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‘Hottest place to be’: Denver sets visitor record

Posted at 8:42 PM, Jun 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-20 22:42:05-04

DENVER (CBS4)– It’s no surprise that tourism in Denver continues to grow, attracting more people each year than the year before for the past 12 years.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced Wednesday morning that for the first time in the history of tracking tourism in Denver, the city has achieved this level of success in terms of both visitor numbers and tourism revenue.

“This weekend, I took a moment to pause and think about all the things that are happening in our city. Looking back on this past weekend, we had the annual Juneteenth Parade, the annual Pride Parade, Denver ComicCon was happening, shows at DCPA, the Americans for Arts Convention was in town, and the first ever Denver BBQ Festival,” said Hancock. “Of these six events, I went to at least four of them and found that our city was the hottest place to be last weekend.”

Longwoods International USA has been tracking tourism in Denver for the past two decades. The company tracks how many people come to Denver and how much they spend while they are in the city, where they stay and eat, along with what they see and do while they are in Denver, as well as people were satisfied with their experience. All that data is broken down to help businesses with marketing.

“Last year, Denver welcomed 31.7 million overnight and day visitors– an all-time record,” said Michael Erdman, senior vice president of Longwoods International USA.

That includes 17.4 million overnight visitors. The revenue for last year reached a record $6.5 billion.

“Denver ranks among the best cities to visit; among the best cities to live; among the top cities for restaurants; the top city for beer; among the top cities for sports; among the top cities for fitness and healthy lifestyles; among the most walk-able and bike-able cities in the country; and on and on and on,” said Hancock.

The top attractions for Denver visitors are the 16th Street Mall, the Denver Zoo and Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

“Five point six billion dollars in overnight visitor spending is amazing and every time a visitor pays those taxes, it means that locals don’t have to. Denver is a casual place, where people are friendly and there’s this can do spirit that makes everyone excited,” said Jayne Buck of VISIT DENVER.

Longwoods International found that nearly 80 percent of those who visited last year would come back.

Denver is getting ready, with construction of 9,000 new hotel rooms planned over the next year.