DENVER (CBS4)– Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has moved to keep the National Western Stock Show right where it is. He removed the city from an application that would have helped the huge event move to a new site in Aurora.
The Stock Show’s lease keeps the event in Denver until 2040. Despite that, Stock Show officials want to move, saying the old complex doesn’t allow it to compete with newer venues across the country.
Denver removed its request for a state tax subsidy to move the 105-year-old tradition from the Mile High City to Aurora.
“It just didn’t make sense right now. The timing is bad, the financial burden is bad,” said Hancock. “It really was about the burden that would be placed on the city taxpayer.”
Both Denver and Aurora applied for state funding to help with the Stock Show’s move. The money also would have helped Aurora land an $800 million Gaylord Entertainment Hotel and Conference Center.
If that funding was approved, voters in Denver would have been asked to back a $150 million bond issue.
“To go along for months and months together and then have to separate, that’s frustrating,” said Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan.
Aurora’s mayor is disappointed, but says Denver’s withdrawal won’t stop him from going forward on a deal with Gaylord.
“It actually makes it easier to talk to the commissioner because now we’re only talking about Gaylord,” said Hogan. “The Stock Show is a Denver problem and Gaylord is something we want and now we are free to go after and lobby the commission.”
For now, the Stock Show will stay where it is. Hancock said that ideas on how to improve the event are still on the table.
“I always said and believe that it should be on land in Denver and we’ll start from that point and see where we go from there,” said Hancock.
A recent study estimates Denver would lose about $31 million per year if the Stock Show left the city.
Aurora has until Dec. 5 to amend its application for funding to exclude Denver.