When residents talk about living in “Denver”, we are usually including the six-county metro area. Those counties are Denver, Arapahoe, Jefferson, Adams and Douglas. The city of Broomfield recently became a county as well but has not yet been reported by separate census figures. If you live in Boulder, you are probably not going to admit to Denver and even those who live in Douglas County may refer to living in Parker, Castle Rock or Highlands Ranch. Due to population growth, many who live in the more outlying counties of Elbert to the southeast and Clear Creek to the west also look at Denver as their “city”. When we talk to friends and relatives who are out of state, our location is usually related to Denver because that is what people understand. The population of this six county area is approximately 2,500,000.
The primary office employment centers are Downtown Denver, the Denver Technological Center (DTC – May have started as “technological”, but is really general office) Southeast Denver and the Highway 36 corridor between Denver and Boulder including the Interlochen office park.
The City and County of Denver , at a population of 550,000, is the largest municipality in the area. It is generally at the geographic center of the metroplex. Because it was “landlocked” almost thirty years ago by laws passed in neighboring municipalities, growth became extremely limited and the population actually shrank. Events and consumer preferences of the past ten years have had a major impact on demand for housing within it boundaries. The opening of Denver International Airport (DIA) and the concurrent closing of Stapleton Airport, along with the closing of Lowry Air force Base, have provided two very large areas for redevelopment. In addition, the construction of new football and baseball stadiums (both) and a new basketball/hockey arena have contributed to a rejuvenated central city. Lower Downtown (LoDo) has an active nightlife and the combination of factors has lead to many loft conversions and to new residential construction in the City. Many people really enjoy the energy of the downtown life, the maturity, the architecture and/or the pedestrian friendly style in the older but closer neighborhoods.