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CURRENT SITE CONDITIONS AND THE
DECISION TO STAY
The very characteristics that once favored the stock show now endanger its existence. At its incep-
tion, the stock show complex was perfect for its intended use. Surrounded by vast open space, there
was easy access to the livestock pens and tents that popped up and expanded along the edges of
the river. As the complex’s footprint grew and surrounding areas were slowly converted from agrarian
to industrial use, access to the complex became more difficult; railways crisscrossed and bisected the
area, the highway was built and later expanded, factories peppered the surrounding landscape, and
streets and bridges were roughed-in with little thought for ease of access or the future.
Today the lack of coordinated planning and deterioration of infrastructure have resulted in poor con-
nectivity to the complex. Access is a challenge; a 6-8 hour wait is typical as exhibitors queue up to
unload their livestock.
Upcoming improvements to infrastructure and transit will begin to transform the areas surround-
ing the site.
These external infrastructure changes are urgently needed and are part of the wide-ranging
revitalization plan for North Denver. However, the impact of these changes to the National
Western will be severe; the RTD project alone will cause the loss of over seven acres of land.
National Western’s entrance queues are projected to exceed 10 hours during RTD construc-
tion. These are the known impacts; the effects from the other projects have yet to be deter-
New infrastructure projects include:
• A new RTD commuter rail station adjacent to the complex
• Sweeping changes to I-70 immediately east of the complex
• Major drainage remediation projects
• Improvements to Brighton Boulevard, just south of the complex
The National Western estimates that if decisive action to improve conditions is not taken
now, attendance will decline precipitously once the planned external infrastructure
construction is underway.
“We show all over the world, and
Denver is one of the worst
experiences of the year. 2014 will
be our 54th straight year.”
— Stock Show Survey 2013