The first hit for the word "Denver" on Google News early July 10? An offer to get the hell out of town.
"Denver Residents Can Flee the City During the DNC" is actually a press release from TheSociety.com, the Internet home of the Society of Leisure Enthusiasts, a Colorado-based firm specializing in "luxury vacation rental homes in beach, mountain and desert destinations." And the business has come up with a special inducement for Denver residents interested in abandoning the metro area during the upcoming Democratic National Convention. Here are the reasons why The Society thinks escaping before the Dems invade would be a good idea:
-- According to the City of Denver, the DNC will be the largest event in Denver's history with 50,000 visitors coming into town and an estimated 1,500 special events during the Convention's four-day span. With the city's 38,000 hotel rooms filled and an additional 12,000 people looking for lodging elsewhere, the city's restaurants, public transportation and other amenities will be overloaded with out-of-towners.
-- Although the convention will be held downtown in the Pepsi Center, hotel clusters contracted through the DNC Committee are located throughout the Denver-metro area.
-- Even though delegates will spend most of their time in the Pepsi Center, there will be demonstrators (there were 10,000 at the 2004 DNC in Boston) downtown in the Civic Center, Skyline Park and other downtown parks throughout the week.
-- Leaving town does not mean disengaging from the DNC. This year's DNC will be the most wired convention in history. With coverage spanning all mediums, a traveler can follow from a mountain home in Aspen as easily as from an office in Denver.
To that end, TheSociety.com "is offering a $50 gas card and 10 percent off already-reduced summer rental rates for its luxury properties in Aspen, Vail, Beaver Creek, Telluride, Winter Park and Breckenridge during the Democratic National Convention. The promotion is valid August 21-28 and is open to all Colorado residents."
A word of caution: The release includes a web page -- TheSociety.com/DNC -- that's supposed to provide more information about the deal but is coming up blank at this writing. Don't let that stop you, though. If the prospect of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton taking over the town chills you, not thrills you, get out while the getting's good. -- Michael Roberts
Update, 10:23 a.m.: As a commenter noted moments ago, the above DNC link is now operational as of this time. -- MR
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.