Colorado Convention Center Celebrates Completion of $233 Million Expansion

January 2, 2024

On Dec. 14, hundreds of dignitaries gathered to celebrate the completion of the Colorado Convention Center (CCC) expansion, a $233 million project that includes a new ballroom, pre-function space and outdoor terrace. The expansion is expected to bring more meetings and conventions to Denver, which last year welcomed more than 36 million visitors who generated $9.4 billion in spending, according to VISIT DENVER officials.

The expansion of the CCC includes the new 80,000-square-foot Bluebird Ballroom that can be subdivided into 19 rooms of varying sizes. Located on the roof of the existing building, the Bluebird Ballroom is touted as the largest multifunction ballroom in Colorado, with the capacity to host more than 7,500 attendees for a general session or 4,600 guests for a catered event, according to CCC officials.  

The expansion also includes 35,000 sq. ft. of wrap-around pre-function concourse space with floor-to-ceiling windows, providing new areas for between-meetings networking that is critical for today’s meeting professionals. Another signature feature is a 20,000-sq.-ft. outdoor rooftop terrace with views of the Rocky Mountains and Denver’s city skyline. 


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Colorado Convention Center

“The expansion of our facility was designed by meeting planners, for meeting planners by pairing new, flexible multi-function spaces, industry-leading sustainability and technology features with expansive views of the Rocky Mountains from the new rooftop terrace,” said VISIT DENVER President and CEO Richard Scharf. “These new best-in-class offerings of both function and beauty will lend to Denver’s success in a very competitive meetings and conventions industry.” 

New features of the expansion include various technology improvements and seamless integration with the existing building, providing easy access to its 600,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 105,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, two existing ballrooms of 50,000 and 35,000 sq. ft., respectively, and the 5,000-seat Bellco Theatre.   

“This expansion will also assist us with hosting multiple groups simultaneously to maximize capacity,” Scharf said. “Ultimately, these improvements will drive new business for Denver and create a better experience for the meeting professional and attendees.” 

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The CCC upgrades are expected to generate an additional $85 million in annual economic impact. Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure delivered the CCC expansion in partnership with design and construction contractor Hensel Phelps, designer, TVS; program management consultant Rider Levett Bucknall, Denver Arts and Venues; VISIT DENVER; and convention center operator ASM Global.  

Colorado Convention Center

A total of 66 minority- and women-owned businesses contributed to the project, accounting for 22% of design participation and 17% of construction participation, according to CCC officials. 

The first group to occupy the space will be the National Science Teaching Association in March 2024. The new rooftop expansion is already paying off, with 14 future groups that are expected to generate an estimated economic impact of nearly $200 million noting they wouldn’t have booked Denver without the additional meeting space, according to CCC officials.   

Caption main image: Denver leaders celebrate the completion of the Colorado Convention Center (CCC) expansion with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Pictured left to right: Adam Phipps, DOTI; Greg Feasel, CO Rockies Baseball Club; Jason Lusk, VISIT DENVER; Gretchen Hollrah CCD – Mayor’s Office; Richard Scharf, VISIT DENVER; Mayor Mike Johnston; Amanda Sandoval, Denver City Council District 1; Chris Hinds, Denver City Council District 10; Jason Wallack, Hensel Phelps Const.; Rob Svedberg, TVS Design; Lance Zanett, ASM Global. 


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Partner Voices
Overview: The award-winning Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) goes the extra mile to make every day extraordinary by offering customer service excellence and industry-leading partnerships. From their dedicated in-house Rigging team to their robust Exhibitor Services, The Center of Hospitality brings your imagination to life by helping you host unforgettable meetings and events. With more than 2 million square feet of exhibit space, world-class services and a dream destination, we are committed to making even the most ambitious conventions a reality. In October 2023, the Orange County Board of County Commissioners voted to approve allocating Tourist Development Tax funding for the $560 million Phase 5A completion of the OCCC. The Convention Way Grand Concourse project will include enhancements to the North-South Building, featuring an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting space, an 80,000- square-foot ballroom and new entry to the North-South Building along Convention Way. “We are thrilled to begin work on completing our North-South Building which will allow us to meet the growing needs of our clients,” said OCCC Executive Director Mark Tester. “As an economic driver for the community, this project will provide the Center with connectivity and meeting space to host more events and continue to infuse the local economy with new money and expanding business opportunities.” Amenities: The Center of Hospitality goes above and beyond by offering world-class customer service and industry-leading partnerships. From the largest convention center Wi-Fi network to custom LAN/WAN design, the Center takes pride in enhancing exhibitor and customer experience.  The OCCC is the exclusive provider of electricity (24-hour power at no additional cost), aerial rigging and lighting, water, natural gas and propane, compressed air, and cable TV services. Convenience The Center is at the epicenter of the destination, with an abundance of hotels, restaurants, and attractions within walking distance. Pedestrian bridges connect both buildings to more than 5,200 rooms and is within a 15-minute drive from the Orlando International Airport. The convenience of the location goes hand-in-hand with top notch service to help meet an event’s every need. Gold Key Members The OCCC’s Gold Key Members represent the best of the best when it comes to exceptional service and exclusive benefits for clients, exhibitors and guests. The Center’s Gold Key memberships with Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld Orlando and Walt Disney World greatly enhance meeting planner and attendee experiences offering world-renowned venues, immersive experiences and creative resources for their events. OCCC Events: This fiscal year, the OCCC is projected to host 168 events, 1.7 million attendees, and $2.9 billion in economic impact.  The Center’s top five events during their 2022-2023 fiscal year included:  AAU Jr. National Volleyball Championships 2023 200,000 Attendees $257 Million in Economic Impact MEGACON 2023 160,000 Attendees $205 Million in Economic Impact Open Championship Series 2023 69,500 Attendees $89 Million in Economic Impact Sunshine Classic 2023 42,000 Attendees $54 Million in Economic Impact Premiere Orlando 2023 42,000 Attendees $108 Million in Economic Impact