Why Denver beats Indianapolis in Frontier sweepstakes

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Republic Airways chief executive Bryan Bedford is in town again today, meeting with employees of Frontier Airlines, which Republic purchased after unexpectedly besting Southwest Airlines at auction. He's also been chatting with city officials who are understandably desperate to convince Republic to keep Frontier's operations base here, as opposed to moving the carrier to its home, Indianapolis.

To assist Mr. Bedford in making this difficult decision, we at Westword have compared Denver and Indianapolis in ten key areas. Our goal is not to favor one side over the other. Indeed, I'm sure you'll agree when perusing our list below that we've been scrupulously objective in determining why Denver absolutely kicks the crap out of Indy.

Scenery: Denver is surrounded by some of the most spectacular scenery in the United States. The Rocky Mountains are just a short commute away from almost anywhere in the metro area. In contrast, get a few miles outside of Indianapolis and the best things you'll find are roads leading to other, more scenic places.

ADVANTAGE: Denver

Recreational opportunities: Denver offers so many ways to have fun in the great outdoors that they're too numerous to count. Skiing, hiking, fishing, cycling, etc., etc., etc. As for Indianapolis, the city has some nice parks, perfect for sitting in and wishing you were in a place with more natural beauty. Like Colorado, for instance.

ADVANTAGE: Denver

State capitols buildings: Yes, both Denver and Indianapolis are the capitals of their respective states. But the dome of the capitol building here is coated with gold. And in Indianapolis? After visiting several websites, I found no reference to it being made of anything special. Which means, I strongly suspect, it's not gold.

ADVANTAGE: Denver

Nightlife opportunities: Neither Denver nor Indianapolis can compare to the likes of New York and Los Angeles when it comes to party scenes. But in Denver, thanks to the altitude, alcohol works faster, saving lots of money for folks eager to get their drink on (when not about to fly a plane, of course).

ADVANTAGE: Denver

Wildlife: WikiAnswers insists that bears, mountain lions and assorted other commonplace critters can be found in the southern half of Indiana. But the list of creatures that call Colorado home is much larger and more varied, and that's important given the fact that Frontier features animals on its planes' tails. And did you know that the ram on Airbus 320 is named Colorado?

ADVANTAGE: Denver

Famous people: The Wikipedia list of notables who were born or lived in Indianapolis has some impressive names on it: John Dillinger, David Letterman, Viveca A. Fox. I'm sorry, though: You've got to subtract a lot for Garfield artist Jim Davis and flop quarterback Jeff George. The Denver roster has some iffy entries, too -- like, obviously, John Denver, who borrowed his moniker from the city but lived in Aspen. Still, big ups for Bat Masterson and Jack Earle, described as "silent film actor and sideshow performer, known for his massive height." He towers over the competition.

ADVANTAGE: Denver

Music: Of late, Denver and surrounding communities have produced a number of groups that have earned national acclaim, including The Fray, The Flobots and 3OH!3. Indianapolis, for its part, boasts Bands of America, a high-school-marching band organization. Shudder.

ADVANTAGE: Denver

Concert venues: Denver is blessed with Red Rocks, one of the most renowned amphitheaters on the planet, and rightly so. Indianapolis counters with the Verizon Wireless Music Center, which is about as distinctive as its name.

ADVANTAGE: Denver

Professional sports: Denver has franchises in the big four pro sports. Indianapolis counters with just two: basketball -- the Indiana Pacers -- and football -- the Indianapolis Colts, who had to be imported from Baltimore and so really shouldn't count.

ADVANTAGE: Denver

Pro quarterbacks: Okay, we'll give you that one. But the final score is still 9-1.

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