Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Visit Denver's Summer of Adventure looking good in Phoenix, Kansas City and Dallas

Visit Denver just rolled out its $2 million summer tourism campaign, tagged "Denver's Summer of Adventure," which touts the opportunity to have both an urban and an outdoor adventure when visitors come to this city. And so far, the target markets look like easy pickins: Kansas City, Dallas and Phoenix.

The campaign (see it at is filled with images of Larimer Square, Red Rocks, the snowcapped Rockies and... pirates. (Yes, Denver is landlocked, but the Real Pirates show is packing people in at the Museum of Nature & Science.) It's aimed at attracting people from adjacent states and nearby cities -- so I contacted editors at our partner papers in Kansas City, Dallas and Phoenix, two of whom had worked at Westword and experienced many of the adventures this city offers (a few of which Visit Denver would never want to promote. I then asked what Denver would need in order to attract residents of their towns.

From Kansas City: a Nascar track, American Idol Live! Tour, Farm Aid and polar bears at the zoo. But really: "Uh, beautiful weather? Awesome scenery? Red Rocks for summer jams?"

From Dallas: "Actual mountains, a river that won't turn your feet green and temperatures less than 165 degrees? Sorry. I've been too busy booking my trip to Denver to come up with anything clever."

From Phoenix: "Seriously? PHOENIX? Soon it will be 115 in the shade."

Looks like "Denver's Summer of Adventure" could be a hot one.

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Tom Tancredo is a big bully, says Dan Maes."

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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