Looking for love? Don’t sweat it—we’re making it easy on you. We tracked down 17 of the hottest singles in the Front Range, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Dig in for 5280’s most eligible dates.
Jose Antonio Mercado, 38 (top left)
Actor; director; professor of theater and film, University of Colorado Denver
I’m a sucker for: Nice legs.
Secret talent: I’m a pretty damn good salsa dancer.
Guilty pleasure: Tequila.
On the bucket list: Doing a movie with Jack Nicholson and starting an acting studio.
You’d never guess: I was raised in the projects north of Greeley.
Biggest fear: Immobility, physically and professionally.
Find me here on a Saturday night: At a play, movie, or cultural event that will hopefully lead to
What I look for in a significant other: Someone who’s spontaneous, passionate, physical, has a sense of humor, and is comfortable in her own skin.
Biggest accomplishment: As an educator: graduating 97 percent of the students in my theater program at North High School. As an actor: performing in the Pulitzer Prizewinning play Wit and seeing my mom sitting next to Tom Hanks on opening night in Los Angeles.
Once-in-a-lifetime moment: Meeting author Gabriel García Márquez in Mexico. It was like meeting Jesus.
Dream vacation: I’d start in Barcelona, then travel south to Grenada and experience all the flamenco, wine, poetry, love, and passion that land has to offer.
If I could have a superpower: I’d breathe underwater like Aquaman. He was my favorite comic book character as a kid.
The Dream Maker
Mary U. Stein, 43 (top right)
Owner and director, Dream Big Day Camp
Guilty pleasure: Half-and-half in my coffee, spicy bean burritos from Taco Bell, and Nutter Butter cookies.
Secret talent: I’m a really good snow shoveler.
Dream vacation: Tahiti, where they have those huts in the water with glass floors.
Rainy-day activity: Popcorn, a cuddly blanket, my DVR list, and the phone on vibrate.
Biggest accomplishment: Being the mother of my twin boys.
Biggest fear: Not living my life with integrity.
What I look for in a significant other: Kindness, patience, faithfulness, wit, chivalry, athleticism, sex appeal, and a man who can laugh at himself and ask for directions.
Celebrity crush: John Travolta in the Welcome Back, Kotter days.
I’m a sucker for: Getting coffee delivered in bed.
I can’t live without: Alba moisturizing lotion and Burt’s Bees fig lipstick—Colorado is so dry!
When I’m not working, I am: With my children on the lacrosse field, skiing, playing tennis, cycling, or putzing around in my backyard.
Part of my charm: The ability to problem-solve creatively. I can always turn a negative into a positive.
On the bucket list: Taking the year off to travel the world with no agenda—just wherever I end up going next.
Andrew Freedman, 29 (bottom left)
Chief of staff to Lieutenant Governor Joe Garcia
Part of my charm: Looking like I’m 12 but talking like I’m 40.
I’m a sucker for: Staying for “one more drink” at an event.
On the bucket list: Seeing the Northern Lights from the hot springs in Iceland.
Dating deal-breaker: Lack of passion.
Great night out: Starting early with a play or musical or something cultural, then meeting up with a big group of friends, staying out way too late, and having to catch a taxi home.
What I look for in a significant other: Someone to have a great conversation with, who’s funny, genuine, and really kind.
I can’t live without: Reading political blogs.
Rainy-day activity: I’m trying desperately to learn how to play guitar.
You’d never guess: I live in a converted church.
iPod embarrassment: I have way too many Disney songs.
Find me here on a Saturday night: The governor’s mansion for an event.
Biggest accomplishment: We just won $30 million to make sure kids in need have access to high-quality early childhood education.
Dream vacation: I did it. I once spent 14 months traveling around the world.
Joanna Powell, 24 (bottom right)
Pastry chef, Cafe Aion
Guilty pleasure: Gambling.
Rainy-day activity: Listening to vinyl.
I can’t live without: Bourbon.
On the bucket list: I’d like to see somebody from Led Zeppelin perform live before they all die.
Dating deal-breaker: A Raiders fan.
Find me here on a Saturday night: In bed. Sunday is brunch day.
Biggest influence: My dad. I’m still rocking all of his jokes.
Dream vacation: Anywhere in South America.
What I look for in a significant other: A good sense of humor, a mellow personality, and someone who’s not too similar to me.
Biggest accomplishment: Getting a double double bull’s-eye (two double bull’s-eyes) playing darts with friends.
Great night out: A comedy show or dueling piano bar.
If I could have a superpower: Invisibility.
TiVo embarrassment: Law & Order: SVU.