By Dillon Thomas

DENVER, Colo. (CBS4) – Denver’s arts and entertainment industry is poised to make a triumphant return as more Coloradans receive their COVID vaccines and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with Colorado, health guidelines relax. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock announced the Performing Arts Complex and Red Rocks are now open to fans and shows once again, bringing back hundreds of jobs.

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“Denver’s arts organizations are once again open for business,” Hancock said.

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The arts and entertainment industry was among the most hard-hit businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of Colorado workers lost their jobs in the industry as a result of limited capacities.

“Jobs mostly filled by people of color and women. Recovery for them is critical for our entire recovery,” Hancock said.

Before the pandemic, the Denver Performing Arts Complex employed more than 250 people on any given sell-out night. The complex itself would host more than 10,000 people, bringing business to local restaurants and more.

(credit: CBS)

Hancock said he was thrilled to welcome back fans of the arts now that the CDC is saying vaccinated people can now avoid social distancing and wearing face masks.

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“There’s such pent-up demand among our community,” said Tony Pierce, Chief Artistic Officer for the Colorado Symphony.

The symphony has already sold out many shows heading into summer 2022, and they are continuing to book venues around the state.

“I am so excited about all of our futures. The arts complex’s future, the symphony’s future,” Pierce told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas. “We have shows up at Red Rocks, we are going to be in the galleria this summer. We are just thrilled to be back. There is such a new energy about the place.”

(credit: CBS)

Hancock encouraged those who have not had their vaccines yet to do so soon. With the MLB All-Star Game coming to Denver in July, Hancock said the city was looking forward to having an “All-Star Summer” with festivals, fairs, and more throughout the city.

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“It is going to be the most exciting time in our history, I really feel that. I do,” Pierce said.

Dillon Thomas