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Local restaurants investing in year-round patio dining to keep up with customer requests

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Local restaurants investing in year-round patio dining to keep up with customer requests

ROCK HILL, Mo. – A fall chill is on the way this weekend, but area restaurants are making changes to ensure that patio season can roll on.

Even before the pandemic, the popularity of outdoor dining was on the rise. And with COVID-19 keeping people in the open air, restaurants are spending big to update their outdoor spaces for three- and four-season dining.

“At the end of the day, the outdoor dining is the premier choice at this point in time,” said Jeff Parrott, Farotto’s Pasta and Pizzeria in Rock Hill.

In 2015, Farotto’s expanded and built the patio they never had. The decision was fortunate, as the outdoor space allowed them to stay open during the pandemic.

“It’s been our saving grace to have a well-vented, four-season patio. It’s worked out very well,” Parrott said.

The area can be fully open with fans going in the summer and closed-up and heated during the colder months. Diners have embraced the space.

“We fill this space one hundred percent usually before they start migrating inside,” Parrott said.

Just down the road, Katie’s Pizza And Pasta finished a patio upgrade just in time for summer.

“We have heaters out here. We have fans out here. It’s completely covered and rainproof,” manager Kevin McKay said.

McKay said the patio is the number one requested spot for diners.

“Over the last year, there have been so many people only wanting to sit in patios, requesting to sit on our patio,” he said. “It’s just been really nice to build this structure so we can offer our guests the perfect place to sit for them.”

Patrons finding the outdoor options they want means they return to the restaurant, keeping it open and staff employed.

“I think it’s a good investment going forward. Because even in years to come, I think are going to want really compelling patio options,” McKay said.

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5 Colorado spas that offer everything from soaks in beer to Himalayan salt room saunas

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5 Colorado spas that offer everything from soaks in beer to Himalayan salt room saunas

Take a tour of The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park and you’ll hear about how Freelan Oscar Stanley – a hotelier and, more famously, inventor of the Yankee steam-powered car – originally came to Colorado on doctor’s orders. Stricken with tuberculosis, Stanley arrived here at the start of the 20th century with optimism that the fresh and dry air, high altitude and ample sunshine would heal him.

Stanley, who survived TB, was just one of many “lungers” who migrated to Colorado seeking a cure. Others who moved here believed the burbling hot springs had healing powers that could treat a variety of ailments. In all, state historians estimate as many as one-third of Colorado’s early settlers moved to the Centennial State for reasons associated with health.

“More came to Colorado for their health than for silver or gold,” says Tom Noel, a state historian who is known as “Dr. Colorado.”

That is to say wellness has deep roots in the state. Several historic destinations and landmarks, including The Broadmoor Hotel and Resort in Colorado Springs and the Colorado Chautauqua in Boulder, were founded as health retreats. Today, the many hot springs and spas, overall active lifestyle, crisp mountain air, and many days of sunshine (and the list goes on) continue to appeal to residents and visitors alike.

After an especially tough year and a half, Colorado’s wellness destinations are seeing an increase in people who want a restorative vacation, whether for a day or a week. Guests are seeking out “travel therapy,” says James Gibson, president of Garden of the Gods Resort and Club, which has a front row seat to the scenic Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs. The resort is home to the STRATA Integrated Wellness and Spa, where Western and Eastern medical science coexist on its treatment menu.

“We are extraordinarily grateful for the power of place here at Garden of the Gods Resort and Club,” Gibson says. The sandstone rock formations that jut into the blue skies, he says, instantly evoke feelings of tranquility and ease.

From sudsy soaks at a beer spa in Denver to pampering “done right” at one of the original spas in the West, here are five ways to experience wellness travel in a state that helped invent it.

Provided by The Broadmoor

The Broadmoor Spa offers a steam room, sauna, aromatherapy room and lounge that are gender specific as well as coed lounge areas that are complimentary with scheduled spa treatment services. Also available are a fitness center, indoor pool and outdoor whirlpool.

The Broadmoor in Colorado Springs

When this luxury resort opened in 1918, it had one of the first spas in the country with dedicated space for both men and women. At the time, guests were advised to dress in their rooms and take the service elevator directly to the baths in The Broadmoor’s “thermo hydrotherapeutic department” (aka spa). A half-hour massage cost a buck and visitors paid $1.50 for a Turkish bath and steam room visit, according to Krista Heinicke, public relations manager and resident historian.

The Broadmoor’s world-traveling founders, Spencer and Julie Penrose, wanted health and wellness to be a centerpiece experience at their resort, where European opulence meets rugged outdoor adventures. Today, guests can fill their itineraries with hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking and stand-up paddleboarding excursions. Coinciding with the reopening of The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway, new fitness options include hiking to the top of Pikes Peak and taking the train down, or taking the train to the top of Pikes Peak and biking down the twisting Pikes Peak Highway.

The resort’s renown spa offers traditional treatments such as deep tissue massages and facials as well as more inventive options. The Wine Down package ($445) incorporates grape seed extract and comes with a chardonnay sugar scrub, massage, manicure and pedicure.

The Broadmoor, 1 Lake Ave., Colorado Springs, 800-755-5011, broadmoor.com

1639052821 309 5 Colorado spas that offer everything from soaks in beer

Hyoung Chang, The Denver Post

The therapy room of The Beer Spa in Denver. Customers soak in a cedar hydrotherapy tub filled with a meticulously crafted blend of hops, barley, and herbs.

The Beer Spa in Denver

After becoming intrigued by a beer spa in Poland, husband-and-wife duo Damien Zouaoui and Jessica French decided to open a similar concept in the United States. They zeroed in on Denver because of the city’s robust craft beer scene and Colorado’s health-consciousness creds.

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“Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” “To Kill a Mockingbird” on sale Friday; “Hamilton” tickets still available

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“Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” “To Kill a Mockingbird” on sale Friday; “Hamilton” tickets still available

Long-delayed and firmly on the 2022 calendar, tickets for touring Broadway productions such as Aaron Sorkin’s Tony-winning “Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird,” as well as “Moulin Rouge! The Musical,” “Hadestown,” “Mean Girls,” “Pretty Woman” and more, are finally on sale this week.

The shows, taking place at the Buell Theatre in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, are part of a Broadway touring slate that goes public at 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 10, via denvercenter.org. Most tickets start at $35 and run up to $145. All tickets will be distributed electronically.

In the case of high-demand shows that are currently on sale, such as “Hamilton” (Feb. 16-March 27, 2022) tickets are still available and currently priced from $59 to $500. Most dates that The Denver Post surveyed this week appeared to have at least one seat still available, if not a dozen-plus. Most are in the “premium Golden Circle” category, meaning $500 per pop.

Most of the other shows going on sale Friday had been rescheduled multiple times due to venue closures and COVID-19 mandates last year, and some of the new dates run into 2023. Even with coronavirus variants still active, Denver’s own rising vaccination rates and strict protocols at indoor cultural venues — vaccination or negative COVID-test proof, as well as enforced masks — have helped coax touring Broadway shows out of their long hibernation.

Local Broadway producer Denver Center for the Performing Arts in October also instituted its own strict protocols.

“This holiday season is vastly different from this time last year at the DCPA,” said Lisa Mallory, DCPA’s vice president of marketing and sales, in a press statement. “We truly appreciate the community as we all continue to do our part to safely return to the things we love and hope you will consider giving the gift of theatre this holiday season.”

As with most cultural nonprofits, DCPA could sorely use the revenue in a season that’s typically their most profitable. But despite layoffs, furloughs, cancellations and postponements, DCPA has been able to bring back most of its pre-pandemic staff, leaders have said, and successfully re-launched its Broadway season last week with the return of “The Lion King.”

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Snow Days at Children’s Museum, Vail’s Powabunga, sensory-friendly holiday shows and more things to do in Denver this weekend

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Snow Days at Children’s Museum, Vail’s Powabunga, sensory-friendly holiday shows and more things to do in Denver this weekend

Go big — or small — with live music

Through Sunday. Denver rock band Wildermiss seems perpetually on the edge of breaking through nationally, although we’re happy to have them all to ourselves for now. The propulsive indie act headlines Englewood’s Gothic Theatre on Friday, Dec. 10, with tickets at $20-$22. The all-ages show with excellent local openers Kiltro and Big Dopes starts at 8 p.m. at 3263 Broadway. gothictheatre.com or axs.com

Also this weekend: Vail’s Powabunga festival, which arrives just in time for this week’s high-country snow dump. The pricey, dance-friendly event, which started Thursday, Dec. 9 and runs through Sunday, Dec. 12, includes performances from Rüfüs Du Sol, Bob Moses, Vintage Culture, Elderbrook, Channel Tres and more. GA tickets for single days are $225, while a weekend pass is $319. Various times, main festival at Ford Park in Vail. powabungafestival.com. — John Wenzel

Snow Days at Children’s Museum

Through February 2022. The latest offering at Denver Children’s Museum at Marsico Campus may be its most audience-friendly yet. The winter-themed Snow Days, which began Dec. 8 and run through Feb. 27, 2022, are held outside at the museum’s Joy Park and in the shadow of its Adventure Forest play structure.

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