DENVER (April 14, 2009) – A new $2 million tourism campaign has been put together by VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau that will use billboards, radio ads, print ads, key word buys, newspaper inserts, public relations, and Web banners to attract tourists to Denver.  Part of the campaign came about as a result of a group of business committees put together earlier this year by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper to help stimulate the city’s economy.  The stimulus campaign will entice visitors from outside Denver to the Mile High City with more than 100 bargain packages from hotels, restaurants, sports teams, cultural facilities, museums, special events restaurants and attractions that offer deals for the “mile high” price of $52.80*.  

“This type of value-driven campaign is extremely important in keeping Denver competitive and at the top of consumers’ consideration list for this summer’s tourism season,” said Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper.  “We really appreciate that so many local businesses decided to participate with such great offers.”

Through committee brainstorming sessions, the idea emerged to look at the success Denver Restaurant Week achieved in stimulating activity, and incorporate that same concept across all facets of the tourism industry.  
The new $52.80 deals stimulus campaign is being incorporated into VISIT DENVER’s traditional spring/summer consumer-tourism marketing.  “For the past three years, we have conducted a tourism consumer marketing campaign in regional and fly-drive markets,” said Richard Scharf, president & CEO of VISIT DENVER.  “This year, we are supplementing that campaign with the new stimulus ads for $52.80 specials, and expanding it to include promotions in closer drive areas, such as Colorado Springs, Pueblo, Fort Collins and Cheyenne,” Scharf said.  He said that studies show people will vacation closer to home this year due to the economy.  He valued the campaign as $2 million of cash and in-kind promotions.

While locals are encouraged to take advantage of these specials, advertising will be focused on out-of-town markets and will drive consumers to the Web site  “The purpose of these specials is to entice out-of-towners to come to Denver, spend money, generate tax revenue and help our economy,” Scharf said.   
Just some of the deals include:

* Some 40 hotels are offering rates starting at $79 with another 10 hotels offering “stay one night at regular price, get a second night for $52.80.”  All these rates are based on availability and will last through Labor Day.

* Sports teams such as the Colorado Rapids, the Colorado Rockies and the Denver Outlaws are offering ticket packages that include $52.80 price tags or less in some cases.  The Rapids are working with a dozen hotels to ensure guests staying at participating properties between April 20 and Labor Day will get two free tickets to a Rapids home game.  

* Attractions such as the Denver Art Museum, Water World, the Butterfly Pavilion, Molly Brown House and the Downtown Aquarium are offering attractive $52.80 packages.

* Various spas and retailers packages, including specials at Cherry Creek Shopping Center.

* Customized cultural offerings for $52.80  include ticket packages for the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Opera Colorado, PHAMALY and Central City Opera.

* A half dozen art galleries are offering specials and 14 restaurants are featuring multi-course dinners for the fixed price of $52.80.

* Fresh Rocky Mountain adventures are being offered including river running, zipline, rock climbing, bike rental and jet skis for $52.80.

* Music festivals – including the Denver Post Underground Music Showcase – are offering ticket packages for $52.80.
Chairing the Mayor’s stimulus business committees were:

* Walter Isenberg, president & CEO, Sage Hospitality Resources – Hospitality Industry Committee
* Nick LeMasters of Cherry Creek Shopping Center – Retail Committee
* George Sparks of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science – Cultural Committee.

About VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau
Celebrating 100 years of promoting the Mile High City, VISIT DENVER is a nonprofit trade association that contracts with the City of Denver to market Denver as a convention and leisure destination, increasing economic development in the city, creating jobs and generating taxes.  Tourism is the second-largest industry in Denver, generating $2.9 billion in annual spending in 2007, while supporting 65,000 jobs. For more information on Denver call 800-2-DENVER or visit Denver’s official Web site at      
# # #

*See availability and package details at  Restrictions may apply.

With press or photo inquiries, please contact:
Rich Grant: (303) 571-9450 or
Jen Elving: (303) 571-9451