By Mark P. Couch, The Denver Post Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
May 28--The next mayor of Denver will face an anemic economy and a host of hungry neighbors who are competing to lure jobs to within their city limits.
For decades, Denver ruled Colorado as the Queen City of the Plains. Times have changed. The reign has waned. The neighboring communities are demanding equality.
Entrepreneurs revitalized downtown Denver during the 1990s, but the trend toward suburban growth has been building for decades.
Denver's next mayor will find that the balance of power continues to tip toward the suburbs.
Residents living in the suburbs ringing Denver now outnumber those in the central city by more than 3- to-1. Shoppers now spend more money in suburban shopping centers than in the city's malls. There is more office space surrounding the city than in it.
"The Denver mayor needs to remember to be a little humble," said Mike Rock, city manager of Lakewood. "The Denver mayor does not occupy a higher …