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When it comes to meeting planning, Denver has it all: a state-of-the-art convention center; a central location; an international airport; a walkable downtown packed with shopping, dining, nightlife and cultural attractions; thousands of hotel rooms; and a convention bureau that knows how to create a successful event. On this page, you'll find some fast facts about Denver's truly extraordinary qualities.
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Denver is just 340 miles from the exact center of the continental United States – closer to the center of the nation than any other city our size. In addition to easy air access, Denver is at the intersection of two major interstate highways, has two Amtrak passenger trains daily and is a major hub for interstate motorcoach travel.
Location: 23 miles from Downtown Denver
Travel Time: Typically 30-40 minutes
Convenience: An airport rail line whisks visitors to the downtown area for only $10.50 each way (with discounts available)
At VISIT DENVER, we pride ourselves on exceeding expectations and providing a high level of service. VISIT DENVER continues to be the recipient of an ever-growing list of awards and recognitions, which represent some of the industry's top service awards such as Successful Meeting's Pinnacle Award; Meeting & Convention Magazine's Gold Service Award; Corporate & Incentive Travel Magazine's Award of Excellence; and Facilities Magazine's Top Destination Award.
A little business, a little pleasure: One out of three meeting attendees in Denver take a pre- or post-convention vacation – one reason why the city routinely breaks attendance records. Denver is the gateway to pre- and post-meeting adventure in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. In a little more than an hour, you can hike or fly fish in Rocky Mountain National Park; play poker, blackjack and roulette in Old West mining towns; go river rafting down spectacular Clear Creek Canyon, or just relax in luxury at a variety of international ski and summer resorts like Vail, Breckenridge, Winter Park, Copper Mountain, Beaver Creek, Keystone, Steamboat and the Broadmoor.
Upscale and Affordable: Denver is the 19th largest city in the U.S. in terms of metro area population and ranks about the same in national cost studies. The city has thousands of restaurants, including hundreds within walking distance of the Colorado Convention Center. According to the 2021 Corporate Travel Index, Denver is a bargain, ranking 33rd out of the top 100 cities in overall costs, which makes it less expensive than most other major cities.
Feel at Ease: Denver's downtown has a mile-long pedestrian promenade, tree-lined streets, flower gardens, parks and outdoor cafes. Nearly 26,000 people live downtown, mostly in lofts that are located above restaurants and shops or in nearby neighborhoods like Uptown, LoDo, RiNo, Riverfront and Highlands. The residents give downtown Denver a 24-hour atmosphere; there are always people on the streets in the areas between the convention center, restaurants and downtown hotels.
Shop 'til you Drop: Denver is the largest shopping center in a 600-mile radius with everything from Nordstrom's, Neiman Marcus and H&M to one of the nation's largest independent bookstores, the Tattered Cover. Cherry Creek Shopping Center and Cherry Creek North, just three miles from downtown, has nearly 500 department stores, art galleries, shops and boutiques, all in a deluxe ultra-upscale mall or on quiet tree-lined streets. The 16th Street Mall is a pedestrian promenade that runs for more than a mile through the heart of downtown Denver. Shopping, dining and entertainment can be found everywhere you turn. If you're planning outdoor adventures, you'll also find a vast array of sporting goods stores here.
Stay updated: The 16th Street Mall is currently being revitalized, yet still staying open for business! The RTD’s Free MallRide bus will continue running, make sure to check upcoming detours onto 15th & 17th streets.
Denver Dining: Denver has thousands of innovative eateries, serving all varieties of cuisine. Area specialties include Southwestern dishes, buffalo, Colorado beef and lamb and fresh produce such as succulent Palisade peaches and sweet Olathe corn. The city is gaining a reputation for its innovative collection of farm-to-table, chef-owned restaurants.
Enjoy a Tall, Frosty One: Denver brews more beer than any other city with 200 different beers brewed in town daily and at the Coors Brewing Company, the largest single brewing site on earth. The world's largest beer festival is held here every autumn, the Great American Beer Festival®, which features tastings of more than 4,000 beers from more than 800 nationwide breweries.
Cultural delights: The Denver Performing Arts Complex is the second largest in the nation with 10 venues seating 10,000 for opera, theater, symphony and ballet.
In Denver, you are never far from nature: Denver has the nation's largest city park system. In City Park, you'll find the massive Denver Museum of Nature & Science, as well as the 80-acre Denver Zoo. Meanwhile, Denver Botanic Gardens is an oasis in the city, with 24 acres of living flora.
Mile-high art: Visit the amazing Denver Art Museum, with its striking building designed by Daniel Libeskind and explore one of the world's most comprehensive Indigenous Arts of North America collections. Next door, the Clyfford Still Museum showcases masterpieces from the nearly 2,000-piece collection of the famed American abstract artist. The Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art, meanwhile, houses three major collections: paintings by namesake artist Vance Kirkland, fine and decorative art by other Colorado and regional artists and international decorative art.
A sports fan's dream city: Denver offers six professional sports teams! With five sports stadiums, Denver offers MLB baseball with the Colorado Rockies; NFL football with the Denver Broncos; NHL hockey with the Colorado Avalanche; NBA basketball with the Denver Nuggets; MLS with the Colorado Rapids; and NLL lacrosse with the Colorado Mammoth.
Hit the links: Denver has 90 golf courses that remain open all year long and have been played as often as 30 days in January.
A two-wheel town: Denver boasts 85 miles of bike trails, all part of the largest city park system in the nation.
Wide-open spaces: Half of Colorado is public land open to all forms of recreation in more than two dozen national parks, monuments and forests.
The incomparable Rocky Mountain National Park: 412 square miles of waterfalls, lakes and high mountain valleys just 70 miles from Denver.
Test your luck: The old gold mining towns of Central City and Black Hawk, located just 34 miles west of Denver, have come alive in recent years thanks to casino gambling and Wild West charm. Casinos are open 24 hours and feature roulette, craps, blackjack and unlimited betting limits.
The best skiing in the world: Denver owns its own ski area – Winter Park Resort, boasting 350 inches of annual snowfall. Many of Colorado's top ski resorts including Vail, Keystone, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek, Copper Mountain and Winter Park, are just a little more than an hour from Denver.
Natural and manmade wonders: Garden of the Gods is an unusual geologic formation of brilliant red rocks, located at the base of Pikes Peak an hour from Denver. Royal Gorge, the world's highest suspension bridge, is two hours from the city. You can walk or drive across the bridge, descend to the bottom of the canyon on the world's steepest incline railroad, take a train through the canyon or ride down the rapids in a rubber raft.
Road trip through the clouds: Mountain goats are a common sight on the Mount Evans Highway, which climbs to 14,260 feet above sea level, making it the highest paved road in North America.
Mild, sunny and Mile High: While the Rocky Mountains are still snowcapped, Denver enjoys an early spring with delightfully warm, sunny days. Dress in layers so that as the sun warms up, you can remove layers and stay comfortable. In summer, Denver offers natural air conditioning – a perfect combination of warm, sunny days followed by cool evenings where a light jacket or sweater is often welcome. Autumn can arrive early in the high country and the colorful turning of the aspen trees occurs in the mountains from mid-September to mid-October. Denver receives more hours of annual sunshine than San Diego or Miami Beach, so winter days in Denver are bright, sunny and surprisingly mild. In February, average daily highs are 45 degrees – warmer than New York, Chicago, Philadelphia or St. Louis.
Easy access: Downtown Denver is home to more than 12,000 rooms within short walking distance of the Colorado Convention Center, including an adjacent 1,100-room Hyatt Regency, the 1,200-room Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, the 615-room Hilton Denver City Center, the 511-room Grand Hyatt and the 430-room Westin Downtown Denver.
Unique boutiques: Downtown also boasts upscale boutique hotels like the Five Diamond Ritz-Carlton Denver, Four Seasons Denver, Brown Palace Hotel & Spa, Hotel Teatro, Hotel Monaco, The Curtis Hotel, The Maven Hotel, The Oxford Hotel, the Warwick Denver Hotel and The Rally.
Low-cost convenience: There are a number of convenient and affordable downtown chain hotels such as the Holiday Inn Express, Courtyard by Marriott, Embassy Suites Denver-Colorado Convention Center, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Magnolia and Residence Inn.
Plenty of rooms: Metro Denver has 50,000 first-class hotel rooms in the area, conveniently linked to downtown by efficient highways and light rail - just one reason why Denver beat out 26 other cities to host the 2008 Democratic National Convention. There are more than a dozen hotels in the Denver Tech Center led by the 628-room Denver Marriott Tech Center, all with easy-to-use light rail service to downtown.
Luxurious resorts: Conveniently located just 15 minutes from Boulder and Denver, the Westin Westminster offers 369 luxury rooms with mountain or park views. The Omni Interlocken Resort has 390 rooms, a spa and 4-star golf course, while the Inverness Hotel and Conference Center has 302 rooms and a championship golf course.
There are 200 named peaks visible from Denver, including 32 that soar to 13,000 feet (4,000 meters) and above. The mountain panorama visible from Denver is 140 miles (225 km) long.
There is a step on the State Capitol Building that is exactly 5,280 feet (1,609 meters) above sea level. In Denver's rarified air, golf balls go 10 percent farther. So do cocktails. Alcoholic drinks pack more of a wallop than at sea level. The sun feels warmer in the thinner atmosphere, but your coffee is cooler because water boils at 202 degrees (94 degrees Celsius).
Denver boasts the 10th largest downtown in America and one of the most exciting and walkable. Within a mile radius, downtown Denver has three major sports stadiums, the nation's second-largest performing arts center, three colleges, an assortment of art and history museums, a mint that produces 10 billion coins a year, a river offering whitewater rafting, more than 12,000 hotel rooms within a short walking distance of the Colorado Convention Center (more than 50,000 first-class hotel rooms in the greater metro area), a downtown theme and water park, downtown aquarium and hundreds of chef-driven restaurants.
Located east of a major mountain range, Denver has a mild, dry and sunny climate with more annual hours of sun than San Diego or Miami Beach. In winter, Denver is dryer than Phoenix with an average daily high of 45 degrees (7 degrees Celsius) in February. Golf courses remain open all year and have been played every day in January.
In 1858, there was not a single person living in the Denver metro area. Thirty years later, Colorado was a state with a population of almost 200,000. It was a gold rush that caused this boom, and in a 30-year period, Denver saw some of the wildest events in the Wild West. This fascinating period is relived in museums, old gold mining villages and hundreds of elegant Victorian buildings.
Denver has more than 200 parks within the city and 20,000 acres of parks in the nearby mountains, including spectacular Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre. The city has its own bison herd at Buffalo Herd Overlook. Other mountain parks include Echo Lake, at the base of the Mount Evans highway – the highest paved road in North America – and Buffalo Bill's Grave on top of Lookout Mountain.
In its Old West days, Denver had a performance of "Macbeth" before it had a school or hospital. Today, the Denver Performing Arts Complex has nine theaters seating 10,000 people. The seven-county metro area has a self-imposed sales tax for the arts, which is distributed to 300 arts organizations and facilities. Denver's live music scene entertains year-round, ranging from intimate venues like the Paramount Theatre to legendary open-air spots like Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre, where the Beatles, U2 and many more have played.
Denver loves its sports, from basketball to football to soccer to baseball. Denver also has horse racing and a professional rodeo. Denver has 90 golf courses, miles of bike paths and the nation's most unique city park system.
From global warming and renewable energy to environmental cleanup, Denver is emerging as a model for sustainable cities. The Colorado Convention Center is green through and through, including a rare LEED Gold certification for existing buildings and the Blue Bear Farm, which grows more than 5,000 pounds of fresh produce annually! Denver International Airport is dedicated to sustainable practices, including a Community Stewardship philosophy that includes energy and environmental management, green buildings and noise abatement. The Denver Zoo's Toyota Elephant Passage uses a biomass gasification system, which can turn human trash and animal waste into energy to power the exhibit. Plus, many of Denver’s famous craft breweries are committed to recycling programs and responsible water usage.
Whether you're enjoying a night out on the town at one of Larimer Square's independently owned fine dining spots or digging into the offerings from one of the city's many gourmet food halls, you can count on fresh, local ingredients. The city's beer world is booming, too, with new craft breweries opening up, along with several distilleries and wineries, too!