As the largest city in the region, Denver, Colorado is an ideal destination for business trips and meetings, offering a range of cultural, sporting, shopping and nightlife amenities. Being the host city of the 2008 Democratic National Convention (DNC) certainly put Denver on the map when over 50,000 delegates and visitors were successfully hosted. They dropped over $266 million into the local economy.
According to VISIT Denver, the Convention & Visitors Bureau, this destination continued to impress business travelers in 2010, reporting 75 conventions held at the Colorado Convention Center and 423 at other venues. It brought nearly 379,000 delegates and $653 million to metro Denver.
Denver has come a long way from the days of gold mining in the 1850s to exceed expectations and successfully support the scale of major business events, including the 2008 DNC. Not so long ago, Denver was considered a cow town with few businesses. So now that Denver continues to build on its success with the meetings industry’s momentum through 2010 – recording Denver’s second-best year for meetings and conventions, Denver has effectively become a premier city. rank on the radar of business travelers, including international meetings.
Some of Denver’s major conventions and attendances in 2010 included the 2010 SnowSports Industries America Snow Show (19,000); American Academy of Family Physicians (9,253); and National League of Cities (4,000).
Today, the seven-county area of Metro Denver covers 4,500 square miles (about the size of Connecticut) with a population of approximately 2.8 million – 595,000 living in Denver City and County.
Denver Business Hotels
Denver business hotels will appeal to seasoned business travelers. Downtown Denver has more than 40 hotels and 8,400 hotel rooms, and the metropolitan area has 42,000 hotel rooms. This includes all categories – from extended stays to luxury hotels. Many are within walking distance of the Colorado Convention Center, the hub of most meetings with its 584,000 square feet of meeting space.
Five downtown Denver business hotels include:
Other popular hotels for business travelers to Denver include: Oxford Hotel, Hotel Teatro, Hotel Monaco Denver, and JW Marriott Denver Cherry Creek.
Business Activities in Denver
Colorado’s snow-capped Rocky Mountains are 75 minutes away, but Denver’s 300 days of sunshine each year give business travelers plenty to do in its walkable downtown. Start at the picture-perfect 16th Street Mall, a pedestrian-only granite promenade lined with hundreds of trees and 50,000 flowers. Street performers entertain shoppers and passers-by. 16th Street Mall also features 39 street cart vendors, dozens of casual and fine-dining restaurants, 28 sidewalk cafes, and numerous stores.
Denver’s culinary scene continues to gain national recognition. Business travelers can sample champagne, caviar, and seafood at Corridor 44, the city’s only champagne bar on Larimer Street; upscale dining at Edge Restaurant located in the Four Seasons Denver; Restaurant 1515; a classic American bistro in the Table 6 hotspot; and Il Posto located in Denver’s Uptown neighborhood, one of the city’s hottest “restaurant rows.” Known as the Napa Valley of Beer, a visit to Denver should always include a stop at one of the original breweries – think Wynkoop Brewery.
Business travelers are often surprised by the caliber of arts and culture in Denver. The Denver Performing Arts Complex (DPAC) is the largest arts complex in the world. DPAC is home to ten Broadway theatre, opera, ballet and symphony orchestra venues. Its thriving art scene continues with dozens of public museums and local galleries dotted around the Denver metro area.
Denver has earned its title as “America’s Finest, Fittest City” by laying claim to the nation’s largest urban park system with 200 named parks within city limits and more than 850 miles of paved bike paths. and off-road to explore, hike or jog.
Business travelers to Denver can take their business to the greens of one of the city’s 90 golf courses, such as Arrowhead Golf Club, named “America’s Top Ten Public Courses” by Golf Digest. Golf courses remain open year-round, taking advantage of 300 days of sunshine, low humidity, and the 10th driest city in the United States.
As the home of eight professional sports teams, Denver business travelers will want to find time to visit one of the stadiums. A Colorado Rockies baseball game at Coors Field is a popular choice.
Denver Business Information
With over 1,600 daily flights through Denver International Airport (DIA), getting to Denver is a breeze. This includes non-stop flights to over 160 destinations worldwide. That’s more than all but two US airports.
Denver’s revitalized, walkable downtown is a hodgepodge of stretched high-rises and historic high-rises intertwined with scenic backdrops of soaring peaks and an ever-changing skyline to meet the demands .
Denver also undertook the largest light rail project in US history. The 12-year, $4.7 billion expansion of the public transportation hub will add 119 miles of new light rail and commuter rail, ultimately interconnecting the metropolitan area and providing commuter rail service between DIA and downtown from Denver by 2014. Until then, airport transfers to and from downtown Denver is very efficient.
Originally published on April 12, 2011.