The Mayor of Denver, members of the Stock Show executive team, and the head of the Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) briefed reporters on Tuesday about the future of this annual event.
DURA has spent the past year studying the viability of the National Western's current business plan and the buildings it is using. In a detailed report released Tuesday, DURA suggests that the Stock Show's facilities are physically and technologically obsolete, and the event will not survive for the long term if changes aren't made.
DURA is recommending that a partnership be formed between the National Western, VISIT Denver (the city's nonprofit tourism arm) and Denver's Division of Theatres and Arenas. The goal would be for all three of these organizations to work together to come up with a set of venues that serves multiple audiences and widens the opportunities year around use.
In addition, while researching stock shows around the country, DURA found that all of them have a dedicated revenue stream coming from the city where they're located. It's recommending Denver adopt a similar model -- perhaps something like a lodger's tax.
The City and the National Western will also have to come up with a financing plan to build new venues, and that's a process that will likely require a voter-approved bond.
Several things are clear after Tuesday's meeting, 1) the National Western Stock Show is now intent on staying at its current location - no other location is being considered 2) the City of Denver is motivated to keep them on site and help the event remain financially viable for the future 3) there are lots of questions to be answered in short order and lots of work required to get that done.
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