Rendering of the expanded Colorado Convention Center
The 52 hotelier members of Denver's newly formed Tourism Improvement District voted Tuesday to raise the occupancy tax by 1 percentage point at all city properties with 50 guest rooms or more. The move brings the lodging tax to 15.75 percent when the new levy goes into effect at the beginning of 2018.
The city council created the Tourism Improvement District in August, giving the entity the power to levy taxes, fees or assessments on lodging businesses (with 50 or more rooms), or on those paying for guest rooms, in order to fund tourism improvements and services. In the near term, extra monies will be used to help fund the expansion of the Colorado Convention Center, as well as city marketing and future improvements. According to the Denver Post, the tax will generate almost $9 million the first year, $3.8 million of which will go to the convention-center project.
On election day in 2015, Denver voters approved a measure to spend more than $700 million to expand the Colorado Convention Center and to build a new National Western Center for equestrian events such as the National Western Stock Show. The project aims to add up to 85,000 square feet of breakout and ballroom space; 120,000 square feet of prefunction space, including a 50,000-square-foot rooftop outdoor terrace; technology upgrades; and new and upgraded networking spaces.
In other Denver news, according to the news sources, voters approved a green-roof initiative Tuesday by a margin of 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent. Starting this coming Jan. 1, all buildings in Denver whose roofs are larger than 25,000 square feet will have to give over a portion of the area to gardens or solar panels.