About Us

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.

Download the CBID Strategic Plan 

“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. 

Eventually some people moved past Denver boundaries (into what are now the suburbs) while others embraced the new culture along Upper Colfax and established more businesses to meet the needs of urban residents. From small grocery stores to restaurants to live music hot spots, the area developed as a community anchored by cultural amenities.  Colfax became increasingly vibrant with the addition of a trolley route down the middle of the street, and with the invention of the car, Colfax was a place for a drive down main street to visit with friends, dine and shop. The area was known as a tourist destination and saw the addition of motels, inns and bed & breakfasts. Once Interstate 70 opened, Colfax was no longer accessed as the main thoroughfare for travelers.
 
Source: Colorado Historical Society

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 Independent Records.  While both are destinations for buying (and selling records and CDs), people also gather for the conversation about the music among like-minded fans. 

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Events Calendar

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