De-installation will be completed this week on Denver’s 110-foot “Mile High Tree,” which drew more than 143,000 visitors and national acclaim over a two-month period in its inaugural year. The seven-story LED pixel tree, which is scheduled to return to Sculpture Park at the Denver Performing Arts Complex (DPAC) for the 2020 holiday season, literally changed the face of the city’s evening skyline and generated widespread recognition for Denver’s annual Mile High Holidays tourism campaign.
“In its first year, the Mile High Tree served as an excellent addition to our holiday marketing efforts and the perfect complement to a variety of festive holiday events throughout the Denver Metro area,” said Richard Scharf, president & CEO of VISIT DENVER. “The tree will remain a perfect community centerpiece for bringing people of all cultures together for seasonal celebrations and we look forward to bringing back Denver’s newest holiday tradition in 2020.”
As the tallest art installation in the city’s history, the tree paid huge promotional dividends by generating big exposure for Denver tourism earning over 29 million social media ad impressions, over 258,000 Web page views and $8.6 million in local and national editorial media coverage including a feature in the Los Angeles Times Travel section.
More than 100,000 locals took in the festive atmosphere at Sculpture Park and the splendor of the tree’s free, nightly public light shows choreographed to multi-cultural holiday music. Many opted for the immersive interior viewing experience within the tree accommodating up to 140 guests at a time, and special themed evenings drew even more locals to enjoy a princess night for children and pup pics with Santa for dog lovers.
Survey data indicated the tree also was extremely effective in attracting people from outside of Denver, including 21 percent of visitors who came from out of state and another 8 percent of Coloradans from outside of the Denver Metro area. A total of 94 percent of visitors indicated they enjoyed the experience and were highly likely to recommend it to others. The survey also found that 88 percent of visitors were aware of the Mile High Tree before visiting and would likely come again if the tree returned.
Created by Spain-based ILMEX Illumination, part of Ximenez Group, a world-leading firm in artistic and decorative lighting, the tree presented a series of dynamic, pre-programmed lighting and music experiences every 15 minutes each evening using pixel mapping technology through 60,000 LED lights. ILMEX is globally renowned for creating decorative lighting productions in cities throughout the world including London, Milan, Brussels, Dubai, Tokyo, Madrid, Moscow, Bogota, Perth and Montreal. Madrid-based Brut Deluxe, which has created lighted art installations across the globe, developed the tree’s lighting design in collaboration with local video production firm, One Floor Up.
The Mile High Tree attraction was a partnership between VISIT DENVER’s Tourism Improvement District and Denver Arts & Venues, with the support of DPAC tenants including Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA), Colorado Ballet, Opera Colorado and the Colorado Symphony.
Each year, from Thanksgiving through late January, Denver celebrates Mile High Holidays with a variety of events, performing arts, light displays and more promoting Denver’s holiday season across the region. The Mile High Tree was the newest addition to an array of annual holiday offerings at locations throughout the city including: the City and County Building, the Denver Theater District, the 16th Street Mall, Denver Zoo, Denver Botanic Gardens, Larimer Square, Denver Union Station and the DCPA, among others.