Forty years ago, I moved to Colorado to be a ski bum, a goal I achieved. I soon found that I wasn’t really cut out for the bum life, but I never got Colorado out of my blood and soon came back for good. Come to the fall ACI convention in Denver in November and you’ll understand why I’ll never leave and why Colorado’s population has more than doubled over the past 40 years.

In 1978 when I left the mountains and moved to Denver, the city was nothing like the vibrant place it is today. The 16th Street mall adjacent to the convention hotel was boarded up and what’s now called Lodo was flop houses and pawn shops. Today, that area near the ball park is full of crowded bars and restaurants and shops and 16th Street from Lodo to the state capital is the busiest place in the entire state. Denver is the number one city in the country for millenials.

Of course that’s just the city outside the ACI convention hotel and there will be great stuff indoors as well. This convention marks the inauguration of the ACI Excellence in Concrete Construction Awards with its accompanying Gala event. It would be worth the trip just for that! But there’s also the Bureau of Reclamation’s lab tour where they will break a 3x6 foot concrete cylinder and the usual great sessions and committee meetings.

Yes, I am on the Denver convention committee, so I’m totally biased—that doesn’t mean it’s not all true! I hope to see you in Denver. If you want any advice on navigating an ACI convention or on things to do or see in Colorado, let me know. One thing though, the early November convention date is just a bit early for skiing—sorry!