VISIT DENVER launched Denver Restaurant Week (DRW) in 2004 with the goal of promoting Denver’s fine dining reputation, which had received some low marks in influential national publications. Due to the tremendous effort of Denver’s restaurateurs, and to programs like DRW, the city’s national reputation as a fine dining destination has been successfully elevated. In 2010, Travel + Leisure magazine readers rated Denver as the 13th best city in the nation for fine dining, up from the 23rd position Denver held in 2004 when DRW started.
During DRW 2012, diners will still be able to get a multi-course meal for the “mile high” price of $52.80 for two. Registration for restaurants will begin on Monday, October 31.
In 2011, the culinary event attracted a record 303 restaurants that served a record 360,480 meals. “During Denver Restaurant Week, every night is a Friday night in terms of crowds and activity,” says Richard Scharf, president and CEO of DRW sponsor, VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Denver Restaurant Week is essentially a gift to the people of Denver from our top restaurants, which we enthusiastically promote,” Scharf said.
“We realize that while DRW is a great benefit to most participating restaurants and immensely enjoyable for diners, it can also be a grueling two weeks for restaurant staff behind the line and in front of it,” Scharf said. “So this year’s DRW effort will also include programs to educate the dining public on good DRW etiquette, such as honoring reservations and showing their appreciation for good service.”
Scharf said that prior to announcing the dates each year, VISIT DENVER evaluates all aspects of the program, to ensure its continued success for all involved. “This year, we surveyed the restaurants, held meetings, and talked to many people. We looked at changing the dates, increasing the price, and other options. But in the end, the majority of the restaurants said to keep the same price and keep it two weeks. We also looked at splitting DRW into two separate efforts, one in February and one is late summer or early fall, but there were too many hurdles with the calendar,” Scharf said.
Menus for participating restaurants will be available on the DRW website at DenverRestaurantWeek.com in early-2012.