The Underground, Colorado Springs, Colorado
The largest gay club in Colorado Springs, and one of the largest in the state, The Underground occupies a historic building in the center of downtown and really comprises three distinct spaces in one. The main floor houses a friendly, laid-back pub with pool tables, darts, and games (different theme nights feature karaoke, poker, bingo, and pub trivia). A flight of stairs leads down to the impressive nightclub area, with a large dance floor and a first-rate sound system. And finally there's a rooftop bar and patio with great views of downtown. This impressive club with multiple spaces to hang out in also has a kitchen that turns out pub fare and Mexican specialties, from Thai chicken pizzas to spicy green chile stew to smoked turkey sandwiches. For whatever Colorado Springs lacks in its number of gay bars, this impressive and handsomely designed gay entertainment complex definitely makes up for it.
Other gay bars in Colorado Springs include Club Q, on the city's east side, and the Bijou Bar and Grill.
BoyzTown, Denver, Colorado
It's dive-y, cruise-y, slightly raunchy, and plenty of fun: BoyzTown is a highly popular part of the gruff but lovable South Broadway gay scene, a neighbor of such standbys and BJ's Carousel. Part of the excitement (or, at the very least, amusement) is that BoyzTown employs a sizable stable of gregarious strippers and go-go boys, who perform regularly to the delight of sauced and saucy patrons. As gay strip bars go, the crowd is remarkably age-diverse and friendly.
Try-Angles, Salt Lake City, Utah
Popular with all ages and styles, centrally located Club Try-Angles is on the southwestern edge of downtown. The large dance club offers a little something for all kinds: pool tables, dancing to DJs on weekends, an expansive patio, free WiFi, Sunday barbecues during the warmer months, and $1 drafts on Tuesday nights. As is common in SLC, Try-Angles functions as a private club (guests from outside the area can visit by paying a fee for a temporary membership). Next door you'll find the gay coffeehouse and Internet cafe, Off Trax, which is open for breakfast and lunch as well as from 1 am until 3 am on Friday and Saturday nights, a full hour after Try-Angles closes.
Tracks, Denver, Colorado
The definitive Denver gay dance club, Tracks is a huge, eclectic, and enormously fun spot in an industrial area northeast of downtown (it's safe, but a bit of a haul - best to take a cab or drive there). The club is open every Thursday (18-and-over), the first Friday of each month for the city's hottest lesbian party, and every Saturday, when revelers of all types pile in for pulsing music in two different dance areas (one current stuff, the other more retro).
Quincy Bar, Grand Junction, Colorado
Although it caters to a mixed crowd, the GLBT-friendly Quincy Bar is the closest thing you'll find to gay nightlife in western Colorado. This convivial bar on the main drag in Grand Junction is known for its old-fashioned decor, including pressed-tin ceilings, detailed molding, and colorful murals depicting scenes of the area. There's a good selection of beer on tap, and most nights you'll find more than a few gays and lesbians here, along with a mix of other locals. It's nothing fancy or elaborate, but Quincy Bar is a genuinely welcoming place and worth a visit if you're touring the area.
Charlie's, Denver, Colorado
Part of a popular brand of gay country-western bars with additional branches in Chicago, Phoenix, and Las Vegas, Charlie's Denver opened in 1981 on the site of what is now Ms. C's lesbian bar, and has been at its current location since 1989. Home bar of the Colorado Gay Rodeo Association and a great place for country-line dancing and two-stepping, Charlie's also has a standard disco (Club Charlie's) playing current techno, hip-hop, and dance tunes. The crowd is mostly male, most of the time, although Charlie's is definitely quite welcoming of everybody.
Elevation Restaurant & Bar, Aspen, Colorado
Although the tony ski resort community of Aspen is without any full-time gay bars, the town's quite visible GLBT community maintains a significant presence at several lounges and restaurants around town, with Elevation one of the most likely places where you'll encounter "family." This trendy eatery and bar has a very mixed gay-straight crowd. And the food here is excellent, with a menu specializing in creative regional American fare, from sea scallops with brie and truffle honey to pan-seared duck breast and duck confit with an orange-blackberry sauce) as well as colorful cocktails and a great wine list. During Aspen Gay Ski Week, this is one place to see and be seen.
Club Q, Colorado Springs, Colorado
The central Rockies city of Colorado Springs has earned a reputation for far-right conservative politics over the years, and to be sure, it's not the gay-friendliest city in the state (try Denver, an hour north). But the gay scene here is improving steadily. You'll find a couple of gay bars in town, one of the better known being Club Q, a "come one, come all", zero-attitude place that's equally popular among lesbians and gay men. It's nothing fancy, and you'll find it tucked behind a shopping center in a suburban neighborhood on the northeast side of town.
The Trapp, Salt Lake City, Utah
Not to be confused with the defunct Trapp Door, which is just around the corner, The Trapp is what remains of the formerly significant gay scene that used to thrive in Salt Lake City's Warehouse District, west of downtown (although just around the corner, you'll find the relatively new Studio 27 gay nightclub as well as the city's biggest gay Saturday night party, at the The Temple). This rollicking and friendly neighborhood hangout has stood the test of time, as several others have closed over the years, and the city's gay nightlife scene has spread geographically in all directions. The Trapp is known for its juke box of country-western standards, its inexpensive drinks, and its genial staff - there's also a pleasant patio out back. Guys over 40 will feel most at home here, although the mood is quite welcoming toward everyone.
Hamburger Mary's, Denver, Colorado
The Mile High City branch of the campy and gay-popular restaurant chain Hamburger Mary's is set along East 17th Avenue, nearly across the street from one of Denver's most popular gay bars, JR's. This festive spot whose floor-to-ceiling windows open fully in warm weather is noted for its cheery happy hours, great cocktail specials, festive Sunday brunch, dishy servers (and patrons, for that matter), and extensive menu of burgers, sandwiches, salads, and finger foods - many with amusingly suggestive or drag-queen-inspired names (Skew-Hers, Cala-Mary, Threesome Caesar Salads, the LGBT - with bacon, tomato, lettuce, and guacamole, and the Spicy Mary Buffalo Burger).