Study Recommends Improvements to National Western Complex and Colorado Convention Center

DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock and city partners received a feasibility study that outlines the potential of the National Western Complex, Denver Coliseum and the Colorado Convention Center to keep Denver a top event and convention destination on the national and international stage.


The final study marks a major step in Denver’s work to create a sustainable model for the area comprised of the National Western Complex and Denver Coliseum and offers an opportunity for the city to strengthen its tourism business (see links to the study at the end).


“Denver needs to think holistically about its current facilities to continue growing our convention and tourism business,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “The recommendations made by the study could help strengthen Denver’s position as a global city as well as a desired convention destination that would generate local and regional job growth for years to come.”


The feasibility study, conducted by Strategic Advisory Group, Langer Equestrian Group and Fentress Architects, looked at the national convention market and asked how Denver could leverage or improve its facilities to attract more tourism.


“The study encourages us to creatively diversify our facilities in order to remain competitive,” said Executive Director of Denver Arts & Venues Kent Rice. “Without changes, the study suggests we could run the risk of losing business to other cities that are staying relevant and modifying and expanding their convention and event facilities.”


The recommendations include a variety of investments to the National Western Complex and Denver Coliseum in order to sustain and continue growing the National Western Stock Show, the largest agriculture convention in the country. The study also recognizes the National Western site’s potential to become a year-round facility and makes recommendations on how to achieve that end.


“Our goal is to develop a strong year-round program for the National Western Complex that brings together education, economic development, tourism and entertainment in one location,” said President & CEO of the National Western Stock Show Paul Andrews. “Our process will include a variety of key partners, and the community, that will help us create a sustainable and profitable plan for the National Western Stock Show.”


The study also shows the Colorado Convention Center scoring high levels of satisfaction from overall meeting and convention experiences. The report provides recommendations to continue making this facility a top-rated destination for conventions in the country.


“The Colorado Convention Center has been an economic engine for Denver, bringing more than $500 million in spending a year to Denver, as well as a myriad of new hotels and businesses to the city.  This study gives us a blueprint of what we need to do going forward to keep the convention center relevant to meeting planners and successful in bringing economic development, jobs and tax revenue to the city,” said Richard Scharf, president & CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau.


The National Western Complex and Denver Coliseum, is one of six redevelopment projects in the Mayor’s North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative in Globeville, Elyria and Swansea. The redevelopment projects in this corner of the city provide a unique and historic opportunity to rebuild a connected community and energize a gateway to downtown Denver. They are part of the Mayor’s broader vision for creating a Corridor of Opportunity, linking Denver Union Station to Denver International Airport.


“The National Western Stock Show is part of Denver’s culture and part of the Globeville, Elyria and Swansea neighborhoods,” said Councilwoman Judy Montero. “I am excited that the city is committed to creating a master plan with the help of residents.”


The next steps will include an evaluation of all recommendations that support the vision of making Denver a top-rated destination for conventions and tourism. The master plan is being led by Parsons Brinckerhoff and will include key partners Colorado State University, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and History Colorado. An aggressive timeline will ensure the master plan is complete by the end of the year.


The planning process will engage a 27-member Citizens Advisory Council, comprised of residents, businesses, property owners and nonprofit representatives from Globeville, Elyria and Swansea.


In November 2012, the National Western Stock Show announced its intention to remain at its current location in Denver’s Elyria-Swansea neighborhood and to explore forging stronger partnerships and greater coordination with Denver Art & Venues Denver and VISIT DENVER.


At that time, the feasibility study was the next step for the City and County of Denver, VISIT DENVER and the National Western Stock Show to take in order to explore options for overcoming challenges and strengthening the National Western Stock Show and Complex’s program and facilities.

Attached are a summary and FAQs on the feasibility study.

CLICK HERE to read the feasibility report’s executive summary.

CLICK HERE to read the feasibility report’s section on the National Western Complex.

CLICK HERE to read the feasibility report’s section on the Convention Center.


Posted on May 13, 2014 (Archive on Jun 13, 2014)
Posted by mikestrott  Contributed by mikestrott