Denver stock show staying put

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The National Western Stock Show will remain at its historic location in northern Denver, where it has resided for 106 years. Stock show officials joined Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock on Tuesday to announce a new plan for the show, which will include developing new revenue streams and partnerships with the city.

For several years, the National Western has explored options for moving to a new location, such as nearby Aurora, and building new facilities. The current location offers little room for expansion; limited parking and many of the facilities are outdated. It is, however, easily accessible from Interstate 70 and offers an atmosphere of tradition and heritage built over more than a century, which cattlemen and cattlewomen from across the West and around the country have come to love.

Last year, Mayor Hancock asked the Denver Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) to provide an independent review of the National Western’s, business, financial and facilities plans. On Tuesday, DURA provided the Mayor their analysis and a comparative review of similar facilities and programs throughout the country. The DURA analysis suggests greater coordination and stronger connections to partners such as the City, Visit Denver (the city's nonprofit tourism arm) and Downtown Denver Partnership. These changes, according to a National Western news release, will help position the organization overcome existing facility and programming challenges, tap new markets and thrive for generations to come.

The report also recommends remodeling the Stock Show’s outdated facilities, which will require considerable financial investment. In researching other stock shows, DURA found that all of them have dedicated revenue streams from their host cities, and the group recommends Denver adopt a similar model, possibly including a lodger's tax or a voter-approved bond, according to a report from Denver’s 9news.

According to the Denver Post, The stock show owns its own buildings and leases the land from the city, with 28 years remaining on the lease. Maintenance in recent years has been limited to critical repairs, and deferred maintenance costs in 2011 were as high as $75 million.

So I’ll see you in Denver this January, and hopefully for many Januarys to come.

Read more at the National Western Stock Show website.

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