DNC yields Metro Denver tremendous economic benefits
Denver releases comprehensive report analyzing economic impacts and other community benefits
While the Democratic National Convention ended just seven weeks ago, the economic and community benefits of hosting the historic event will be felt in Metro Denver for many years to come. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper released a report Thursday estimating a $266.1 million regional economic benefit to Metro Denver, of which $153.9 million occurred within the City and County of Denver. The comprehensive impact report (available at www.denvergov.org) also summarizes the Convention's successes around civic engagement, inclusiveness, sustainability, and bolstering Metro Denver’s reputation as a world-class urban center.
"Preliminary estimates projected a potential $160 million economic benefit to the region, so the fact that a $266 million benefit was generated means our expectations were definitely exceeded and regional investments in the Convention’s success yielded tremendous dividends,” Mayor Hickenlooper said. “But quantifiable economic benefits are only one piece of our community’s success in hosting the Democratic National Convention. The media exposure worldwide and the positive experiences of our visitors will spawn economic opportunities for decades, and our enhanced civic pride, community involvement, and environmental leadership and innovation is an enduring legacy on which we will continue to build.”
According to the economic analysis, the Metro Denver region benefited from $133.5 million in direct spending and $132.6 million in indirect spending related to hosting the Democratic National Convention. In addition to the $80.4 million in direct spending and $73.5 million in indirect spending generated within the City and County of Denver alone, $2.7 million in Convention-related lodger's taxes, sales and use taxes, and building permit fees flowed into the City of Denver's treasury. (Tax data is not yet available for other metro area cities).
“Based on anecdotal evidence from hotels and restaurants, the positive experiences of our visitors and local residents and the incredible media attention, we knew the Convention was a tremendous success as soon as it was over, but this report demonstrates the economic value that large-scale undertakings like this can bring,” said Richard Scharf, president/CEO of the Denver Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Tourism is Colorado’s second largest industry, and these numbers demonstrate how success in the tourism market can ripple across the region’s entire economy.”
Security-related expenses were covered by a $50 million federal grant, 80% of which was spent in Denver metro area. All other Convention expenses were funded by private donations to the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee. According to the Host Committee's financial disclosure report released today, 79 percent of the $55 million in cash contributions the Host Committee raised was donated from organizations and individuals outside of Colorado, and $27.7 million of the funds were spent on goods or services from Colorado-based companies.
“Hosting a national political convention produces not only short-term economic benefits, but it plants seeds for long-term opportunities,” said Tom Clark, executive vice president of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation. “Eighty percent of business decisions to relocate to or open an office in a new city are sparked by a visit as a tourist. By hosting a first-class event and showcasing Metro Denver in the best light possible to 50,000 opinion-leading visitors – including 16,000+ members of the media – we created a once-in-a-lifetime marketing opportunity that we will leverage well into the future.”
The economic analysis within Denver’s comprehensive impact report was performed by economist Patricia Silverstein of Development Research Partners and underwritten by the Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee.
“Downtown Denver experienced unprecedented activity during the Democratic National Convention, providing exciting opportunities for local businesses and residents,” said Tami Door, president/CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. “But while downtown Denver was the epicenter of Convention activity, the economic benefits clearly spread throughout the metro area demonstrating the tremendous value a strong urban core and region have to each other.”