Destination Spotlight: Denver, Colorado
An Ideal Location for Your Next Meeting
Although the U.S. is full of wonderful destinations, Denver, Colorado is one of the top destinations in the country for meetings, events, and conferences. With easy accessibility, an abundance of venues and hotels from which to choose, and a thriving cultural scene, Denver is an ideal location for your next meeting!
According to Forbes, Denver is one of the country’s top cities for business and career, and it made U.S. News and World Report’s 2017 list of best places to live. The city boasts “300 days of sunshine.” Add in the beautiful landscape, the seasonal weather simply adds to the charm. However, not only is Denver a wonderful place to live, it has become one the country’s favorite places to visit.
Situated in north central Colorado at the base of the Rocky Mountain Front Range, the State Capitol is the perfect destination for summer events. Denver is known for its mild, dry and sunny climate. The July high is only 88 degrees, with average temps in the upper 70’s. Surprisingly, the city has more annual hours of sun than “Sunny San Diego.” In winter, Denver is dryer than Phoenix with an average daily high of 45 degrees in February. Because snow doesn’t stay on the ground long in Denver, golf courses remain open all year and have been played as many as 30 days in January.
Denver International Airport
Denver International Airport (DEN) is the sixth busiest airport in the U.S. and the 18th largest in the word. With 111 operational gates, DEN services 25 different airlines and offers more than 1,400 daily flights to nearly 180 non-stop destinations worldwide. It is the 4th largest domestic hub in the U.S. with direct flights to 11 destinations in Colorado, including popular vacation destinations and ski resorts.
Not only is DEN easily accessible from destinations around the world, but it is also easy to get to from within the city of Denver. The airport now has a direct rail connection from downtown Denver. The Colorado A-Line offers convenient access and reliable transportation to and from the airport and provides direct access to airline check-in, baggage check, and security screening at the airport. Also, over 30 hotels within a 10-mile radius from DEN offer complimentary shuttle service. Multiple shared-ride services, shuttles, and taxis also serve the DEN commuters. A complete list can be found on their website.
Although Downtown Denver is easily a walkable city, the 16th Street Mall shuttle offers visitors and residents free transport around downtown. This vibrant city center is one of the most unique and diverse in the country. Downtown visitors can enjoy kayaking, world-class shopping, museums, Broadway touring shows, live music, craft beer breweries, fine dining, relaxed dining, professional sports, and amusement parks – all within a one-mile radius!
Downtown Denver is home to 32 hotels, with a total of 10,000 hotel rooms and 526,636 square feet of meeting space. Ove the years, it has emerged into a Tier 1 conference hub. The Colorado Convention Center hosts over one million attendees annually. The convention center includes 63 learning rooms; a 14-acre exhibition hall; one of Colorado’s largest ballrooms; a 5,000-seat, state-of-the-art theatre, and 1,200 parking spaces. It also has 4.5 acres of glass; a light rail station; the largest kitchen in Colorado and its own outdoor farm, which grows 5,000 pounds of vegetables a year.
Budgeting Items for Your Denver Meeting
Once you have decided that Denver is where you want to hold your next meeting, it’s time to budget. Here are a few items to consider during your planning phase:
- Colorado Convention Center requires employment of Denver Theatrical Stage Employees Union, IATSE, Local No. 7
- Vendors and contractors must be on the center’s approved vendor list
- Check the convention calendar to ensure your dates don’t conflict with other big events in Denver; limited space could increase your hotel rates
- Average hotel room rate: $173
- Average daily meal cost: $69
- Average weekly car rental: $142
- Sales tax: 7.65 percent
Unique Venues in Denver
Aside from the Colorado Convention Center and traditional hotels, Denver is also home to unique venues, including:
- Union Station
- University of Denver
- Coors Field
- Denver Art Museum
- Museo de las Americas
- Elitch Gardens
- Downtown Aquarium
- Denver Zoo
- The Summit Conference and Event Center
- Mile High Station
- Denver Botanical Gardens
- Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater
- Sports Authority Field at Mile High
- EXDO Event Center
- Denver Coliseum
- Great Divide Brewing Company