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Why does Denver have extra zip codes to cover only single blocks?

Posted at 9:37 PM, Feb 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-07 00:37:51-05

DENVER -- It’s a reason to be careful when mailing something in downtown Denver.

Did you know there are tiny, one-block zip codes scattered around downtown?

“A zip code allows us to sort the mail efficiently across the United States,” Colorado USPS spokesman David Rupert said. 

That’s an explanation for why zip codes exist. But the reason behind the extra half-dozen, one-block numbers comes down to one thing: volume. 

“Some facilities, universities, the state, they get so much mail that at one point in time they were assigned their own unique zip code,” Rupert said.

For example, the federal building at 19th and Champa is under zip code 80257. Across the street is part of the LoDo 80202 zip. Across the street from that is the U.S. federal court building, at zip code 80294. 

This also draws a comparison to a well-known anti-forest-fire spokes-animal. 

“Smokey the Bear has his own zip code. Back in the 60s he was getting so much mail from school children he needed his own zip code,” Rupert explained. 

So even if they’re small, they are important. Because “we use zip codes to sort the mail,” according to the USPS.

Enjoy the fun fact.