With four communications staffers in Michael Hancock's office and director Wil Alston focusing on raising the Denver mayor's national profile, couldn't one of them have returned a call to the L.A. Times about the potential move of the National Western Stock Show? Last time we looked, the Times had a national profile.
On August 13, the Times published a piece headlined "Famed livestock show may soon steer clear of Denver," which included this line: "Two advisory committees have been formed to review the proposal -- one by the City Council, the other by Denver's newly elected mayor, Michael Hancock, whose office did not return a call for comment."
But then, officials in Aurora, the town that's trying to rustle the stock show away from its home of 105 years, didn't return calls, either, the Times reported.
Here's what Alston had told the Denver Post a week before about the push for national publicity: "We think the ability to raise Denver's profile is going to be driven by the ability to raise Hancock's profile. We have to be proactive. He is a new mayor. He has good legs locally, but he doesn't have a national presence."
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For the record, Hancock's office did issue this press release August 12 on the Stock Show -- in response to a story in the Post suggesting a possible Stock Show "land swap" with Aurora:
Michael Hancock Statement on the National Western Stock Show
"In response to the article in the morning's Denver Post ("Land swap on the table"), I would like to reiterate the administration's position regarding the National Western Stock Show. The institution is very important to Denver both historically and as an economic benefit. I recognize that now is a pivotal time in the stock show's history and I want to help make the right decisions about its future. In the first few days after being sworn in as Mayor I appointed a working group of knowledgeable citizens to study the current issues concerning the stock show. The outcome of the group's work will help guide my thinking and decisions about Denver's interests in the National Western Stock Show.
"Due to the pressure of established deadlines, the City agreed to submit in June, jointly with Aurora, an application for funding under Colorado's Regional Tourism Act for the Gaylord hotel complex and the National Western Stock Show. An important part of that application is the projection of required total funding for the project and designation of possible revenue sources to provide such funding. Several potential revenue sources were posited by Denver, including the issuance of tax-backed general obligation bonds. It is important to note that in that application, Denver made no commitments regarding funding for the stock show project. The application merely suggests possible financing mechanisms and revenue sources.
"No decisions have been made regarding the future of the National Western Stock Show. My appointed working group is meeting weekly and gathering the information I will need to help the stock show make informed and realistic decisions as we all move forward to preserve a valuable asset and enhance it in a way that will allow it to thrive."
More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Michael Hancock saddles up to keep the National Western Stock Show brand in Denver."