Denver’s Cherry Creek Neighborhood and the Audi TT
The Cherry Creek Neighborhood: Denver’s Premier Shopping and Residential Community
While most people now consider the neighborhood one of Denver’s premier retail, social, and residential hubs, its origins reveal a more diverse history. To begin with, the community (and the river that runs along its southern boundary) “received its name from the Arapaho Indians,” the Cherry Creek East Association notes, due the area’s “abundance of chokecherries.” It also served as an important, buffalo hunting ground for the tribe.
During the gold rush of the mid-1800s, the Smoky Hill Trail, which ran along the Cherry Creek, served as the “prime route” for prospectors traveling east from the Missouri River. These prospectors panned the creek for gold, but serious development of the area stalled because of frequent flooding.
In 1871, Edwin P. Harman staked a claim to the land, naming the newly found city after himself. Denver eventually annexed Harman in 1886. Over the years, the neighborhood functioned as “everything from a truck-farming suburb to a garbage dump.”
With construction of the original Cherry Creek Shopping Center, though, perception of the neighborhood began to change. Created by “Denver architect-developer Temple Hoyne Buell in 1949,” the shopping center transformed Cherry Creek into a retail destination for the city. A 1990 redevelopment and name change (retitled Cherry Creek Mall) cemented the community’s reputation as Denver’s exclusive social and shopping district.
Of course, the Cherry Creek neighborhood is more than just a mall. As Denver.org mentions, “tree-lined streets, inspiring public art, outdoor patios and beautiful window displays all add to the allure of the area.” Likewise, the site notes the plethora of “art galleries, independently owned boutiques, [and] luxury hotel options,” as well as “relaxing spas, salons…[and] many restaurants.”
Recently, 5280 Magazine listed Cherry Creek as one of “Denver’s Best Neighborhoods”; in fact, the community ranked third on a list of sixty-six entries. In addition to the aforementioned characteristics of the area, the magazine also praised its “large stock of newer construction luxury homes and apartments.” Moreover, Cherry Creek’s “school score” ranked number five in the city: an acknowledgment that the neighborhood serves to enrich the lives of children as well as adults.
All the benefits and exclusivity of the Cherry Creek neighborhood, unsurprisingly, don’t come without haters (or, at least, humorous quips). Of the community, The Thrillist’s Denver neighborhood guide states that the Cherry Creek demographic consists of people who “used to live in” the Country Club District, but whose “marriage didn’t last.” Moreover, the site takes a few snark-laden swipes at the neighborhood’s denizens, claiming their favorite activities are “clutching a Starbucks skinny whatever” in one hand and a “Sotheby’s guide in the other.” I suppose this goes to prove the recently minted adage: “Haters gonna hate.”
Regardless of the haters’ perception of the neighborhood, though, one can’t argue with the fact that, as the Cherry Creek North Business Improvement site mentions, it is a “premier outdoor shopping and dining destination.”
The Audi TT: A Premier Sports Coupe for Cherry Creek Residents
The Audi TT matches rather well with Denver’s Cherry Creek neighborhood. With just under half the neighborhood’s population above the age of forty-five and seventy-two percent of the households without children, Cherry Creek residents fit the sports coupe niche perfectly.
While Edmunds notes that, “in terms of comfort, the TT’s cabin feels surprisingly airy and spacious, with plenty of room in all dimensions for taller folks,” Audi’s roadster is, for all intents and purposes, a two-person vehicle. Yes, there are backseats, but they’re “strictly for personal items, or perhaps very small children” (i.e. grandkids). To this extent, the TT functions perfectly well for couples looking to cruise around Denver, escape the city on a day-drive in the Foothills, or driving down to your favorite boutique store.
But, as one can rightly surmise, the Audi TT offers more than just practical seating capacity. For indeed, the German automaker’s coupe boasts a wealth of stylistic flourishes and engineering feats that, no doubt, will impress even the most fickle drivers.
The 2016 model is the vehicle’s second, full re-design, the first of which came in 2006. (Audi released the initial model in 1996.) While reviews of the second-generation TT were, general speaking, mediocre, the early returns for the third-generation have been spectacular. In fact, Road and Track claims that the latest iteration is “one of those instances where nearly everything has been improved.” Likewise, MotorTrend argues that it’s “a big step up over the previous generation model.”
Edmunds absolutely raves about the coupe, lauding the vehicle as such:
Isn’t it about time you treated yourself to something fun, stylish and modern? The redesigned 2016 Audi TT is all that and more. From its surprisingly powerful four-cylinder engine to the sophisticated cabin and cutting-edge technology, the TT coupe and soft-top convertible make you feel like going for a drive just for fun. [We] awarded it a coveted Edmunds “A” rating.
The adjectives “fun, stylish, and modern” certainly encapsulate the TT-experience quite accurately.
To begin with, the TT comes equipped with a four-cyclinder engine that produces 220 horsepower and 258 pounds-foot of torque. If you choose the S-model, those numbers increase to 292 and 280. Those specifications result in 0-60 times of 5.3 and 4.6 seconds, respectively; their top track speeds are 130 and 155 mph. Yes, this car zips. In fact, Edmunds says that the TT “effectively split[s] the difference between a base Porsche Cayman and a BMW 228i in our acceleration tests [and] proves it’s worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as such luminaries.”
Not only does the TT hustle, but it handles elegantly and sportingly. Audi’s patented quattro system allows for maxim road grip. To this end, you’ll be able to take corners at speed with confidence. The Car Connection notes that the TT is “light and nimble in driving feel, and electronic systems help supplement the experience with the right sounds and feedback. Then there’s Audi Drive Select, a multi-mode system that lets you tune a range of powertrain, steering, and stability behaviors.” MotorTrend agrees, claiming that:
the car’s more powerful engine and six-speed twin-clutch gearbox [make] it more willing to accelerate thanks to abundant torque and quick shifts. While its more at home on winding mountain roads than on a track, the TT, especially the TTS, is well balanced, with minimal body roll and a ride that’s firm but not overly so thanks to the available magnetic ride shocks.
So whether you’re heading down 6th Avenue, twisting through the Rocky Mountains on I-70, or spending a day at Bandimere Speedway, you’ll be prepared for whatever conditions you encounter.
Like all Audi vehicles, though, the TT’s interior sets a benchmark of which most of its rivals fall short. Car and Driver praises the cabin, saying that “the interior, in the spirit of the first TT, is a design showcase.” MotorTrend notes the “slick virtual cockpit [and] roomy cargo area.” While Edmunds positively gushes over the coupe’s “radical redo, with a cabin layout that far more effectively channels some of the sports-car vibe that this model has been missing in its previous iterations.”
They continue their praise by noting that the “LED ambient lighting evokes a trendy cocktail lounge, while the optional Bang & Olufsen audio system (very much worth the extra cost) pumps vividly clear sound until your ears cry uncle. Delightful details are everywhere, such as the rotary bezel that controls each vent’s airflow direction, rotating around the vent itself with what feels like machine-grade precision.“
Of course, it’s the technology in the TT that has critics and drivers all googly-eyed and salivating. First, the TT boasts an MMI infotainment system that now features Audi’s touch-pad interface, which can also be operated from the steering wheel. The TT’s Virtual Cockpit is an industry standard bearer, featuring a customizable, 12.3” hi-resolution LCD screen. Moreover, AudiConnect offers WiFi connection for up to eight mobile devices. To this end, The Car Connection mentions that “you can have some of the top tech wizardry, in a way that doesn’t detract from the sports-car flavor.”
Prestige Imports: The Local Audi Dealer for Denver’s Cherry Creek Neighborhood Residents
Stop by Prestige Imports at 9201 West Colfax Avenue to check out our selection of Audi vehicles, including the fun, stylish and modern Audi TT ; we’re located between Wadsworth and Kipling. You can also call (833) 825-5423 to schedule an appointment with one of our Audi Brand Specialists.
Afterward, visit one of these fine Cherry Creek establishments and support a local business.
Restaurants: Cherry Cricket, Machete, Hapa, Zaidy’s, Elway’s, Blue Island, Little Ollie’s, Cucina Colore
Bars: Irish Hound, Vinue, Bull & Bush, Milwaukee Street Tavern, Harman’s, Patxi’s Pizza, Second Home
Coffee Shops: Ink!, Aviano, Dazbog
Boutique Retailers: Twisted Tulip, Vertu, Hutch & Fig, Reverie Living, Object Design, Mario Di Leone, Gallerie Rogue
Banner image by Ken Lund, courtesy of Creative Commons
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