Denver has been on a role landing key meetings and events business in recent years, most notably the Democratic National Convention (DNC), held in the Mile High City almost a year ago.
I had been wondering what the city's numbers for 2008 looked like, a question that was quickly answered by a recent press release from VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Denver bucked a national decline in business and leisure travel in 2008 to set a new record for visitor spending of $3.1 billion, up 9 percent over the $2.9 billion spent in 2007. The Mile High City attracted 12.2 million overnight visitors in 2008, the same as in 2007. However, boosted by the DNC and a strong convention year, these leisure and business travelers spent 10 percent more money than last year, all according to a report by Longwoods International.
Business travel volume declined 2 percent; however, the DNC and a strong convention year accounted for 5 percent more money being spent, creating a new record of $940 million for business travel spending in 2008. Denver's 2 percent drop in business travel was minor compared to an 11 percent national decline.
There's no doubt that destinations across Colorado and the nation will be holding their breath for 2009 statistics, but I'm confident that the state will more than hold its own when compared to the rest of the nation. I was recently in Breckenridge and Steamboat Springs exploring. Meetings and events are still happening at Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center in Breckenridge and Sheraton Steamboat Resort, both proven properties, and people were still enjoying lovely summer days in these great mountain towns. More on both in my next blog!