Supporters of a proposed new Denver tourism improvement district to fund upgrades to the Colorado Convention Center had better hope it’s as easy to get the plan approved by large hotels across the metro area as it was Monday night to win the backing of the Denver City Council.

With no debate and no conversation other than a single question from District 10 Councilman Wayne New, city council members unanimously gave approval to putting a question on the November ballot that would raise lodging taxes on hotels of at least 50 rooms in order to raise $129 million for improvements at the downtown convention center, the primary facility where large event planners hold gatherings in Denver.

Backers of the plan still need to get the signatures of at least 30 percent of the 116 hotels that would be affected by the tax hike to get it onto the ballot, and then a majority of hotel owners must give their OK to the plan.

The tourism district would be aimed at raising more money from visitors and funneling it back into upgrades that would allow Visit Denver, the city's tourism and conventions marketing agency, to recruit larger conventions than it can now and to welcome two major events at the same time at the convention center.

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