Voters in the Mile High City approved a ballot measure to fund an expansion of the Colorado Convention Center, the city's convention and visitors bureau, VISIT DENVER, reported today.
Specifically, Denverites voted to extend two existing taxes that are set to expire in 2023. The funds will be used to immediately finance a $100 million expansion of the Colorado Convention Center, as well as construction of the new National Western Center, a year-round events, equestrian, and educational facility that will host the National Western Stock Show that takes place in Denver every year.
"We're thrilled to have the support of the people of Denver behind our city's convention and tourism industry," VISIT DENVER President and CEO Richard Scharf said in a statement. "This is the third time in recent years that Denver voters have strongly supported the travel industry, having previously approved an expansion of the convention center in 1999 and an increase in tourism marketing dollars in 2005."
A yearlong study completed last year by Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) revealed that meeting planners still consider the Colorado Convention Center among the nation's top meeting venues. To remain competitive, however, the study concluded that Denver should invest in three improvements: new meeting and ballroom space featuring panoramic city and mountain views, additional business networking and specialty space, and technology improvements to expand the facility's Wi-Fi bandwidth to accommodate more online video streaming.
Although designs are still forthcoming, the expansion is expected to include a new flexible meeting and ballroom space of up to 85,000 square feet, 120,000 square feet of new pre-function and service space, and a new 50,000-square-foot outdoor terrace.
"We are just completing a master plan for the Colorado Convention Center, and now with the voters' approval we should be able to put out an RFP for an architect by the end of the year," Scharf said. "We have established what we need, and now we will move ahead with the final design and construction."
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