Denver Metro Convention & Visitor's Bureau

Convention could have $130 million impact on City
DENVER -TUESDAY, JULY 28, 1998  ANDREW HUDSON - The growing political power of the Rocky Mountain West; a cohesive coalition of Denver's business, political and civic leadership; a prosperous economy with an enviable quality of life; a new arena, LoDo and a "Pavilions energized" midtown; a world-class airport; tested experience in hosting large events like the Summit of the Eight, World Youth Day and the Major League All-Star Game; Denver in the Summer… 

These are some of the themes the City of Denver will present as they prepare for an all-out-push to secure the 2000 Democratic Convention. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) Convention Site Selection Committee, comprised of more than 50 individuals representing every region in the nation, visits Denver August 10 - 13. Denver is competing as one of seven finalists to host the convention and if chosen, stands to collect $130 million in overall economic investment. 

Over 60 business, political and civic leaders have formed "Celebration 2000" to help raise funds to host the site selection committee's visit to Denver. Committee members will get a three-day, whirlwind tour of Denver that will feature Denver's major venues, attractions, neighborhoods and cultural diversity. A schedule of events will be released in the near future.  

Last week, the bid got the boost of Steve Curtis, Chairman of the Colorado Republican Party, who wrote to the DNC expressing the state GOP's support for the convention.  

"Holding your event in our capital city would have an enormously positive impact on the entire state of Colorado," Curtis wrote. "It is in this spirit of our mutual benefit that I take this unusual step to invite your delegates and the leadership of your party to Denver for this important event." 

"This is boosterism at its best," noted Celebration 2000 Chairman Micky Miller. "The strong support from both the business and the political communities has proven essential in this effort. If we are successful, this convention will pay handsome dividends to the City for years to come." 

"Logistically, the City of Denver has proven it can host big events," Mayor Webb said, referring to recent big Denver events such as the Denver Summit of the Eight, World Youth Day and the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.  

"Therefore our pitch to the site selection committee is two-fold: 1.) Denver is a showcase City for the rest of the nation in terms of our strong economy, our low unemployment rate and our overall quality of life. 2.) It is time for the major political parties to invest in the west. The Rocky Mountain Region is the fastest growing in terms of population. We are also growing in terms of political clout as it relates to electoral votes and congressional representation. The political weight of the Rocky Mountain region is being felt like never before." 

According to recent statistics: 

The Rocky Mountain West continues to be one of the fastest growing regions in the Country. Migration to the Rocky Mountain West is occurring from throughout the entire country. Over 700,000 voters have registered in Colorado since 1993 - nearly 40% of them are registered unaffiliated. Colorado has grown 18.2% from 1990 - 1997 and is home to the four fastest growing counties in the entire nation. 

As a region, the Rocky Mountain West has led the nation in job growth, population growth and personal income gains. This economic and demographic trend is leading to a powerful political influence with gains predicted to be made in both Electoral College votes and western congressional representation. 

The City of Denver is not only representative of the "Best of the West," but is a snapshot of the "Best of Democratic values" - a safe, economically thriving, well-educated urban center.  

    § Violent crime has decreased 25% in the past five years  
    § Unemployment reached an historic low of 3% in 1997  
    § The city's booming economy has helped to create 36,154 jobs in the City over the past 5 years.  
    § Denver's downtown vacancy rate is at an historic low of 7%  
    § Denver's booming downtown has been catapulted by the success of Lower Downtown and the construction of Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball Team.  
    § The restoration of the Platte River Valley is helping to create a dynamic economic jewel with the development of more than 100 acres of parks, the construction of Elitches Amusement Park, the Pepsi Center and Colorado's Ocean Journey.  
    § Upper downtown will be energized with the opening of the Pavilions project, a mid-town entertainment, shopping and dining complex scheduled to open in the fall of 1998.  
The City of Denver's proposal focused on several points about how the City could host the 35,000 delegate convention including: 
Denver has 22,000 hotel rooms in the Metro Denver area, all of which will be available for the Convention. In addition, there are numerous first-class hotel rooms all within walking distance of the main meeting areas for the Convention.¨ 

Pepsi Center  
The City has submitted the Pepsi Center as the site for the convention. The 650,000 square foot sports arena will open in 1999 and will be the nation's most state-of-the-art arena that could accommodate the technological needs of the Convention. More than 2 million square feet of outside space will be available for satellite trucks and other convention and media needs. 

Denver International Airport  
The City also emphasized Denver International Airport as the most centrally located airport in the United Sates. No spot in the intercontinental U.S. is further than three hours from DIA. Twenty-two airlines offer 1200 daily flights including non-stops to 120 American Cities. 

State-of-the-art communications and production technology  
As the national center for telecommunications, Denver is ready to supply the convention with advanced fiber connectivity, wired and wireless telephone communications, satellite transmissions, television production and high-speed internet access. Denver is also located in Mountain Time zone, a strategic location to efficiently broadcast the event to both the east and the west coasts. 

The nation's 20th largest City, Denver offers a full range of diversions for convention participants including the beautiful and closely accessible Rocky Mountains, as well as cultural, dining, shopping and entertainment opportunities throughout the metro area.  

The last time the City of Denver hosted a national political convention was the DNC convention in 1908. Robert Speer was Mayor, Theodore Roosevelt was the President and the Democrats nominated William Jennings Bryan to challenge William Howard Taft, Roosevelt's Republican choice.  

While Bryan eventually lost the election to Taft, the City of Denver clearly won through its ability to show off a growing, prosperous metropolis and its new downtown auditorium where the convention was held. The City hopes to emulate what its forefathers and mothers were able to do in 1908.