Colorado Convention Center

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Colorado Convention Center
Exterior of the Colorado Convention Center, viewed from the intersection of 14th and Welton
Exterior of convention center
Address 700 14th Street
Denver, CO 80202-3213
Location Downtown Denver
Owner City of Denver
Operator SMG
Opened June 23, 1990 (1990-06-23)
Construction cost $7 million (original)
$340 million (2004 expansion)
Former name(s) Denver County Convention and Expo Center (planning/construction)
Banquet/ballroom 5,000 (Mile High Ballroom)
3,500 (Four Seasons Ballroom)
Theatre seating 5,000 (Bellco Theatre)
Enclosed space
 Total space 2,200,000 square feet (200,000 m2)
 Exhibit hall floor 584,000 square feet (54,300 m2)
 Breakout/meeting 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2)
 Ballroom 94,656 square feet (8,793.8 m2)
Website Venue Website

The Colorado Convention Center(CCC) is a multi-purpose convention center located in Downtown Denver. The center opened in June 1990;[1] the first event being the NBA Draft for the Denver Nuggets.[2] The convention center was expanded in 2004 to include several meeting rooms, two ballrooms and an indoor amphitheatre. Since opening, the center hosts over 400 events per years. Centrally located in Denver, the center has become one of Denver's many landmarks. The center is adjacent to the Denver Performing Arts Complex and the Emily Griffith Opportunity School. It is blocks away from the Colorado State Capitol, Auraria Campus and the 16th Street Mall. It is served by the RTD light rail station, Theatre District / Convention Center.

Background[edit]

I See What You Mean (2005) by Lawrence Argent.

The Colorado Convention Center is owned by the City and County of Denver but is privately managed by SMG since 1994 [3] The convention center opened in June 1990 with an exhibition hall, 5 meeting rooms and a main ballroom, totaling 800,000 square feet (74,000 m2).

2004 expansion[edit]

The Colorado Convention Center underwent a $340 million major expansion that was completed in December 2004. The expansion doubled the size of the facility which now consists of 584,000 square feet (54,300 m2) of exhibit space, 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2) of meeting rooms, and 85,000 square feet (7,900 m2) of ballroom space. The expansion of the facility also included the spectacular 5,000 seat Wells Fargo Theatre. The CCC is now 2.2 million gross square feet. Curtis W. Fentress, FAIA, RIBA of Fentress Architects designed the CCC, as well as the Phase II expansion.[4]

The CCC also boasts an attached 1,000 space, 3-level parking structure as well as its own RTD (Regional Transportation District) Light Rail stop for even easier accessibility. The Hyatt Regency Denver, completed around the same time as the CCC expansion, is located across 14th Street from the Center and is one of Denver's Top Ten tallest buildings with 38 floors for a height of 489 feet (149 m). Across Welton Street, on the historic registry, is the Denver Athletic Club.

Public art[edit]

A public art collection is featured throughout the interior and exterior of the convention center. The most visible work is I See What You Mean by Lawrence Argent,[5] located just to the left of the main entrance on 14th Street. Erected in June 2005, the 40-foot (12.19 meters)-tall polymer-concrete-clad sculpture is in the form of a lapis-lazuli-colored bear pushing its nose and paws against the glass facade, attempting to peer inside. Its installation was part of the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs' Public Art Program.[6]

Location[edit]

The CCC is located between 14th Street and Speer Boulevard, and between Champa Street and Welton Street. Stout Street runs underneath the building, as does the (RTD) Light Rail's Central Corridor. Currently the D, F and H lines run through this corridor's stop. The CCC is linked by a pedestrian bridge across Champa Street to the Denver Performing Arts Complex with its nine theatres. It is across Welton Street from the Emily Griffith Opportunity School. The University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the Community College of Denver are all located to the west across Speer Boulevard at the Auraria Campus. The Colorado Convention Center is central to many other downtown attractions including: the 16th Street Mall, the Denver Pavilions, the LoDo (Lower Downtown) district, the Pepsi Center- home of the Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, Colorado Crush and the Colorado Mammoth, Coors Field- home of the Colorado Rockies, Denver's Downtown Aquarium, Elitch Gardens amusement park, and the Denver Botanic Gardens.

Facilities[edit]

Main entrance
Exhibit Hall

The "Exhibit Hall" is the main facility at the convention center. The space consists of six individual halls spanning 90,000 to 100,000sqft. The space is primarily used for trade shows, conventions and product launches

Mile High Ballroom

The "Mile High Ballroom" is the largest ballroom in Denver and the convention center. The space can hold up to 3,000 guests for catered events and up to 5,000 for general admission. The ballroom features a state-of-the-art lighting system that provides the illusion of the night sky. The space is primarily used for banquets, conferences and intimate music events. The space was renovated in 2004 as part of the convention center's overall expansion plan.[7] The venue's namesake derives from the Korbel Champagne Cellars.

Four Seasons Ballroom

The "Four Seasons Ballroom" was the newest ballroom, completed as part of the convention center's expansion plan.[7] The space can hold up to 3,500 guests. The venue is primarily used for banquets and fundraising events. It is home to numerous graduation ceremonies for Denver area schools including: The Art Institute of Colorado, Community College of Denver, Metropolitan State College of Denver, Regis University and the University of Colorado Denver.

Frequent events[edit]

The CCC hosts hundreds of events each year from local community luncheons to City-wide conventions. Some of the annual events include:

Bellco Theatre[edit]

Bellco Theatre
Exterior of Wells Fargo Theatre. Viewed at night from the Speer and Stout intersection
Exterior of venue under former signage
Address 700 14th St.
Denver, CO 80202
Location Downtown Denver
Type Indoor amphitheatre
Built 2002-04
Opened March 1, 2005 (2005-03-01)
Owner City of Denver
(operated by SMG)
Former name(s) The Lecture Hall (2005-06)
Wells Fargo Theatre (2007-12)
Capacity 5,000

The Bellco Theatre (formerly the Wells Fargo Theatre) is an indoor amphitheatre located in the rear of the Colorado Convention Center. The venue opened March 1, 2005, with its first event by Ron White on March 5, 2005. The amphitheater was a part of the convention center's 2004 expansion plan. Originally known as The Lecture Hall, the venue was renamed in 2007 after banking and financial services company Wells Fargo. The bank purchased naming rights in September 2006 for nearly US$3 million, for a five-year period; beginning January 1, 2007.[8] Beginning November 29, 2012, it was renamed from Wells Fargo Theatre after Bellco Credit Union, one of the largest credit unions in Colorado, purchased the naming rights in 2012.[9]

Initially, the venue (along with the City Lights Pavilion) was protested by the owner of the Paramount Theatre felt major business would be drawn away from the historic landmark.[10] Since its opening, the venue has become one of the busiest mid-sized concert venues in Metro Denver, alongside the Fillmore Auditorium and 1stBank Center. It is primarily used for concerts desiring an "intimate" setting. The venue was named one of the "Top 100 Worldwide Theatres" by Pollstar in 2007 and 2011.

Naming[edit]

  • The Theater at the Colorado Convention Center (Planning/construction)
  • The Lecture Hall (March 1, 2005—December 31, 2006)
  • Wells Fargo Theatre (January 1, 2007—November 28, 2012)
  • Bellco Theatre (November 29, 2012—Present)

Selected events[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Winter, Mary (23 June 1990). "EXPO, CONVENTION CENTER PRAISED". Rocky Mountain News (Denver, Colorado: MediaNews Group). 
  2. ^ Kiszla, Mark (28 June 1990). "No. 3 choice a charm for Nuggets". Denver Post (Denver, Colorado: MediaNews Group). p. 1A. 
  3. ^ "SMG extends two facilities' pacts". Philadelphia Business Journal. American City Business Journals. 16 June 2003. Archived from the original on 14 November 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Top Colorado Projects of 2004". Colorado Construction. June 2004. Archived from the original on 14 November 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  5. ^ Johnson, Kirk. "Denver's Unconventional Art, Ready for the Convention," The New York Times, Thursday, August 21, 2008.
  6. ^ Public Art – Colorado Convention Center.
  7. ^ a b "Cost Estimatiing Clients: Colorado Convention Center Expansion, Denver, Colorado (Completed)". Capstone Planning and Control, Inc. Archived from the original on 14 November 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  8. ^ "Wells Fargo wins naming rights at convention center". Denver Business Journal. American City Business Journals. 13 September 2006. Archived from the original on 14 November 2011. Retrieved 14 November 2011. 
  9. ^ Vuong, Andy (November 27, 2012). "Convention Center's Wells Fargo Theatre to be renamed Bellco Theatre". The Denver Post. MediaNews Group. Retrieved November 5, 2013. 
  10. ^ Brown, G (26 February 2002). "Theater seeks vote on pavilion Paramount owner: New facility a threat". Denver Post (Denver, Colorado: MediaNews Group). p. B-01. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°44′31″N 104°59′46″W / 39.74194°N 104.99611°W / 39.74194; -104.99611