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Denver, CO Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 127
Total Sleeping Rooms 24,694
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 1,500
Committable Meeting Rooms* 80
Convention Center Space 884,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Exhibit Space 584,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 106,000 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $180
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $69
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $248
*Maximum for a single hotel

Denver, CO Meeting Planning Overview

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.

About Denver, CO / Additional Info

Though Denver is sometimes assumed to be a mountain town, the city is actually about 15 miles from the base of the Rocky Mountains. Denver is a picturesque, walkable city dotted with more than 200 parks and literally dozens of attractive boulevards framed by tall trees. The city's neighborhoods and skyline offer many hints into Denver's past. Beautiful Victorian buildings on Larimer Square and in the popular Lower Downtown (or "LoDo" area) hark back to the city's days as a hub for the great Colorado Gold Rush, and the distinct skyline celebrates Denver's return to prominence during the energy boom in the 1970s. Though the city struggled during the energy downturn in the 1980s, it has since fully recovered and become one of the nation's most popular destinations for meetings, conferences, and large events.

Despite the fact that many Western cities in the United States are characterized by urban sprawls, Denver actually has a well-defined and central downtown. Based on the number of workers and retail numbers, the city is the 10th largest in the United States. Nevertheless, Denver's downtown can be easily explored on foot or on B-cycle, the city's popular bike sharing system, which makes it a great city for visitors who want to take in all the sights without hopping into their cars. In addition to the city's huge and newly refurbished convention center, Denver offers a plethora of shops and boutiques, hundreds of restaurant, and ample nightlife options. So, keep in mind that when doing any type of event or meeting planning in Denver, being downtown can certainly be desirable for attendees.

Cultural offerings abound as well—the Denver Pavilions, Denver Art Museum, and History Colorado Center are all downtown and often feature world-renowned exhibitions and showings. One of Denver's most frequently visited landmarks, the 16th Street mall is a both a bustling pedestrian mall and an amazing work of art. A mile long, the mall winds through a large number of parks and beautiful plazas, all of which are framed by the soaring skyscrapers. One of the mall's best features, however, can really only be appreciated from above—the pedestrian walkway was designed by the artist to look like an enormous diamondback rattlesnake, a well-known symbol in the Denver area. Free, hybrid-fuel shuttle buses ferry locals and visitors alike up and down the mall from early morning to late at night.

Visitors to Denver are often surprised by the variety and character of the neighborhoods which make up the downtown area. Each neighborhood possesses its own distinct personality and history. Lower Downtown, affectionately referred to as "LoDo" by locals, is located on the northeast side of downtown. This neighborhood features an impressive collection of some of the city's best-preserved Victorian and turn-of-the-century buildings and warehouses. Many of them have been converted into trendy restaurants, galleries, and boutique shops. Night owls also know this part of town for its thriving brewpub scene and nightlife attractions. LoDo also includes Denver's newly renovated Union Station, the city's transit hub and now home to four new locally owned restaurants as well as a craft beer bar, cocktail lounge, boutique retailers and a Grand Hall that has becomes Denver's "living room." Some of Denver's other well-known neighborhoods include Capitol Hill, Highlands, River North (RiNo), and the Golden Triangle Area. Those neighborhoods closer to downtown tend to display more historic charm and are built with brick. Peripheral neighborhoods are newer and are generally built with more modernized materials.

The City and County of Denver is only one of seven counties in the metro area, all of which are known for their outstanding recreational opportunities. The Denver area has over 14,000 acres of mountain parks including Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre, and Denver owns the hill on which Winter Park Resort sits. Denver's terrific skiing brings thousands of tourists to the city area every winter. These activities are, as you can guess, also tremendous perks for the Denver meeting planning community. Denver's reputation as the "Mile High City" is not just a casual reference to its altitude—it turns out the steps on the Denver State Capitol building are exactly 5,280 feet above sea level. Golfers love this fact, as their shots go over 10 percent farther than usual, and newcomers to the city have to use caution on a night out on the town—a few drinks go a lot farther as well.

Sports enthusiasts will appreciate Denver's large concentration of athletic teams and sporting facilities. The city is home to three major sports stadiums and has eight professional athletic teams. One of these stadiums, Coors Field, was added to downtown Denver in May 1995 to host the Colorado Rockies, Denver's Major League Baseball team.

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