Denver was founded in 1858 as a mining town during the Pikes Peak gold rush in western Kansas Territory. Visitors today find that the city retains much of that western spirit: big dreams, expansive views, and a sometimes philosophical connection to the outdoors. Denver sits just east of the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains (directions from locals often come with “turn toward the mountains”), and you’ll find that the Rockies are, almost to the exclusion of everything else, the dominant landscape of Denver.
The Hilton Inverness Hotel, the official hotel of Sirens, sits in south Denver, in Denver’s tech corridor. While its immediately surrounding area is quite suburban, the Hilton Inverness is within a couple hours’ drive of the Tattered Cover, Denver’s renowned independent bookstore; downtown Denver; several notable mountain towns (Breckenridge, Winter Park, Vail); Rocky Mountain National Park and historic Estes Park; and Pikes Peak, the Garden of the Gods, and historic Manitou Springs. Please note that the mountain towns, Pikes Peak, and Rocky Mountain National Park all require a significant increase in elevation, to anywhere from 8,000 to 14,000 feet. If you’d like to come in early for sightseeing, please note that the Sirens discounted rate at the Hilton Inverness begins on the night of October 16, 2020.
The Hilton Inverness offers a complimentary shuttle in a five-mile radius around the hotel. That shuttle will take you to numerous dining options, the Park Meadows Mall, Barnes and Noble, and other conveniences such as Target.
Denver sits 5,280 feet above sea level, exactly one mile high—but Denver is not actually in the mountains, and its elevation is far lower than popular mountain towns, such as Vail, where the elevation exceeds 8,000 feet. Denver’s elevation does not give rise to altitude sickness or other health concerns associated with mountain towns.
Even Denver’s elevation, however, comes with reduced oxygen: You’ll breathe more quickly (and become winded more quickly), you’ll sweat more easily, you’ll be hungrier, and you’ll need more sleep. Further, as every Denver bartender will tell you, alcohol will have a greater effect: assume that every drink you’d have at sea level equals at least two in Denver. Denver’s altitude also comes with a thinner atmosphere, making you significantly more susceptible to sunburn, so please bring your sunscreen and sunglasses.
Additionally, Denver’s prevailing climate is high-plains desert. Colorado is one of the driest states, and the effects of that dryness can sometimes surprise you. You will need to drink a lot more water (or even sports drink) in Denver than you do normally. Increasing your water intake a few days prior to traveling to Sirens will help your body adjust more easily. It’s much easier to prevent dehydration than to recover from its effects! You should also consider bringing lip balm, eyedrops, saline nasal spray, and lotion; these will all help you feel more comfortable in the dry climate. You may find that a painkiller for headaches or a sleep aid for insomnia are helpful as well. The Hilton Inverness has a limited number of guest-room humidifiers available upon request.
Denver’s weather in October can be changeable, though it usually hovers around highs in the 50s and 60s Fahrenheit (10–20 Celsius), with colder temperatures after sunset. Denver, however, also usually gets its first significant snowstorm of the year in October, so anything is possible!
Sirens does not have a dress code, and our attendees wear everything from dresses to jeans. Given Denver’s unpredictable weather in October, we recommend bringing outdoor layers, such as a coat, scarf, and gloves, especially if you plan on going outdoors or visiting higher elevations during your trip. Further, we have very little control over the temperature in the Hilton Inverness’s conference space, so you may want to bring indoor layers as well. Please also remember your identification, credit/debit cards, prescription medication, Sirens registration confirmation, and travel itinerary. You may also wish to bring a costume or more formal attire for the Sirens Ball, though we promise plenty of people will go to the ball in jeans!