Record number of overnight tourists spent record $4B in Denver in 2013

DENVER - Tourists spent a record $4 billion in the Denver area in 2013.

A new report from VISIT DENVER, the Convention & Visitors Bureau, showed Denver had a record number of overnight visitors in 2013 -- 14 million vacationers and business travelers. That's an increase of three percent over 2012., officials said.

"The increase came mainly from 'marketable' leisure travelers -- people who could travel to any destination, but specifically chose to visit Denver.," VISIT DENVER officials said.

VISIT DENVER SAID "marketable" visitors are more desirable because they spend an average of $113 a day, versus vacationers visiting friends and relatives, who spend just $68 a day. 

Business travelers spend the most at $126 a day. 

More statistics from VISIT DENVER:

  • The number of people visiting friends and relatives in Denver in 2013 dropped 2 percent from 2012.
  • The number of people coming to Denver for conventions and business travel in 2013 was flat with 2012.
  • "Marketable" visitors to Denver increased 13 percent in 2013 to a record high of 5.5 million visitors.
  •  Denver visitors spent more than $1.1 billion in Denver hotels and other lodging establishments, and $796 million on food and beverages.
  • Vacationers spent an average of 3.2 nights in the city, down slightly from 3.4 nights in 2012.  Business travelers stayed 3.8 nights, about the same as in recent years. 
  • Just under 3 in 10 leisure travelers were first-time visitors to Denver, about the same as last year.

The top states sending vacationers to Denver in 2013, apart from Colorado itself, were California, Texas,  Illinois, Nebraska and Florida.

The top shopping and entertainment centers were the 16th Street Mall, "LoDo" Lower Downtown Historic District,Cherry Creek Shopping Center/Cherry Creek North, the Outlets at Castle Rock and Denver Pavilions.

The top attractions in Denver were the Denver Zoo, the Colorado State Capitol, Coors Brewery, Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre, the Denver Botanic Gardens, the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, the Colorado Rockies, Elitch Gardens Theme & Water Park and the Downtown Aquarium.

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