Denver Restaurant Week started more than ten years ago to showcase the metro area's dining scene in February -- the time of year when restaurant traffic is generally at its slowest. A half-dozen years ago, to boost business at the beginning of the Great Recession, a second week was added. But in response to complaints from both employees and eaters that two weeks straight was definitely too much of a good thing, this year the event was split into two separate weeks -- one in February and the other in August, to give harried staffs a break from fourteen straight days of deal-seeking Denverites. Now Visit Denver, the group that organizes Denver Restaurant Week, is moving back to a February-only format, citing logistical difficulties with scheduling during the peak summer restaurant season. Additionally, the 2015 version will be a ten-day affair as part of what Visit Denver calls a compromise between restaurant owners, restaurant employees, diners, and sponsors.
"The perfect 'best of both worlds' compromise appears to be to run it for ten days, encompassing two complete weekends in the traditional slow period of February," says Justin Bresler of Visit Denver.
Two weeks straight was just too grueling for restaurant employees, resulting in the split into two separate weeks. But many restaurants are unable to commit to a week in the summer, when other events are generally scheduled far in advance. Last year more than 300 restaurants participated in the February Restaurant Week, but the number dropped to just over 200 for the summer week. "In the end, we couldn't find workable dates for the summer event, and the consensus of opinion was to concentrate on the traditional February time frame," Bresler adds.
Restaurant registration for the 2015 Denver Restaurant Week (or ten days) will begin Monday, November 10. For the second year running, the dining deal will be priced at $30 per person, up from $52.80 for two that had been maintained since the event's inaugural year.
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Denver Restaurant Week is presented by Lexus, but is also sponsored by Columbia Winery, Edna Valley Vineyard, Mirassou Winery, Louis M. Martini Winery, William Hill Estate Winery, US Foods, Open Table, Frontier Airlines, Johnson & Wales, zTrip, Colorado Proud, Open Table, the Colorado Restaurant Association and the Downtown Denver Partnership Business Improvement District.