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MSU Denver Starter Kit for New Faculty

Welcome to Denver!  The Mile-High City sits at 5,280 feet above sea level and is home to Colorado’s premier institution of diverse, urban higher education:  Metropolitan State University of Denver.  MSU Denver’s Center for Faculty Development (CFD) would like to extend a special welcome to you.  With the hope of facilitating your move to Denver and easing the hassles of “research” that come with establishing yourself in a new city, we have compiled the following list of linked resources.  While this Starter Kit is merely a provisional point of departure, we hope that it will provide you with the first step toward setting yourself up for a good life in Denver and a successful career at MSU Denver!


City of Denver main website:  Denver, the Mile-High City


Denver Chamber of Commerce Relocation Guide

There is a lot of great information to be found here… Much of the information in this Starter Kit is linked to Chamber sites but has been specifically organized by the topics below in order to be of help to the MSU Denver professor who is moving here.


Relocation Management and Services

This includes moving companies


More relocation/moving companies:


Your first days in Denver

What to do if you are in town, looking for a home, etc…


Denver Motor Vehicle


One of the first things you may need to do is to update your driver’s license or other identification.  This link will show you the closest locations!  Make sure to call ahead to check out wait times.


Denver Motor Vehicle


School Districts


Many new faculty and staff at MSU Denver must make decisions on housing and transportation based on the availability and desirability of schools for their children.  The following sites give some background information on school districts and their associated neighborhoods in the Denver-Metro area.


This is information from the Colorado Department of Education on the various Metro-area school districts.


Here is a map on all the major school districts in the Denver-Metro area.  Please note:  an area realtor has prepared this map.  It provides information that links school districts to neighborhoods, etc.  MSU Denver does not have a relationship with this realtor.


Childcare (Auraria Early Learning Center)


For those of you with smaller children, here is a link to the daycare/preschool center that is on campus.  Located on the far south side of campus next to the light rail station, the AELC offers care for children from one year of age through kindergarten.  MSU Denver employees share access to this service with students and community members.  Call early as class lists fill up quickly.




Metro Area Transportation


As close as we are to downtown Denver, the Auraria campus is very accessible by public transportation. All MSU Denver employees qualify for a discounted “Eco Pass” that provides unlimited access to RTD buses and light rail trains. The current monthly cost for an Eco Pass is $25. Traffic can be congested heading into and away from downtown, especially on the two major highways that intersect Denver (I-25 N/S and I-70 E/W).  Take a look at this transportation information to see if you can lighten up your commute!


Complete Metro-area transportation list (Chamber)


Regional Transportation District (RTD):  light rail and bus service.  RTD arrives directly on campus from various points around the Metro area.


Traffic map and road conditions


Denver area bike maps


Denver B-cycle Bike Sharing Program


Denver-Metro Area Weather


While weather only rarely interrupts traffic or services in the Mile-High City, commute times and routes can be complicated by winter storms or even summer hail.  Check out this site if you need to know how much extra time you will need to get to work!


Denver-Metro Weather Conditions


Denver-Metro Climate


Auraria Higher Education Center (AHEC) Parking and other transportation links


If you do drive to campus, you may want to check out this information on parking.  AHEC bike information is also here!


Information on Auraria Higher Education Center (AHEC) Parking and Transportation.  Parking on campus is extremely tight and relatively expensive.  There is no faculty discount or voucher for parking.


Information on bikes on campus


This parking map can also serve as a general campus map:


Neighborhoods and Real Estate Information


Denver has some of the most beautiful older neighborhoods and stunning suburbs in the west.  With so much to choose from, you can really create your own list of needs and wants and find the perfect housing situation for you.


Metro Area Realtors (from Chamber)


Description of Denver-Metro communities and Neighbor



Hospitals/Health Care


Denver is home to some of the premier medical facilities in the country.  From Denver Health, the top-ranked trauma center that is located two miles from the Auraria Campus, to the University of Colorado Hospital at Fitzsimmons Medical Campus, currently ranked #1 in the nation (2012), great health care is easy to find. 


The Auraria Campus Health Center is a convenient, affordable clinic but it is NOT considered to be an urgent care facility.  The Health Center does accept the insurance plans that cover MSU Denver employees.


Should you need urgent care or more extensive treatment, here is a list of Denver’s major hospitals and health care centers.


Health Center on Campu


A Listing of Major Denver Hospitals and Health Centers




The arts, culture and entertainment scene in Denver is so extensive that it is almost impossible to represent in a few short links!  Please consider the following as a point of departure—and know that there really is something for everyone to do here in Denver.


Denver 365:  Denver’s Year-Round Events Guide


Things to do in Denver—Trip Advisor Guide




        Denver Parks and Recreation


Performing Arts

Denver Center for the Performing Arts


Denver’s Top Magazine and Primary Newspaper


Although news in Denver has primarily gone the way of the internet, we do boast one fabulous daily periodical, a fun monthly magazine that highlights Denver happenings, and an alternative weekly.


Denver Post (daily periodical)






Local Grocery Stores and Markets


There are four national grocery chains represented in the Denver-Metro area, and countless smaller markets that are indigenous to each neighborhood.  The links below provide maps to the larger chains, but do ask your neighbors for the best spots for “foodie” shopping.


Whole Foods


King Soopers








There is no shortage of great food in Denver!  Every neighborhood has its own unique flavor, and you will find that the local restaurants are both creative and healthy.  Check out a new place every week—you will never reach the end of the list!


Denver Metro Dining Guide


A neighborhood-specific guide


5280 Sponsored Top List


Restaurant Week


Religious Institutions




Mormon Temples


Jewish Synagogues


Islamic Mosques



Public Libraries


Denver Public Library System


Local Institutions of Higher Ed


We are fortunate at MSU Denver to be so close to other institutions of higher education.  Take advantage of the opportunities for mentoring and professional collaboration that come from our great location.


At Auraria:  University of Colorado at Denver


At Auraria:  Community College of Denver


University of Denver


Regis University


University of Colorado at Boulder


United States Air Force Academy


Community College of Aurora


Colorado College




Global Utilities Connection Service—Links to all major utilities  “Connect Utilities”


Xcel Energy


Denver Water


Century Link (phone/internet)


Comcast (cable)






List of Denver-Metro area banks


Professional Sports Teams


Denver has an amazing array of both professional and amateur/club sports offerings.  One of the wonderful qualities of the Auraria Campus is its proximity to the major stadiums and events centers where sporting events, concerts, and other functions are held.  The following is a brief list of professional sports teams.


Baseball:  Colorado Rockies


Basketball:  Denver Nuggets


Football:  Denver Broncos


Rugby:  Denver Barbarians


Rugby:  Denver Harlequins


Rugby:  Rocky Mountain Rugby


Hockey:  Colorado Avalanche


Lacrosse:  Denver Outlaws


Lacrosse:  Colorado Mammoth


Soccer:  Colorado Rapids



Please be advised:  This is a living document and is linked to the live internet.  In case of broken links, please contact the Center for Faculty Development. Additionally, if you have found some information on your own that you think might benefit other new faculty members, please don’t hesitate to forward that along so that we might include it in this Starter Kit.