DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado is celebrating a major milestone in its comeback. On Friday morning the excitement was palpable at the Colorado Convention Center as at least 10,000 people gathered for the Crossroads Volleyball Tournament.

The event was the last before the Convention Center shut down last year due to COVID-19, and the first one to reopen the facility.

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It features hundreds of youth girls volleyball teams vying for a spot in the Junior National Girls Volleyball Championship.

“It represents getting people back to work, getting downtown to be a bustling area again so we’re so grateful, we’re so thankful and we’re so excited. And to have those comingling between all of us … we haven’t spent a lot of time with those emotions so we’re super excited,” Visit Denver Executive Vice President of Sales and Services Rachel Benedick told CBS4’s Mekialaya White.

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File photo from 2014 (credit: CBS)

Benedick says there will be COVID safety guidelines in place, enforced by the facility and event organizers. That includes on-site testing and readily available sanitizing supplies. Guests also have to provide a negative test result within 72 hours of arrival.

Benedick adds that everyone is working diligently to help get back to normal. Visit Denver is hopeful more events will follow.

“(Those in the hospitality industry) have been disproportionately harmed. When you look at the job losses that have hit our industry and it’s staggering, so it’s really good to be part of something that’s going to help heal a lot of those wounds that we’ve had over the last year.”

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To learn more about the event, which spans two weekends, head to coloradocrossroads.org.

Mekialaya White