by Sarah J.F. Braley | November 06, 2013
Roger A. Smith, 73, president of the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau (now Visit Denver) from 1984 to 1993, died Nov. 1, following a 10-year battle with Alzheimer's Disease. Smith was a staunch advocate for the development of the Colorado Convention Center. During his days in Denver, the city more than doubled future convention bookings. Current Visit Denver president and CEO Richard Scharf, who worked for Smith as a convention sales manager from 1985 to 1988, said, "Roger brought Denver into the modern era as a convention and tourism destination. Much of the $3.6 billion spent in Denver last year by tourists and convention delegates can be traced back to innovations and programs that Roger started. He was the consummate sales leader and knew every customer by first name and put Denver on the map for conventions."