The convention industry is breathless over the news Friday that the Democratic National Convention will host its 2008 event in Denver at the Pepsi Center.
None of those clusters is near Boulder, said Rich Grant, spokesman for the Denver Metro Convention and Visitor's Bureau, and no official convention events are planned up this way. He doesn't predict much economic impact for Boulder or other outlying communities.
If anything, the bureau is trying to concentrate the action in downtown Denver.
It's planning a marketing campaign to encourage metro-area residents to come to downtown Denver during the convention. The bureau wants to avoid a repeat of the 2005 National Basketball Association All-Star Game, held at the Pepsi Center in 2005.
Fears about traffic around downtown that weekend kept many people away and hurt the area economically, Grant said.
That's a far cry from the 100,000 visitors the convention bureau was predicting back in January 2005. Strangely, the predictions all made headline news in the local papers, but the actual economic figures are buried in an tangentially related article published two years later. That's like writing a story on the front page of the sports section about the betting line for a big game but then not even reporting on the game itself.
Indeed, but the lack of reporting of the facts doesn't surprise me either. Why would those who benefited from the public subsidies come clean about the ex post reality?
In the summer of 2005, the PowerWife and I took a trip through the Russian River Valley wine country. A couple on the trip with us had travelled from Calgary at that time to specifically avoid the Calgary Stampede. The article suggests that this couple is far from alone in their decision to skedaddle when mega events are afoot.