Welcome back! It's Tuesday. We hope you had a relaxing long weekend.

  • Today's weather: Sunny, then a chance of T-storms in the afternoon. High near 81.

ğŸŽ‚ Happy birthday to our Axios Denver members Steven Summer and Katharine Anderson! And a happy belated birthday to member Lynn Buschhoff!

🍔 Situational awareness: It's International Burger Day! Here's our list of the biggest, baddest, most WTF burgers to bite into around town.

Today's newsletter is 789 words — a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: The state of Colorado's Asian American community

The bar chart shows the distribution of different Asian American and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) identities in Colorado as of 2021. Chinese residents make up the largest group with 47,254 individuals, followed by Filipinos (38,358), Indians (35,926), Koreans (33,978), and Vietnamese (33,914).
Data: U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey 2021 via The Colorado Lotus Project; Chart: Alayna Alvarez/Axios

A new statewide research project is shedding light on the inequities and disparities affecting Colorado's Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities.

Why it matters: Using novel analysis methods, the "first-of-its-kind effort" breaks apart larger data sources to better understand differences between various AANHPI populations, many of whom say they feel invisible and want to be seen beyond stereotypes.

What they found: The Colorado Lotus Project — a collaboration between the Colorado AAPI Circle and Colorado Health Institute — reveals that although broad statistics suggest Asian Americans are thriving, closer scrutiny exposes significant needs.

  • For example, 21% of Asian Coloradans live at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, less than the state average of 24%, but this rate doubles to 52% for Burmese and 49% for Bangladeshi residents.
  • Additionally, while just 8% of Asians as a group report poor mental health compared to the state average of 12%, Korean Coloradans are facing disproportionately high levels of mental health distress at 22%.

What they're saying: ​​"For too long, Colorado's AANHPI community has been viewed as a monolith," Jin Tsuchiya, co-chair of the Colorado AAPI Circle, said in a statement. "A lack of nuanced data and dangerous stereotypes are masking inequities and hiding critical differences in the health and social needs of these unique groups."

By the numbers: About 260,000 people in Colorado — or 4.5% of its population — identify as Asian, either alone or in combination with another race or ethnicity.

  • The largest AANHPI communities are Chinese (47,300 people), Filipino (38,400) and Indian (36,000).
  • The highest concentrations of AANHPI residents are in Broomfield, Arapahoe, and Douglas counties, per the report.

What's next: The report calls on local leaders, service providers and philanthropies to take action, including improving data about AANHPI communities, boosting funding for communities most in need, building trust and breaking down language and cultural barriers.

  • The report also calls for more meaningful representation among state and local leaders, including in the state Legislature where there are no Asian American lawmakers.

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2. 🤩 The most stunning AAPI art around town

"Mastery" by Casey Kawaguchi on Denver's Cherry Creek Trail. Photo: Courtesy of Denver Arts & Venues

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

The big picture: To celebrate, Denver Arts & Venues has compiled nearly two dozen creations by AAPI artists that can be viewed on a self-guided public art tour across the city.

Here are some stunners not to miss:

"Mastery" (pictured above)

  • Artist: Casey Kawaguchi (2018)
  • Location: Cherry Creek Trail (between Lawrence and Larimer streets)
  • Artwork type: Mural paintings

Mine Craft

  • Artist: Miki Iwasaki (2017)
  • Location: McNichols Civic Center Building
  • Artwork type: Architectural sculpture
Photo: Courtesy of Denver Arts & Venues

"Que Sera"

  • Artist: Ratha Sok (2014)
  • Location: 3181 W. Alameda Ave.
  • Artwork type: Mural paintings
Photo: Courtesy of Denver Arts & Venues

More art to admire

3. 🐴 Here's how far the Broncos will travel

Table showing the total mileage NFL teams will travel in the 2024-25 regular season. The Los Angeles Chargers, Miami Dolphins, Seattle Seahawks and New England Patriots will travel the most, each over 25,000 total miles in their road games.
Data: Bookies.com; Table: Axios Visuals

The Denver Broncos will travel nearly 20,000 miles during the upcoming season, starting with a more than 1,000-mile trek to Seattle for a clash with the Seahawks on Sept. 8.

The big picture: The Broncos' 19,700 traveling miles next season rank 14th in the NFL, far below the top-ranked Los Angeles Chargers, who will log nearly 27,000 miles.

  • The Washington Commanders will cover just over 10,000 miles, the fewest in the league.

The intrigue: Denver's jet lag will be tested with lengthy, back-to-back traveling weekends in late September.

  • The team will travel to Tampa on Sept. 22, then New Jersey on Sept. 29 to face the Buccaneers and Jets, respectively, covering just over 3,100 combined miles.

The bottom line: Road wins are notoriously difficult in the NFL. Denver went 3-5 in away games last season.

Quiz a friend

4. Mile Highlights: Denver falls to Notre Dame

The University of Denver Pioneers faced the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in Philadelphia on Saturday. Photo: Larry French/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

🥍 The No. 5 seed University of Denver men's lacrosse team lost to the top-seeded University of Notre Dame in the national semifinals Saturday. (DU)

♻️ Denver is distributing 17,000 additional green composting bins this summer as the pay-as-you-throw program, which first launched in 2023, inches forward. (Denver Post 🔑)

✅ Mayor Mike Johnston named Karin McGowan to lead the city's public health department, marking his final Cabinet nomination roughly a year after his inauguration. (Denverite)

🚨 The Town of Morrison's new radar camera, stationed at Bear Creek and Mount Vernon avenues, has issued more than 10,000 speeding tickets within its first two weeks. (Denver7)

5. 🛫 1 photo to go: DIA's outdoor oasis open

Photo: Courtesy of Denver International Airport

Denver International Airport's 82,000-square-foot open-air plaza has returned for the season through Sept. 30.

Why it matters: Passengers can soak up the sun, play cornhole, and kick back on grass-like turf before catching their flights.

What's next: The plaza will hold several events this summer. The first — which will honor AAPI Heritage Month — is from 11:30am-1:30pm this Friday, featuring performances by Japanese taiko drummers, Polynesian dancers and a dragon parade.

If you go: The plaza is located pre-security between the Jeppesen Terminal and the Westin Hotel.

Tell your travel buddy

Our picks:

🤠 John is back in the saddle after last week's getaway to Moab, Utah.

❤️ Alayna is excited for Thursday's "Drink Red Wear Red" party supporting the local hospitality industry. Tix are still available if you want to join!

ğŸ˜Ž Esteban is taking some time off this week.

Thanks to our editor Ross Terrell and copy editor Bill Kole.