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Colorado Might Lose the Symphony. What Else Have We Lost?

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We were saddened to learn that the Colorado Symphony‘s serious budget crisis—the group cut half of its shows this fall and drastically reduced player salaries—could lead to the loss of one of Denver’s most revered cultural establishments. We were already mourning the potential loss of the National Western Stock Show—OK, so it may just head east to Aurora. If it does, Denver will be out $31 million in visitor spending. And that got us thinking: Denver’s lost some pretty major players over the years. How have their departures affected our city?

The Rocky Mountain News shuttered back in 2009, leaving its competitor, the Denver Post, as the sole newspaper in town. Sure, it was a symbol of the hemorrhaging newspaper industry, but dozens of people were also out of jobs and the city lost a trustworthy, multiple Pulitzer Prize-winning news source. Another memorable media loss: KIMN radio.

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Qwest‘s headquarters relocated out of downtown Denver recently, taking with it jobs and philanthropic contributions. Not to mention, the move—along with other high-profile departures—has left Colorado with just a handful of Fortune 500 companies. ‘Nuff said.

The 1976 Winter Olympics. Ok, so we didn’t so much “lose” these, as just give them away. Impact: We gained the title of lone modern city to be awarded, and then reject, the Olympic Games. But now there’s chatter about bidding for the 2022 Games.

All the hullaballoo surrounding the February closing of the Rocky Mountain Diner (now Ghost Plate & Tap) had us reminiscing about the legendary Pig ‘N Whistle, which opened in 1924, closed in 1991, and burned down last April. In its heyday, politicians and celebrities stopped in, including Roy Rogers and boxer Jack Dempsey.

Speaking of landmarks, hard-core Broncos fans still mourn the end of Mile High Stadium, which was razed in 2001. Sports Authority Field at Mile High just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

—Photo courtesy of the Colorado Symphony

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Daliah Singer, 5280 Contributor

Daliah Singer is an award-winning writer and editor based in Denver. You can find more of her work at daliahsinger.com.

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