Denver Restaurant Week (DRW) 2011 was the largest restaurant week in the event's seven-year history — and the biggest restaurant week in the United States, based on participating restaurants — according to Denver's convention and visitors bureau, VISIT DENVER, which recently unveiled the event's final numbers.
According to VISIT DENVER, a total of 303 restaurants participated in DRW 2011, which took place Feb. 25 through March 11. That's up 7 percent from 282 restaurants in 2010. Collectively, those restaurants served a total of 360,480 meals, also up 7 percent from 2010.
"The incredible numbers for Denver Restaurant Week 2011 are a testament to the great love that our residents and visitors have for Denver's dining scene," said VISIT DENVER President and CEO Richard Scharf. "Every major city has a restaurant week, but it is amazing that Denver, the 20th largest market in the nation, has the country's largest restaurant week."
Just as impressive as the growth in restaurant traffic was the growth in website traffic: Website traffic at the DRW site increased 54 percent in 2011 with 567,243 visits, up from 376,372 visits in 2010, while page views were up 56 percent, totaling more than 8 million.
"We are particularly happy to see website visits increase 54 percent because one of the primary reasons we sponsor Denver Restaurant Week is to get people talking about restaurants," Scharf said. "Each of the 8 million page views was someone looking at a restaurant menu and learning about what that restaurant has to offer."
Although it speaks to the passion that Denver locals have for dining, the success of DRW also is advantageous to the city's tourism marketing efforts.
"When locals feel Denver excels in offering fine dining, it is much easier to market that message to out-of-towners, and that helps build Denver's national reputation as an outstanding destination," Scharf concluded.