: The five fast-casual executives to watch.”

“They are all industry veterans, but some are new to the fast-casual segment, the concepts they represent, or both,” the report said.

Snagging the No. 1 position of the top five executives to watch in 2012 is Monty Moran, Denver-based Chipotle co-CEO.

“Although Chipotle founder Steve Ells has long held the company limelight, it was the chain's illegal workforce issue this past year that put co-CEO Monty Moran there as well,” the report said. “Chipotle was the target of a major federal crackdown on illegal employees, causing the company to lose more than half of its 900 workers in Minnesota and hundreds more in the Washington, D.C., and Virginia markets. Martin has become an outspoken advocate for immigration reform and has met this year with senators across party lines.

“He has expressed to lawmakers that he needs access to a strong legal workforce as the company is expected to hire more than 100,000 employees over the next three years. … So far, the investigation into Chipotle's hiring practices has cost the company more than $1 million in legal fees. In 2012, we expect Moran will continue to help shape a solution to the immigration debate.”

To see the whole list, go to www.fastcasual.com.

Penny Parker's “Mile High Life” column gives insights into the best events, restaurants, businesses, parties and people throughout the metro area. Parker also writes for Blacktie-Colorado.com. She can be reached at penny@blacktie-llc.com or at 303-619-5209.

penny parker


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