Busy Week for Conventions in Denver
This week is expected to be one of the busiest convention weeks in Denver since 2008’s Democratic National Convention; millions of dollars will flow into the local economy as a result.
Two major conventions are being held in Denver this week; and the U.S. Pro Cycling Challenge will end in the Mile High City on Sunday. The 6,000 strong Global Business Travel Association Conference wrapped up Wednesday, and later this week the American Chemical Society Conference will bring some 12,000 people to Denver from around the world. These activities are expected to bring a big boost to the local economy.
“We know just from the conventions it’s about $40 million, and the race, it’s the first year so it’s hard to predict, but we will have two hours of national television coverage, so that alone is going to be huge,” says Rich Grant, spokesman for Visit Denver, the city’s convention and visitors bureau.
Some 50,000 spectators are expected in downtown Denver for the end of the cycling challenge. Grant says the convention and business travel industry was hit hard by the recession, but this year is shaping up to be one of the best in terms of visitor numbers to the city.
“We’re coming out of it much better than other parts of the country. Last year was our best year for number of tourists; we had the highest number of tourists ever. They’re watching their dollars a little more and spending less, it wasn’t the most spending we’ve ever had. I think this year we should have a very strong tourism year and a very strong convention and business travel year too,” says Grant.
Tourism is Denver’s second largest industry – generating some $3 billion each year.