Denver Convention By the Numbers
The Democratic National Convention in Denver was a success. How so? Some numbers:
- The Denver Host Committee, which lagged behind its fundraising goal until the end, ended up raising $10 million more than its $40.6 million goal.
- At the Republican convention in New York in 2004, there were 1,800 arrests. Total arrests in Denver: 154.
- The Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau secured 190,000 hotel rooms. 170,000 were put reserved by the DNC.
"I hope no one will ask me again whether Denver has enough hotel rooms," said Richard Scharf, the bureau's chief executive officer.
- Road closures: "Only a third of the number of roads and highways that were closed for the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston.
- Denver got 113 new trees and 120 planter pots.
On the security plan, while some people I've talked to think there was too much security, I didn't have any problems with it and thought it was far less obtrusive than that in Boston. The Secret Service said today the security plan in Denver was a huge success and will be the model for future events.
"The Secret Service said yesterday that we have set the standard for how a convention, in terms of security, should be run," Katherine Archuleta, a senior policy adviser to Mayor John Hickenlooper and his point-person on DNC planning, said Friday.
That's not to say it was not without incident. According to Denver police Lt. Ron Saunier:
"We had a couple instances out there where unnecessary force was alleged," Saunier said. "We immediately took action and looked at (those allegations) to determine if a case needed to be opened in our Internal Affairs."
As to dollars, all expenses were covered by fundraising, but what about income? Those numbers aren't in yet. But, as Mayor John Hickenlooper said today,
Hickenlooper said he saw benefits that can't be quantified in dollars and cents. "A huge part of the benefit is not just how the world looks at us but how we look at ourselves," Hickenlooper said.
He recalled one of his 2003 campaign themes: "Federico Peña imagined a great city, Wellington Webb built a great city, now it's time to be a great city."
Denver is a great city. I'm so glad the world got a chance to see it.
For me, being at Invesco Field last night was as much about Denver and the 84,000 people who attended as it was about the candidates and the election. As Sen. Obama repeatedly said, "This election isn't about me, it's about you."
Denver didn't just shine last night, it soared.
Congratulations to Denver, the DNC Host Committee, the DNC and all who worked so hard to make the convention such a resounding success.
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