The Future of the Denver Show

I-70 Construction

The Coliseum + NWC and the prestigious 3-day ‘club show’ (The Original Denver Gem & Mineral Show) are just 5-7 minutes apart, whereas other shows are up to 40 minutes away. This is especially true with the traffic that will be caused by the $1.1 billion, 4-year reconstruction of I-70 beginning east of us at Brighton Blvd and extending further eastward for 10 miles toward the airport. Much of the elevated portion of I-70 will be lowered below grade level and and several blocks will be covered with a park. Interstate 70 is Colorado’s only east-west Interstate connection serving as an essential backbone of state and regional commerce. Therefore, construction will be done in discrete, well-planned phases to keep the traffic moving. Nonetheless, traffic to the airport will be negatively impacted.

This artist rendition looks west, showing the Coliseum and NWC in the background, Downtown Denver on the left and the completed sunken part of I-70 in the foreground. Construction begins here and extends for ten miles behind us towards the airport:

POITRA Visual photosimulation services -- I-70 East EIS Project

POITRA Visual photosimulation services (www.poitra.com) for ATKINS and CDOT. I-70 East EIS – Phase 1 of the Final EIS Preferred Alternative (Partial Cover Lowered Alternative) Photo-Simulation. Visualization for Impact Study of Alternatives. Denver, CO, CDOT. I-70 East Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Project.

Coliseum Demolition Rumors

Probably the most persistent rumor in town (for the last 20+ years) is that the Denver Coliseum will be torn down. This is untrue. The Denver Coliseum is a National Registry historic landmark that is an integral part of a 10-year master plan to redevelop Brighton Blvd into a leafy ‘Northern Gateway’ to Downtown Denver. Brighton Blvd is the I-70 exit for both the Denver Coliseum and the National Western Complex, as well as the primary roadway into Downtown Denver from the airport. Brighton Blvd has been widened and repaved, sports 2.6 miles of new sidewalks, a new bike track, landscaping, light fixtures, traffic signals, trees and street furniture. This work is part of another $1 billion project called the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative. Brew pubs, restaurants, upscale apartments, and retail shops have already sprouted up on Brighton Blvd.

New Light Rail Station

Another $4 billion dollar project that benefits the show is the expansion of the commuter rail system throughout the Denver metro area. A station is currently being constructed at the National Western Center that connects to Downtown Union Station. That station and the North Metro Rail N-Line go live in 2019 and when complete will extend 18.5 miles to Highway 7 in North Adams County.

North Denver Metro Expansion Project

The New Expo Hall

Our show will benefit from yet another $1 billion project that is the key to our future. The reason for constructing the NWC was to host the National Western Stock Show, the world’s largest stock show. It was built there because it is adjacent to the still extant historic stock yards. Over the years, more buildings were added and/or enlarged to support its growth and to allow year-round rodeos, trade shows, sport events and concerts. But these facilities are now outdated. Therefore in partnership with the City and Colorado State University, over the next ten years every building (except those over 100 years old, such as the Arena) in the NWC complex will be replaced with a bigger and better version, and then the original one demolished. The work will unfold in such a way as to not hinder the existing shows / events. One new building will be the 350,000 square foot Expo Hall. After the Expo Hall is completed, dealers on both floors of the Denver Coliseum and all 3 floors of the main NWC building will be moved into the modern new Expo Hall. At that point, the five shows will meld into one, and be called the Denver Show.  With just one massive show in Denver, dealer headaches will be greatly reduced because they will no longer need to do (or choose between) multiple shows. And they will be seen by every buyer that comes to the show. Likewise, our customers will benefit because they will see every dealer in just one gigantic location.

This is the plan (north is up) that shows the new Expo Hall, adjacent parking deck, and the preserved historic Coliseum and Arena:

Plan for New Denver Hall

We are excited about these plans and you should be too, because it will enormously benefit our dealers, our customers, our hobby and the city of Denver.