Our History

“The first substantial institution of an athletic nature was The Denver
Athletic Club. Until within the last couple of years this was the only
Club even in name, and is, in fact, to-day the only athletic club of
Importance in the entire Rocky Mountain district.”
                                                    Harper’s Weekly, January 1, 1898



The Denver Athletic Club, founded in 1884, is a historical landmark located in the heart of the city. Located adjacent to the Denver Convention Center and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, all downtown amenities are within an easy walk. The Club is one of the oldest and largest private city clubs in the United States. Members take pride in being a part of a premier organization which has been integral to the Denver community for over 135 years while enjoying first-class athletic facilities and social events.

The first home of The DAC, the First Baptist Church on Eighteenth near Curtis, was converted to a gymnasium and a clubhouse with a large, handsome Denver Athletic Club sign on the front. In the fall of 1890, The DAC moved out of the small secondhand church into their new five story building at the present location. An addition was completed in 1892 and the 70 foot high structure was one of the tallest buildings in Denver able to be seen from all over downtown.

Further additions in the 1920’s, the 1970’s, the 1980’s and the 1990’s to the athletic and social facilities today make The DAC the leading city club in the Rocky Mountain West. For over a century it has promoted outdoor and indoor sports for player and spectator alike, been a leader in fitness since its inception and been the cutting edge for Denver’s social scene.

Keeping with its athletic tradition, today the first bowling alley West of the Mississippi hosts leagues year round, the 150,000 square foot Fitness Center uses the most modern equipment along with leading instructors for classes and trainers for individual instruction, and the gymnasium hosts the best pickup basketball in downtown Denver. Not to be out done The DAC Squash Center is World Class and is known as the top squash facility in the Rocky Mountain region. The DAC hosts the Hashim Khan Squash Championships each spring. From the 25 meter eight lane swimming pool, handball, racquetball, badminton, wellness to the indoor golf simulators The DAC currently continues to offer the most diverse athletic endeavors.

The vibrant social scene continues with The DAC Restaurant being Member’s favorite downtown destination. The billiards and card rooms maintain their legacy next to The Pub, The DAC’s sports bar. Annual events include the Athlete of the Year Award, Boxing Night, a Fashion Show, summer rooftop concerts, and our very popular Christmas Parade of Lights parties.

For the past 135 years The DAC has done more than provide its Members with a healthful diversion, it has championed the fitness and happiness of all Coloradans and helped make the highest state the healthiest state.