DENVER (CBS4) – New shots are fired in the proposed move of the National Western Stock Show. Denver city leaders are lining up, preparing to block a plan to move the event to Aurora.
Denver needs to consider a Dec. 5 deadline. That’s when the application process moves forward for tax financing to help pay for the relocation of the stock show to Aurora. Denver can amend the application before then and remove its request for a state tax subsidy.
It’s the stock show’s preference to partner with Gaylord Entertainment and move to Aurora.
The fight for the future of the stock show to stay in Denver has city councilman Charlie Brown speaking out.
“Tthe proposal was flawed from the beginning,” Brown said.
The stock show is obligated to stay in Denver until year 2040.
“There is no way in my judgment that the Denver City Council is going to get us out of this 29-year lease,” Brown said.
If the council did allow the lease to be broken voters would be asked to back a $150 million bond issue to help finance the move.
“Now who in their right mind is ever going to believe that is going to happen?” Brown said.
Also against the stock show’s move to Aurora is Denver auditor Dennis Gallagher.
“As a rancher friend of mine said, ‘If we keep this up Denver’s going to be squatting on its own spurs,’ ” Gallagher said.
A recent study estimated Denver would lose $324 million a year in economic impact if the stock show left the city.
“I can’t speak for the council, I can’t speak for the mayor, but I think we’re all together on this. I mean that’s just my sense of it,” Brown said.
Mayor Michael Hancock is the one who can end Denver’s participation in the stock show’s move to Aurora..
In a statement Hancock said, “I appreciate the perspective of the city council and the auditor. We will incorporate this feedback into our decision making as we continue to work with the stock show leadership and all involved to find a Denver solution that benefits the stock show, the people, neighborhoods and businesses of Denver.”
“Ultimately the city council will make that decision on the contract; the lease agreement with the stock show. So that’s we do have power in this, and we will use it,” Brown said.
Denver City Council is circulating a letter among each other in regard to the stock show move to Aurora. The letter will be read at Monday night’s council meeting.
Aurora Mayor-Elect Steve Hogan has been asked about his thoughts on the possible stock show move. He has said Denver needs to figure out what it wants to do before his city has to worry about it.