Denver has a mission, according to the City and County of Denver, Mayor’s Proposed 2013 Budget, “to enhance Denver’s quality of life and economic vitality through premier public venues, artworks, cultural programming and entertainment opportunities.” The estimated budget for 2013 allotted to the convention and visitor’s bureau is $14,669,400. VISIT DENVER is the city’s contracted convention and visitor’s bureau. VISIT DENVER also is the official and contracted marketing agency for the City and County of Denver. The bureau is a private nonprofit that markets metro Denver as a convention and leisure destination. It is funded publicly and privately. Public sources include a voter-approved lodging tax. Specifically, the 2013 proposed budget states, “The 2013 lodgers’ tax forecast is projected to total $15,658,700, representing an increase of $456,100 or 3.0 percent over the 2012 revised estimate. This forecast incorporates Visit Denver’s 2013 projected lodgers’ tax growth rate.”
The success of VISIT DENVER is striking. “In the last seven years tourism in Denver has grown 40 percent, while the national average is 7 percent,” states Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER . VISIT DENVER is a leader and collaborator in Colorado’s tourism success. Collaborators include: the city, transportation, hotels, recreation, voters and visitors. Tourism in Colorado also provides 136,900 jobs. Job growth is a serious issue for 2013. The tourism industry can help alleviate the issue.
The Denver Art Museum (DAM) and VISIT DENVER are collaborating to draw in tourism this winter. The much-anticipated Becoming Van Gogh exhibit will feature 70 paintings and drawings by Vincent Van Gogh as well as artists who inspired him. This exhibition is solely in Denver until Jan. 20, 2013. To paint Van Gogh’s formative story, Timothy J. Standring, Gates Foundation Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the DAM, and Louis van Tilborgh, Senior Researcher of Paintings at Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, borrowed from more than 60 public and private collections. Now that’s collaboration. The highly priced fine art on loan, securing loans, ensuring the trust to properly handle Van Gogh’s work, and putting in place an exhibit of this caliber all adds up to a great accomplishment.
The website www.vangoghdenver.com is provided by the collaborative effort of DAM and VISIT DENVER, which connects people to exhibit information, ticketing, booking, hotel packages, promotional offers, images, group tours and resources. The VIP exhibit tickets and theme-inspired accommodations include offers at the Brown Palace Hotel and Spa; Comfort Inn Downtown Hotel; Grand Hyatt Denver; Hilton Garden Inn Denver; Hotel Monaco, a Kimpton Hotel in Denver; Hyatt Regency Denver; Sheraton Downtown Denver; the Curtis: a Doubletree Hotel; the Ritz-Carlton, Denver; and the Westin Denver Downtown.
DAM and VISIT DENVER’s collaborative effort serves and brings to Denver a world-class exhibit and economic growth. As Governor John Hickenlooper said, “The story of tourism in Denver is also the history of our city and people.” Enjoy Denver this season; it benefits us all.