About the Colfax Business Improvement District (CBID)
The Colfax BID is a quasi-governmental entity funded by a portion of property taxes on businesses within the CBID boundaries (Grant to Josephine, between 14th & 16th ). The organization is governed by a board of directors representing area businesses and property owners and appointed by the Mayor of Denver. As an organization, the Colfax BID exists to promote economic vitality, implement a clean and safe street program and advocate on behalf of area businesses among public and private partners.
Colfax Business Improvement District Mission
The Colfax Business Improvement District MISSION is to:
1) promote economic vitality and sustainability for CBID property and business owners;
2) protect, promote and enhance the assets of its property and business owners by providing a clean, safe, attractive, functional commercial district for its customers, visitors and employees;
3) advocate for policies, programs and resources to enhance the corridor and the district;
4) and communicate with public and private-sector partners and other stakeholders throughout the process.
“Today it [Colfax] is among the city’s most colorful and
distinctly urban neighborhoods…”
-New York Times
Playboy Magazine once called Colfax “the longest, wickedest street in America.” Of course, the bars, restaurants and theaters on Upper Colfax are certain that writers at Playboy Magazine meant wicked as in “cool, hip and cutting-edge.” This, as it turns out, really does describe the Upper Colfax scene.
But our history began long before that infamous Playboy Magazine article.
In 1850, miners came to Colorado looking for their riches in the Rocky Mountains—many traveling through Denver on Colfax Ave. (previously called “Golden Road” or” Grand Ave.”). Colfax Ave. is often recognized as the longest continuous commercial street in the Unites States and, in the early years, was said to be the “Gateway to the Rockies” as it takes travelers from the plains to the mountains. At its inception, Colfax was lined with large homes, attracting wealthy residents to the area. As the demand for large houses subsided after the 1893 Silver Panic, the homes along Colfax were transformed into the first apartments while others were converted to commercial uses. In fact, today many of those early roof lines can be detected behind storefronts.
Colfax emerged as a center of commerce in the Denver area in the early 1900s. Churches were built near the Colfax area, and communities developed in proximity to the local businesses.
The Music Scene on Upper Colfax
Upper Colfax is the center of the live music scene with more than 40 bars and restaurants offering regularly scheduled live music, anchored by the Fillmore Auditorium and Ogden Theatre, featuring the best national and local music. And if Jack Kerouac’s Beat Generation novel On the Road, made the Colfax culture known—it is the live music and record shops that keep the culture alive. On the list of every music fan is a trip to both Independent Records and Jerry’s Record Exchange. While both are destinations for buying (and selling records and CDs), people also gather for the conversation about the music among like-minded fans.