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Tiki History - The Outrigger, Cosmopolitan Hotel, Denver, CO

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Here is the Outrigger in the Cosmopolitan Western Hotel in downtown Denver. The Outrigger chain was created by Trader Vic, but the individual establishments were know as Outriggers. The Denver restaurant offically changed names to Trader Vics several years after it opened. There is a lot of history associated with this chain here in Denver.

When the Hilton corporation built a new tower hotel downtown, Trader Vics dumped the Cosmopolitan and moved over to a brand new facility in the Hilton. Ironically, Don the Beachcomber moved into the vacant space in the Cosmo and opend up within a year.

Several years later, Trader Vics moved again (out of the Hilton and left the Denver market completely). The Cosmo was demolished (at that point it was about 100 years old) and Don the Beachcomber again took over Trader Vics vacant spot, this time at the Hilton.

I have another interior postcard of this place and a few other paper items, I'll try to dig them up tomorrow.

kctiki posted on Thu, Sep 9, 2004 6:01 PM

"A gentle but definite hint of the land of trade wind..."

That vintage ad copy is as intoxicating as the photos. Thanks for posting that ZuluMagoo.


Interior postcard

Another interior postcard (this card is pretty common)

Card of the hotel lobby (postmarked 1962)

Advertisement of the name change (1960)

Advertisement (1969)

Advertisement (1970)

Advertisement (1972)

Advertisement (1974)

Advertisement (1974)


Great post, ZuluMagoo! Is that first image a postcard or brochure ? I hadn't seen that one before, its terrific. Thanks for posting those ads... they use completely different imagery from other ads I have for the Outrigger/Trader Vic's that was here in Seattle. I think I may have a photo folder from the Denver Outrigger, I'll check and add some pics this weekend.


Zulumagoo! Luv that name........
Thanks for posting this ever so cool stuff!
Where'd ya find it?
Its nice to know Denver once had a cool tiki place and it wasn't all sports bars.
Its also refreshing that another Denver cat is stalking the tikis.
E-mail me sometime and we can drink or talk or drink until we just kinda think we talking.........
High street speakeasy is supposed to be having a luau thing Saturday night. Fun crowd but lame paper mache' tikis.....Maybe I should call John, the owner and have him rent, or BUY a tiki from me! Wouldn't that be sweet.
Anyway thanks for the pictures. Nice to know you're out there.

Hey Dale - good to hear from another Denverite. There are 5 or 6 of us who post here so keep your eyes open for us once in a while.

Puamana - The top image is from a brochure (undated)for the hotel (shown below). The ads are from various older tourist magazines for Denver. The backs of the types of magazines usually have a section for local restaurants with ads and graphics. I'm always amazed what I can find with a little bit of research.

Here is a historic photo (1957) of the Cosmopolitan (found this online in the Denver Public Library historic photo archive)

Here is the site as it stands today. the parking lot is owned the the Trinity Church (shown in the background). The Cosmo was razed in the mid 80s to make way for a new downtown tower complex. They sure seem to be taking their time (20 years, doesn't look like it will ever be built). Ironically, the engineering firm I work for did the building foundation design for the new structure to be built here. I actually worked on this project about 8 years ago when they tried to get it going again.

Lastly, a matchbook


ZuluMagoo, I meant to post these pics weeks ago ! Sorry for the delay. That Outrigger paper item that I mentioned earlier in this post is a little promotional mailer :

Great photo folder! Haven't seen anything like that for the Cosmo before.

That's what makes TC great, getting to see others' collections, artwork, etc.

Indeed! Splendid work again, kids!

I love these pictures! I wish I had been there to see it...

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