Colorado History

What Word Would You Use to Describe the National Western Stock Show Site?

A look at the future National Western Center, with the landmark arena top left.
A look at the future National Western Center, with the landmark arena top left. National Western Center
The National Western Center is galloping ahead with plans to become a year-round destination and regional asset. “With 250 acres of planned development, the site will support Denver’s global standing as a world-class hub for agriculture and innovation and will strive to be an international model for an education, research and development community — to meet the needs of the 21st century,” the National Western Stock Show advised in a note recently sent to stakeholders, along with a link to a survey geared toward creating a unified brand for the billion-dollar project.

"To support these efforts, our partners, the City and County of Denver, the Western Stock Show Association and Colorado State University, need your help in developing a unified, standalone brand for the National Western Center that integrates the site’s mission to convene the world at the site to lead, inspire, create, educate, and entertain in pursuit of global food solutions," the survey notes.

Among its questions: “If you had to describe the current personality of the site (as if it were a person), what adjectives would you use?”

For starters, how about “hungry”?

The city is continuing the process of acquiring residential and commercial property for the expansion, with more to come. Although most of the parcels are commercial, a notice to people who live on the first properties purchased near the current National Western Complex went out last month; residents have ninety days to vacate, and have been offered help with moving expenses, rental assistance and even additional time.

Make that “very hungry.”

Earlier this month, the city announced that it had selected the California-based planning and design firm Moore Iacofano Goltsman for an up-to $5 million contract to help devise the National Western Center master plan. “Campus placemaking is what will give the National Western Center life,” said Kelly Leid, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center, in announcing the pick. “MIG has built a strong team of experts that will guide us through an effort to refine the concepts for a mixture of public spaces at the future National Western Center.”

And maybe help the city consider answers to questions like this: “If you had to describe the desired future personality of the site (as if it were a person), what adjectives would you use?”

We hope not “bloated.” Or, like the horses tamed by cowboys, "broke."

The deadline for filling in the NWSS survey was May 26, but it was still live here this morning. Denver City Council's Land Use, Transportation & Infrastructure committee will discuss the MIG contract proposal later today, May 30.
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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun