Looking Forward

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.

I-70 Construction

The Coliseum Show 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, especially with traffic that will be caused by the $1.1 billion, 4-5 year reconstruction of I-70 beginning in 2018 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.

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. The improvements will see Brighton Blvd widened and repaved, sport 2.6 miles of new sidewalks, a new 6.5′ wide bike track, new landscaping, modern light fixtures, traffic signal replacement, new trees, street furniture, and storm water quality treatment. This work is part of another $1 billion project called the North Denver Cornerstone Collaborative and has already begun. The first phase is the installation of drainage channels from Brighton Blvd to the South Platte River. This is the reason for the construction activity in the Denver Coliseum’s west parking lot. However, brew pubs, restaurants, upscale apartments, and retail shops have already sprouted up on Brighton Blvd. Other developers are acquiring and redeveloping the junkyards and empty lots on this soon-to-be hip stretch of roadway.

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 2018 and when complete will extend 18.5 miles to Highway 7 in North Adams County.

 

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.

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

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 ‘Coliseum Show’ name and logo will be retired and America will have the Denver Mineral Show of the same size and prestige as the Munich Munich Show, but with double the attendance. And what of the club show at The Mart? Our hope is that they will join us in the gigantic new Expo Hall in return for a handsome stipend so they can continue their educational efforts without the distraction of running a 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.