Tough economic times have hit many American cities hard. Those that rely heavily on tourism dollars are frequently the hardest hit. The city of Denver, though sometimes not thought of as a "tourist" town, is one such city. Some Denver deals, created by tourism agencies and private business owners, are being designed to boost Denver tourism.

Tourism is the state of Colorado's second largest industry. It falls just behind agriculture and manufacturing. When tourism suffers, the entire state economy feels it.

It's not just dwindling visitor numbers that are hurting the tourism and service industry, though. While fewer outsiders are visiting the city, fewer residents are spending money in their own town, too.

Denver, of course, is Colorado's largest city. The city and area, which includes Aurora and Boulder, is home to well over 3 million people. It's the center for many activities and entertainment venues and activities, including professional football.

After the US housing bubble burst, tourism and business officials and leaders began discussions on ways to turn the tourism industry around.  Their aim was to boost both out-of-town/state visitor numbers as well as to encourage locals to “tour” their own city.

Out of these discussions came some initiatives and innovative ideas for generating spending. One collaborative project in 2009 was the creation of a package of Denver deals for a variety of venues and activities in the city. The goal of its creators was to come up with packages, such as dinner and a football game that only cost around 50 dollars.

It also sparked local and independent business owners to come up with their own ideas. Many also began participating in joint efforts with other businesses to spur on the tourism industry.

The result is that there are now numerous Denver deals available, both for visitors and for people who call the city home. You just have to know where to look for those Denver deals. Are you interested in exploring the city at a discount? Here are some hints for getting those Denver deals.

* Check the Internet: A number of new Websites have sprung up in the last few years that offer coupons of Denver deals. The next time you're looking for something to do, check out these sites.

You'll find a variety of businesses that offer discounts on sightseeing, activities, events, restaurants and cafes and hotel/motel rooms. These coupons can be printed out on your home computer printer. Many offer significant savings, like two-for-one deals and 50 percent discounts.

Are you planning on heading out for a night on the town? Do you already know what you want to do? Check the Internet anyway. Chances are good that you'll find a coupon for whatever activity you're thinking of undertaking.

* Sign up for coupons and discounts to be emailed to you: A number of these coupon and discount Websites offer email subscriptions. Sign-up, and you'll have daily deals sent right to your email box every morning. It's a convenient way to keep up with offers that are going on in your area without having to hunt them down.

* Check the Websites of your favorite destinations: If you want to go someplace in particular, check your destination's Website before you go. Some places offer their own deals which can only be purchased online.

* Bring the kids along: A number of area hotels, restaurants and attractions admit a child free with every paying adult. This can be a great way to take the family out for a day of fun on a shoestring.

If you keep your eyes open, you can find Denver deals in mailouts and your newspaper. A few minutes spent on the Internet or reading the paper may help you discover your city anew.