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“Keep the facility in the current
location and refurbish. Much of
the history and prestige will be
lost if it is moved.”
— Stock Show Survey 2013
In November 2012, representatives from the Western Stock Show Association and the City and
County of Denver announced that the stock show would remain at its current location.
Considerable thought has gone into the decision to develop the NWC at the current National
Western Complex site. Past options have included relocation to Aurora with the Gaylord Rockies
Hotel project, other options have been considered as well.
However, with its proximity to I-70 and I-25, the existing site remains ideal. With an estimated
cars passing by on I-70 daily, in tandem with the new commuter rail transit station
and improved connections to Washington Street, the existing location represents a significant
opportunity to capture additional visitor traffic as connectivity to the site improves.
The City and County of Denver estimates that if the current site is abandoned, redevelopment
may take 30 years or more to achieve, as has been the case with other high-profile local sites
such as Gates Rubber. Alternative uses, such as housing, though needed, will not
support state tourism initiatives or future economic development.
“I know there’s been talk about a new complex close to the airport,
etc. I’m old school … I’ve been coming for 30 years, and the tradition
and ‘feel’ of the (stock)yards would not be reflected.”
— Stock Show Survey 2013
Ultimately, though other options might incur less cost in the short term, no other option sets
the stage to both retain the historic value of the site and position an entire region for needed
economic redevelopment. The decision to stay at the current location also led to consideration
of innovative new partnerships to support year-round programming at the NWC. New partners—
Colorado State University, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and History Colorado—joined
the National Western Stock Show and the City and County of Denver in a collaborative effort to
re-imagine the NWC, once the decision to stay was made.
In total, the NWSS and City and County of Denver currently own approximately 130 acres com-
bined. At full build out, the NWC master plan may call for 270 acres. This total represents the land
necessary to meet the expanded programmatic needs of a year-round complex and to provide
space for retail/mixed-use co-redevelopment opportunities. Thirty-five parcels of various sizes
have been catalogued for possible acquisition to support full development of the site.
“Smart Jobs Development,” City and County of Denver
CDOT Online Transportation Information System, Traffic Estimates 2014 for I-70 E at Washington Street
The Corridor of Opportunity is a focal point of
Denver’s future economy, with nearly 40,000
new jobs through new and expanding businesses
and $2.6 billion in economic impact expected
over the next three decades.