DENVER (August 12, 2016) – Less than two months after Denver tourism officials announced 10 consecutive years of tourism growth and record tourism revenue in 2015, Denver achieved a new tourism milestone by generating a record $9.8 million in Lodger’s Tax in June 2016, outpacing the previous year by 19.3 percent and exceeding the previous record of $8.3 million set in July 2015.
Lodger’s Tax revenue is among several variables commonly used to illustrate the health of Denver’s tourism economy. Revenue generated from Lodger’s Tax in Denver is used to market the city as a leisure and convention travel destination and also fills the City’s General Fund coffers.
“June was the perfect combination of large, well-attended conventions and meetings, destination events and a summer advertising campaign designed to draw overnight visitors to Denver from key feeder markets,” said Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Conventions and tourism are vital to our economy since visitors generate economic impact, create jobs and pay taxes that otherwise would have to be paid by residents.”
According to Scharf, group room demand from strong meeting and convention attendance increased by 14.9 percent year-over-year in June and seemed to be the tipping point for the record month. Overall, the month of June welcomed 88 groups to Denver with nearly 45,000 attendees and 91,000 room nights. This included key conventions such as the International Society for Technology in Education (20,000 attendees), the NAFSA Association of International Educators (9,000 attendees) and Denver Comic Con, the well-known consumer convention that continues to grow in popularity each year.
Additional factors that contributed to a record June included:
- RevPAR, a performance metric used in the hotel industry calculated by multiplying a hotel's average daily room rate (ADR) by its occupancy rate, increased year-over-year by $13.77 to $145.16 (up 10.5 percent).
- Convention and meetings group RevPAR increased by 29.5 percent.
- Room inventory increased year-over-year by 25,230 rooms (up 4 percent, 841 new hotel rooms)
Denver is ranked among the top meeting and convention destinations in the U.S., and the Colorado Convention Center, situated in the heart of downtown Denver within walking distance of more than 9,000 hotel rooms, will soon be expanded to include up to 80,000 square feet of new meeting space and a new football field-sized rooftop terrace with meeting and ballroom space overlooking the Rocky Mountains.
Thus far, 2016 has featured some notable successes that have likely contributed to Denver’s ongoing ascension as a top U.S. tourism destination.
- February saw the Denver Broncos achieve a Super Bowl Championship on a global stage, and the ensuing parade featured over 1 million people in downtown Denver and was aired to a live, national television audience.
- VISIT DENVER officials announced that Denver welcomed 16.4 million overnight visitors in 2015, surpassing the year prior by one million visitors and establishing a new visitor spending record of $5 billion.
- Denver continues to achieve high profile recognition as a top city to visit or live including a 2016 U.S. News & World Report feature that ranked Denver as the number one city to live in the U.S.
- Denver’s Regional Transportation District (RTD) launched the long awaited University of Colorado A Line in April, connecting the country’s sixth busiest airport to downtown Denver.
- Denver International Airport announced record passenger traffic for the first half of 2016 tallying more than 27.5 million passengers through the end of June, a 6.8 percent increase over 2015, including a 10 percent increase in international passengers in June.
- Denver moved up again on a national ranking of meeting and convention destinations, coming in 12th among all U.S. cities in the latest Cvent (2016) study.