Welcome to the Denver event planning guide designed specifically as a resource for event and meeting planning pros in Denver, Colorado, to find information about the city and Denver meeting space. When it comes to event planning, Denver has a number of things to be proud of: a state-of-the-art convention center; a central location, no more than four hours' flight time from most major cities; an international airport; a walkable downtown district packed with shopping, dining, nightlife, and cultural attractions; and thousands of hotel rooms and Denver event venues. Denver is an outdoor city that packs urban adventure and Rocky Mountain views into an ideal meeting destination.
Though many envision Denver as being out west, it's actually only 340 miles from the exact center of the continental United States. This highly central location translates into a city that is very easily reached from all parts of the country. In addition to easy air access via Denver International Airport, which serves the third most domestic destinations of any U.S. airport, as well as several additional airports, Denver is at the intersection of two major interstate highways, has four AMTRAK passenger trains that pass through the city on a daily basis, and is a major hub for interstate motor coach travel. A new rail line from Denver International Airport to downtown opening in early 2016 will further improve Denver's transportation network and give attendees a fast, affordable way to get downtown.
The Colorado Convention Center offers nearly 600,000 square feet of exhibit space, which can be subdivided into six separate spaces. The Center also includes 60 meeting rooms, two large ballrooms and a 5,000-seat theater all on just three levels. En plein air terraces afford stunning views of the Rocky Mountain and Denver skylines. Additionally, the Colorado Convention Center has been outfitted with all of the latest advancements in computer and networking technology so that presentations can take place with the greatest professionalism and ease. All meeting rooms, exhibit halls, and offices have connections to the Fiber Optic Network, and wireless Internet connections are available throughout the facility, so that convention guests can connect to the Internet whenever and wherever they choose. From the Colorado Convention Center, visitors can take a short stroll to nearly 10,000 downtown hotel rooms, 300 restaurants, nine theaters, and a large number of shopping attractions.
It goes without saying that Denver is an outstanding city in which to work and to hold conventions. But as many Denver event planning professionals know, one of the reasons the city often smashes attendance records is that 30 percent of its meeting attendees stay in Denver before or after conventions to take advantage of the amazing recreational and cultural offerings both in the city and nearby Rocky Mountains. The city basks in over 300 days of sunny weather a year—that's more than even "Sunny San Diego." What's more, some of the country's finest hiking, skiing, and outdoors activities are less than an hour's drive from Denver's downtown. Popular destinations include Rocky Mountain National Park, Pike's Peak and the world's highest railroad, Old West mountain towns complete with old-fashioned gambling halls, river rafting in breathtaking Clear Creek Canyon, and world-class skiing at one of Denver's international ski and summer resorts such as Vail, Breckenridge, Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Beaver Creek, Keystone, and The Broadmoor.
While Denver is a city rich with history, culture, and recreational opportunities, it is also a city that continues to invest in its future. In 2004, Denver residents signed off on a remarkable 12-year, $6.5-billion plan to create six light-rail, diesel commuter rail, and electric commuter rail lines with a combined length of over 120 miles; expand existing light-rail systems; and add a bus-based rapid transit route between Denver and Boulder. Soon, in-city travel logistics will be much less of a worry while planning events in Denver. Current visitors can already benefit from a 19-mile light rail line that opened in 2006, which offers service between downtown Denver and the many hotels in the Denver Tech Center area along Interstate 25 and Interstate 225. As the city continues to develop, Denver has positioned itself to become one of the nation's most sought-after areas for meetings and conventions.