Colorado Experience is a historical documentary series that celebrates the people, places & events that have shaped the state. Learn more at www.rmpbs.org/ColoradoExperience
Motivated by a bet in the late 1940s, two Swiss brothers on small wooden folding boats raced 57 miles down the Arkansas River through the Royal Gorge from Salida to Cañon City. The race would inspire what is now the oldest and longest whitewater festival in the United States. 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the “First in Boating the Arkansas” whitewater festival, or FIBArk. Discover the adventurous evolution of the festival and how it has shaped whitewater sports across America and fortified a small town in central Colorado.
601 Cheers To Beers
The history of Colorado may best be seen through the bottom of a beer mug. From quenching the thirst of Gold Rush miners in the 1800s to modern craft brews pouring $3 billion into Colorado’s economy, beer has either borne witness to or helped create some of the most interesting chapters in the state’s history. From stowaway Adolf Coors to craft brew revolutionist Charlie Papazian, meet the pioneers of this now booming industry. Cheers!
609 The Brown Palace Hotel
Check in to Denver's "Oasis of Elegance": The Brown Palace Hotel. As Denver's longest operating hotel, this "Palace" was an engineering marvel for its time and today serves as a time capsule in the heart of modern downtown Denver. Explore the halls that have hosted cultural icons and discover the secrets of this magnificent hotel that have enticed its guests since 1892.
613 Ben Nighthorse Campbell
The son of a tubercular mother and an alcoholic father, Ben Nighthorse Campbell persevered to become one of America’s most interesting leaders. From high school dropout to Olympic athlete… from artist to the United States Senator from Colorado… Ben has amassed a collection of identities, but none so important as the one he was ceremonially given by his father’s Northern Cheyenne tribe: Nighthorse. Ben Nighthorse Campbell has found success through fusing seemingly conflicting cultures, political beliefs, and artistic techniques – truly creating his own American identity.
In the late 1850s, prospects of gold lured miners to the intersection of the Platte River & Cherry Creek. It was here that Auraria, later to become “West Denver,” was born. Explore the origins of Denver through its oldest neighborhood and see how this culturally-rich community fought against urban renewal and for historic preservation — maintaining a true community that now hosts a thriving campus of opportunity.
611 Denver Botanic Gardens
Amid the coarse Colorado landscape and growing city, Denverites had the green mind to establish a botanic garden. The creation of today’s popular and flourishing Denver Botanic Gardens was a long, formidable journey during the mid-19th century that was only possible through local donations, gifts, volunteers, and dedicated individuals. Unearth the garden’s resilient story as an architectural, educational, and scientific pioneer.