The Denver Regional Council of Governments has selected ten of the most livable communities in the Denver region, for its Live Work Play 2011 campaign. The public will vote online to decide what community is the best.
Every week, 9NEWS will be visiting each of the nominees to showcase why they were picked and what makes each place unique.
One of the nominees, Olde Town Arvada, has a rich history going back to the late 1800s. It was the first area in Colorado where gold was found.
When Wadsworth Bypass opened in 1957, it removed the traffic from what is now Olde Wadsworth and Arvada's downtown district began to die.
"We had shopping centers outside of Olde Town and people began to go there," City Council Member Mark McGoff said. "It was just not very convenient to come to Old Towne and the road took them right by, and so it did go into decline."
In 1981, the city began to look at ways to bring the area back to life.
"The city has asked Urban Renewal to turn our attention to Olde Town, and over the last ten years, we've done that," Urban Renewal Redevelopment Manager Maureen Phair said.
Over the decades, many buildings began to fall apart. Grants were given to business owners to restore old buildings back to the beauty they once had, bringing new businesses and influences into the town.
"It just kind of keeps changing as new businesses come, as new energy comes into Olde Town, there's constant change" McGoff said.
One business that lives, works and plays in Arvada is the Rheinlander Bakery on Olde Wadsworth Bouldevard.
"It's one of the oldest businesses in Olde Town Arvada. We've been here since about 1953." said the bakery's owner Ed Dimmer. "We live above our work. We have 17 steps to come down to work - the best commute ever. And, at night when you need a quick snack..."
Olde Town Arvada says it is a town that incorporates both its rich history and new, modern conveniences, like the light rail to make a great place to live, work and play.
But why should you vote for Olde Town?
"I think a person just has to look around here. I mean, it's an historic area. Everything from the streetscape, to the lighting, to the historic buildings that are here in Olde Town," McGoff said.
"Olde Town Arvada is the whole package," City Council Member Rachel Zenzinger said. "We have a variety of housing. Everything from the water tower village to little bungalows that surround Olde Town. It's just a great place to be able to hang out, especially on a lazy Sunday afternoon. You can take the kids into the Olde Town, visit the library, you can stop in and have a picnic in the park, you can walk along the sidewalks."
To vote and see the other nominations, visit http://www.liveworkplay2011.com/.
(KUSA-TV © 2011 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)