Colorado is one of the most beautiful states in the country, and Denver- the Gateway to the Rocky Mountains- is one of the country's most dynamic metropolitan regions. It is the capital of the state, the industrial and manufacturing center of the region, and the headquarters for a large number of major businesses, many of which are associated with energy development and high technology. The metropolitan area population of two million is young, with a median age of 30.5, and highly educated, ranking near the top of U.S. cities in median number of school years completed and percentage of college graduates in the general population.
The magnificent Rocky Mountains begin their rise just 12 miles west of the city and provide the setting for Colorado's famous outdoor recreational environment. A true four-season haven for the sports-minded, Colorado's advantages include what some consider to be the world's finest skiing, mountaineering, fishing, and camping. Many of these resources are located within a one- or two-hour drive from Denver and include such world-famous resorts as Vail and Aspen.
Although Colorado is famous for its snow-related winter recreational activities, the city of Denver is located east of a high mountain barrier in a "precipitation shield" and receives only 15 inches of precipitation a year. The sun shines more than 300 days per year- more than in San Diego or Miami Beach. The snow the city does receive generally melts very quickly.
Denver boasts all of the traditional cultural urban amenities. The Denver Center for the Performing Arts is one of the country's leading facilities of its type. It is home to the Denver Symphony Orchestra, the Denver Center Theatre Company, the Colorado Ballet, the National Theatre Conservatory, and other performing groups. The city is also home to the nationally ranked Denver Art Museum, Denver Zoo, Denver Aquarium, and Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the seventh-largest museum in the U.S. and one of the great centers of its kind in the world.
Known as the home of the "best sports fans anywhere," Denver supports a wide variety of professional sports teams including 1998 and 1999 Super Bowl Champion Denver Broncos (football), the 1996 and 2001 Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche (hockey), the Colorado Rockies (baseball), and the Denver Nuggets (men's basketball).
In short, Denver is the center of business, culture, and entertainment for a geographical radius of at least 1,000 miles. Its western spirit and vitality imbue Denver with a relaxed but adventuresome ambiance. Whatever a student's interests, hobbies, or leisure activities, there are many convenient facilities and new friends to be found to share in them.