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A bicyclist uses a tire track to guide her bicycle down South Monroe Street as the season's first snow storm sweeps over the Denver metro area on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019. Photo by David Zalubowski / AP Photo

ICYMI: Eight Colorado Stories That Defined October

Life is busy, but the news cycle doesn’t stop. Here’s a quick primer to some of the top Centennial State stories from October.

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1. Denver Art Museum debuts a massive collection of Claude Monet works: The Denver Art Museum, which celebrated its 125th birthday last year, just gets better with age. On October 21, the museum premiered Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature, a collection of more than 120 of his paintings. Even the New York Times took notice, picking it as an exhibit to see this season.

2. The U.S. House of Representatives votes to preserve Colorado acres: On Halloween, while you were busy trying to figure out how to fit a costume over a winter coat, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act, otherwise known as the CORE Act. The legislation would add new acres to wilderness areas, create the country’s first National Historic Landscape to protect Camp Hale (where the 10th Mountain Division trained during World War II), and a whole lot more. The Colorado House delegation split on the legislation (Democrats voting for; Republicans against). In the Senate, things are also divided: Sen. Michael Bennet is a champion of the bill, while Cory Gardner has indicated he’d like changes made. On top of all that, President Donald Trump issued a veto threat against the bill before it was passed. In short: This won’t be the last time you read about the CORE Act.

3. Colorado strikes gold 13 times at the Great American Beer Festival: Oktoberfest is always a four-letter word—GABF—in Denver. This annual event (three days, 800 breweries, 4,000 brews) is reason enough to celebrate. But this year, Colorado brewers had even more excuses to make toasts when they nabbed 40 medals, including 13 golds, at this year’s competition. Will they top it next year? (Extra credit: GABF got us thinking about the impact full-strength beer sales in grocery stores, which went into effect on January 1, has had on the marketplace. It’s complicated.)

4. Election 2020 is here. Yes, I understand that the 2020 contest is a year away, but it doesn’t feel like it when you consider how much press (including our coverage) there is of Cory Gardner’s reelection campaign. After Alice Madden exited the race on October 11, there are still eight candidates vying to be the Democrat to challenge incumbent Cory Gardner.

5. October was rough for Colorado’s professional sport teams: Let’s start with the Broncos, who picked up loss after loss (plus, Joe Flacco is out due to a season-ending herniated disc). Meanwhile, the Colorado Rapids made a laudable effort to make the playoffs after an apocalyptic season—three coaches, plus game cancellations or delays due to snow, hail, and the plague (yes, you read that correctly)—but fans couldn’t watch the final game because of an ongoing contract negotiations between Altitude Sports and Comcast, Dish Network, and DirecTV. That stalemate also impacts Nuggets, Mammoth, and Avalanche (read a preview of the team’s 2019–20 season here) fans who just want to cheer on the home teams from the comfort of their couches. But salvation is near: On October 31, Altitude Sports announced a deal with DirecTV, which will at least put the Nuggets and Avalanche back on the air for some viewers.

6. It snows in Denver: Come the first snowfall of the season—it was a bit earlier than usual, on October 10 this year—it can feel like all drivers have forgotten that fact as roads turn into skating rinks or parking lots. In total, Denverites had to shovel more than 12 inches of snow throughout the month. And that’s nothing compared to the snowfall totals in the mountains, which helped four mountains—Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Keystone Resort, Loveland Ski Area, and Wolf Creek Ski Area—open before November. Oh, and I got to learn what a snow squall warning is.

7. There’s still a gravel lot in the middle of Denver: From the corner of Colfax Avenue and Broadway you are at the center of Denver’s power nexus with views from the State Capitol to the City and County Building. But there is also a gravel-covered blank spot right next to the RTD station. For a brief moment in October, it looked like the area might transform into a green space, as part of a proposed location for the National Medal of Honor Museum. (This was after RTD initially nixed the sublease before reversing its decision.) Ultimately, the Mile High City lost out to Arlington, Texas, which will become the museum’s home. But I can’t stop wondering (watch my take at 2:11) what else could fill in that space, and I’m not the only one. Denver, here’s your challenge: What big ideas do you have for that spot? Let us know at digital@5280.com.

8. Molson Coors to close its Denver office: Since Adolph Coors started brewing beer with Rocky Mountain runoff in 1873, the Coors brand has been associated with Colorado. The company—now part of the Molson Coors Brewing Company—is an industry behemoth with offices around the globe, but the name still conjures images of snow-capped mountains in Colorado and of the Golden brewery. Which is why plenty of folks took notice on October 30, when the company announced it is shutting down the Denver corporate office, which will impact the location’s 300 employees. Alyson Reedy covered the changes, writing about the company’s rebranding and reporting that the Golden brewery will remain (with improvements). It’s the latest chapter for a company that has deep Colorado roots (which reminded me of this longread from our archives on the 1960 murder of a Coors’ heir).

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