Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

National Western Complex, Convention Center: Changes likely under new study

Three years ago next month, Denver suddenly woke up to the realization that it could lose the National Western Stock Show -- maybe to another city, maybe to that upstart Aurora and its proposed Gaylord Entertainment hotel -- an $800 million, Western-themed hotel and entertainment complex by Denver International Airport with more than 400,000 feet of conference space -- about a third the amount at the current downtown Colorado Convention Center.

Despite an ownership change and a couple of pesky legal actions, Aurora's Gaylord complex is still on track -- but it won't be rustling the Stock Show. In November 2012, Mayor Michael Hancock announced that the National Western would be staying in Denver ,where it happens to have a long-term lease. And today, Denver unveiled the results of a $272,000 feasibility study looking not just at the future of the National Western Stock Show Complex, but also the Colorado Convention Center.

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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