Photo by: Don Cudney

DENVER MEETING AND EVENT PLANNERS may not know it, but they have a highly influential supporter on their sales team: Mayor Michael Hancock.

COM+E: What should every meeting planner know about this city?

MH: Denver did it right. We built what has become the fifth busiest airport in the United States, which offers great accessibility to get here via direct flights from more than 180 worldwide destinations. We’re building a 500-room Westin at the airport and direct rail service that will link the airport to downtown with fast, convenient and inexpensive transportation starting in 2016.

Once downtown, Denver is a lively, walkable, clean, safe and fun urban center with 8,500 hotel rooms and 300 restaurants, all within easy walking distance of the Colorado Convention Center-a facility that is consistently ranked by meeting planners as one of the top five convention centers in America. When you add that downtown is filled with art and history museums, bike paths, shopping, music clubs, brewpubs and three sports stadiums, we’ve got everything a convention needs.

COM+E: For meeting planners who have never considered Denver for an event, what places would you suggest as an ideal get-toknow Denver day?

MH: Red Rocks Amphitheatre & Park is unique. It is only 12 miles from downtown and offers spectacular natural beauty at the base of the Rocky Mountains and was picked by Rolling Stone as the best outdoor concert venue in the nation.

Denver Museum of Nature & Science has wonderful space for meetings with outdoor decks offering gorgeous views over City Park and the Denver skyline.

Denver Art Museum also has a variety of different meeting spaces in the amazing Hamilton Building, which was the first structure in the United States designed by renowned international architect Daniel Libeskind.

Denver-based Urban Villages has launched construction of the 265-room Populus at 14th Street and Colfax Avenue in the Civic Center Park area. Slated for completion in late 2023, the country’s first carbon positive hotel is ironically being built on the site of Colorado’s first gas station.


Stepping outside of meeting rooms and experiencing a destination is often the difference between a successful gathering and one that is less than memorable. A smart way to accomplish this is scheduling time to check out local breweries, wineries and food halls, where there tends to be many choices to accommodate various tastes and a range of price points. Here is the latest food and beverage news of interest to groups from around Colorado.


Recipient of the World’s Leading Luxury Train title from the 2020 World Travel Awards, Rocky Mountaineer launched its first-ever excursion in America’s Southwest on Aug.