Visit Denver has just released the dates for the next Denver Restaurant Week. And despite all the discussion of possibly splitting the event, it will once again run for fourteen consecutive days next winter, from February 25 to March 9, 2012.
When Visit Denver worked with local restaurants to start Denver Restaurant Week in 2004, it was actually a week in duration -- and Denver's reputation as a restaurant town was in the dumps. But like DRW itself, Denver's reputation has grown: In 2004, Travel + Leisure magazine readers rated it the 23rd best food city in the nation; two weeks ago, it moved up to 13th.
Improving that national reputation has always been the goal of DRW -- but in the process, locals get to eat some great meals.
Visit Denver had polled participating restaurants on both the duration of DRW and the price of the special meal deal, which has always been $52.80 for two. And despite considerable input that the price is too low and the length of the event too long, Visit Denver will remain with the status quo. While restaurateurs were particularly interested exploring the possibility of splitting the two-week span split between slow times in the winter and the summer, "There were too many hurdles with the calendar," says Visit Denver CEO Richard Scharf.
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"We realize that while DRW is a great benefit to most participating restaurants and immensely enjoyable for diners, it can also be a grueling two weeks for restaurant staff behind the line and in front of it," Scharf adds. "So this year's DRW effort will also include programs to educate the dining public on good DRW etiquette, such as honoring reservations and showing their appreciation for good service."
For the record, the tip is not included in that $52.80.
More than 300 restaurants participated last year; restaurants can register for the 2012 DRW starting Monday, October 31.