Photo Credit: Julia DeBell

In 1976, Denver declined the honor of hosting the Olympics. Unheard of, I know. In an effort to keep Denver intact as its low-key self, citizens decided to opt out of this chance at international fame. This act did very little to curb the long-term flocks of people who found their new home at the base of the Rocky Mountains.

In recent decades, Colorado’s front range has experienced almost exponential population growth. With an expected population of 7.8 million by 2040, the state will undoubtedly continue to attract the masses. This influx is partially responsible for the economic success and positive development throughout the region. In short, we can thank the Californians and Texans for the resilient economy and the great public transportation system.  Unfortunately, this growth is also partly responsible for the ever increasing cost of living and progressively crowded environment.

As a Colorado native, I’ve heard my share of jabs directed toward these out-of-staters. What can I say? Us natives are extraordinarily proud of our state and tend to be miserly with who we want to share it with. We’re so protective that we’ve begun plastering our Subaru Outbacks with “no vacancy” bumper stickers. While these actions are mostly in jest, the population influx is a source of great animosity among Coloradans. We’d all love our state to stay its pristine, uncrowded, and relaxed self. We’d also like to consider ourselves a friendly and welcoming community. Understanding the draw of our mountains and blue sky days, let’s recognize the value that each of us adds to the development of this beautiful state. After all, we all had the good sense to settle ourselves here; there can’t be too many immutable differences. As long as you’re a decent human being who occasionally takes the bus, picks up after their dog, appreciates the oddities of old Colorado, and always recycles your microbrew cans, welcome to Colorado. It’s beautiful here, and we’d love to share the experience.