Denver: Full of Options March 23, 1998 Share 1 -- Whether your client is looking for something to wear or something to watch, Denver has a lot to offer, from extensive shopping centers to museums the whole family can enjoy to sports your clients can either watch or participate in. Following are a sampling of these activities. SHOPPING The shopping capital of the Rocky Mountain West, Denver boasts the world's largest sporting goods store, Bart Brothers Sports Castle, and America's biggest independent bookstore, the Tattered Cover, which, at last count, housed more than 600,000 volumes on four floors. In addition to offering a variety of stores, boutiques and branches of famous department stores, Denver's retail emporia enhance the shopping experience with such features as tree-lined malls, cafes and arts and entertainment facilities.Cherry Creek Shopping Center. This upscale shopping center contains 140 stores, including branches of Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor. Adorned with sculptures, it's a good spot to enjoy a cultural fix in between shopping expeditions.Cherry Creek North. Home of America's biggest independent bookstore, the Tattered Cover Bookstore, this tree-lined shopping enclave adjacent to the Cherry Creek Shopping Center also features scores of restaurants, cafes and art galleries.Denver Pavilions. This $100 million retail and entertainment center will make its debut in October on a two-block-long stretch of the 16th Street Mall. The complex will house a Hard Rock Cafe, Virgin Records Megastore, two Wolfgang Puck restaurants, a Nike Town, Barnes & Noble Superstore, a Wildhorse Saloon, eight movie theaters and other shops and restaurants.Larimer Square. Located on Larimer Street, Denver's oldest thoroughfare, Larimer Square houses about 30 shops and boutiques, as well as a microbrewery, several eateries and nightclubs. Carriage rides and walking tours of this Victorian district are also available.Park Meadows Shopping Center. Opened in 1996, this $164 million shopping center boasts Denver's first Nordstrom and Dillard's department stores, as well as 120 other retail establishments. The 1.5 million-square-foot facility, designed to resemble a Rocky Mountain ski lodge, is one of the city's most eye-catching shopping complexes.16th Street Pedestrian Mall. Located in the heart of downtown, this popular pedestrian promenade has many shops and department stores, as well as eateries, outdoor cafes, landscaped plazas and fountains.Stadium Walk. When it launches operation next year, this new multi-use facility will occupy an entire square block in LoDo (the local nickname for Lower Downtown). The nucleus of the new development will be 190,000 square feet of retail shops, all of which will be located at street level. Many of the new stores will occupy historic area buildings. Stadium Walk will also offer a Planet Hollywood, a 12-screen movie theater and other facilities.The Shops at Tabor Center. This two-block-long, three-level glass-enclosed atrium features 80 shops and eateries set along the 16th Street Mall in LoDo. The complex was designed to resemble a greenhouse and offers marvelous views of downtown and nearby mountains.FOR THE FAMILY The Mile High City is second to none when it comes to attractions for the young set and their parents. A world-class library, one of America's most acclaimed zoos and museums designed with kids in mind are just a few of the reasons that a visit to Denver is both fun and educational for the whole family.Butterfly Pavilion & Insect Center. More than 1,600 free-flying butterflies make their home in this lush tropical setting. The center also has a section devoted to insects, outdoor gardens, educational displays, a gift shop and various scheduled activities.Colorado History Museum. The history of Native Americans, early explorers, gold miners, cowboys and pioneers who settled in Colorado is documented in the museum's many fascinating dioramas and exhibits. Highlights include a priceless collection of William Henry Jackson photographs and a large, detailed replica of Denver as it appeared in 1860.Children's Museum. A great place for kids to enjoy educational exhibits as well as hands-on learning experiences, the museum has a child-size television studio where youngsters are treated to a behind-the-scenes peek at how TV programs are made.Colorado's Ocean Journey. Just across the Platte Valley from Elitch Gardens, this new attraction is set to open in May with the only aquarium in the Rocky Mountain states. Its four sections will provide illuminating exhibits on aquatic life, the world's various weather systems and interactive experiences. The new park will be linked to the Denver Children's Museum by a historic light-rail trolley.Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls and Toys. Permanent and changing exhibits are displayed in a historic mansion that dates from 1899. Regular tours of the collections are available.Denver Museum of Natural History. The fifth-largest natural history museum in the U.S. boasts an IMAX theater and planetarium, exhibits of wildlife, dinosaurs, gems and minerals, and a $7.7 million Prehistoric Journey exhibit that traces the 3.5 billion-year history of life on earth.Denver Public Library. One of the nation's largest libraries, the three-year-old facility boasts 47 miles of bookshelves and more than 5 million books and related items. The Michael Graves-designed building houses a Children's Pavilion which features an arts and crafts center, audiovisuals, computers and storytelling sessions.Denver Zoo. More than 3,000 animals make their home in the Denver Zoo, which is regularly ranked one of the nation's top 10 zoos. Its newest attraction, the $14 million Primate Panorama, which opened in 1996, is a wildlife habitat that houses gorillas, monkeys, marmosets and other creatures from all over the globe. Another special section is the arctic Northern Shores exhibit, where polar bears can be seen swimming underwater.Elitch Gardens. Opened in 1995, the 58-acre amusement park in downtown Denver has already started adding new attractions, including several rides with names like the Tower of Doom, the Mind Eraser and Shipwreck Falls. Last year, Island Kingdom, a 10-acre, water-adventure park, also opened with high-speed water slides, a river ride, a 28,000-square-foot wave pool called Commotion Ocean and a water coaster dubbed the Big Kahuna.Tiny Town & Railroad. A Denver tradition since 1915, the attraction houses more than 100 miniature buildings in town, rural and mountain settings, and offers rides on a steam railway.U.S. Mint. What better place for kids to learn about money than from the source. Each day, about 40 million coins--or as many as 800 a minute--are stamped here. Children and adults can enjoy the 30-minute tour that traces the history of money and includes a stop at the observation room where visitors can watch money being made.SPORTS Active travelers refer to Denver as "America's top sports city," and no wonder. In the Mile High City, outdoor enthusiasts can tee off at numerous golf courses, enjoy a horseback-riding tour or a hayride, or take part in such activities as river rafting, mountain biking, gliding and rock climbing. Sports buffs can join the horse-racing aficionados at Arapahoe Park, cheer the auto racing daredevils at Bandimere Speedway or soak up world-class greyhound racing at Mile High Greyhound Park. Here's a selection of other sports action:Colorado Rockies. Denver's baseball team, which broke 11 major league attendance records in its opening season, plays at 50,249-seat Coors Field. The three-year-old stadium has more than 50 private suites, 5,500 parking spaces, an on-site business center, and--appropriately enough for America's beer-brewing capital--the only brewpub located in a major league baseball park.Denver Broncos. Denver's professional NFL football team, the new Super Bowl champion, is the big attraction at Mile High Stadium during the football season.Colorado Rapids. Denver's major league soccer team plays at Mile Hile Stadium from April to October.Denver Nuggets. This NBA team will relocate to the 19,000-seat, $160 million Pepsi Center basketball and hockey arena when it opens the 1999-2000 sports season.Colorado Avalanche. Like the Nuggets, the NHL hockey team will make the move to Pepsi Center when the stadium is completed.Colorado Xplosion. The state's new professional women's basketball team draws enthusiastic crowds when it plays at the Denver Coliseum and the McNichols Arena.Skiing. Within an hour's drive of Denver are the ski resorts of Vail, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Winter Park and Keystone. In between challenging the slopes, winter sports buffs can enjoy sleighing, gondola rides and ice skating.