2004 biannual study results
2004 STUDY OF METRO DENVER CULTURE
What Does $1.3 Billion Look Like? Arts, Culture and Science.
Bolstered by unique funding model, metro Denver’s culture reaches millions
Culture in metro Denver generated $1.311 billion in economic activity in 2003,
with 11.3 million people attending cultural events, according to a report released
by the Colorado Business Committee for the Arts and Deloitte Consulting, in
partnership with the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Bank.
Deborah Jordy, Executive Director of the Colorado Business Committee for the
Arts said, “The research strongly indicates that culture is key to the economy.
Further, culture attracts significant new dollars to the metro Denver economy
and engages millions of metro Denver residents and visitors.”
Denver area culture – driven by more than 300 cultural and scientific organizations
– has flourished since 1989 when voters in the seven-county metro region approved
the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). This nationwide funding
model established a .01 percent sales and use tax – a penny on every $10 spent
– to support culture.
Dan Prather, lead analyst with Deloitte, said, “As we launch our sixth bi-annual
study of metro Denver culture in partnership with CBCA, we continue to be impressed
by the considerable contributions of our region’s growing cultural community.”
Key findings of the study include:
Arts and culture are big business in metro Denver, generating more than $1.3
billion in economic activity.
The cultural industry employs well over 9,000 employees, disbursing $86 million
in wages and almost $14 million in payroll, seat and sales tax in 2003.
The cultural industry doesn’t just spend money, it attracts it. A destination
for cultural tourists, metro Denver attracted 2.8 million visitors from outside
of the metro Denver region, and 1.4 visitors from outside of Colorado.
This cultural tourism created $403 million of economic impact - new money
for the metro Denver economy.
New money has a real impact on our economy, and the SCFD generates an impressive
return on the investment of metro Denver taxpayers. From the one tenth of one
percent sales tax — a penny on every ten dollar sale — the SCFD collected $35
million to infuse into the cultural community. Of the $1.3 billion in total economic
activity, close to $500 million was true economic impact, representing
a 14:1 return on investment.
Well-rounded Colorado residents and our visitors seek a variety of leisure-time
activities, including sporting events, outdoor recreation, and other pastimes
in addition to culture. In 2003, more than 11 million people, well over twice
the state’s population, attended Denver area cultural activities. Such large
attendance reflects metro Denver’s widespread participation in culture.
The region’s landscape continues to be transformed by cultural facilities. In
2003, cultural and scientific organizations generated $84 million of economic
impact through capital expenditures.
The purchase of new equipment, the construction of new facilities, and the remodeling
of existing facilities all contribute to the economic impact generated by the
cultural industry. Capital expenditures, combined with the economic activity generated
by cultural tourism and federal government grants, introduced nearly half a
billion in new money to the metro Denver economy.
Culture builds community in less tangible ways as well. There are a myriad of
ways culture creates value for our region’s businesses, communities, and overall
quality of life.
Metro Denver community members are highly engaged with cultural and scientific
organizations. Nearly two million volunteer hours were contributed by over
41,000 volunteers in 2001, and almost one million people enrolled in educational
courses at cultural and scientific organizations, indicating the public’s
broad support for culture.
Another special aspect of the 2004 study of metro Denver culture relates to the
role cultural and scientific organizations assume in challenging economic times.
In 2003, more than sixty percent of all visits to metro area cultural activities
were offered at free or reduced rate admissions, demonstrating how cultural
organizations effectively removed financial barriers to participation in culture.
Outreach activities help to build the next generation of cultural participants.
Cultural and scientific organizations offered more than 2.3 million outreach
opportunities to school children across metro Denver. There are just over
418,000 children in the metro area schools.
Who is Included in the Study?
The flourishing of metro Denver’s culture, both economically and in social participation,
is made possible by metro Denver taxpayers through the SCFD. The SCFD first distributed
funds in 1989 with $14 million granted to 154 cultural organizations. In 2003,
the SCFD granted $35 million to more than 300 cultural institutions.
CBCA and Deloitte’s study surveys organizations that receive funding from the
SCFD, which celebrated its fifteenth anniversary in 2004, and is up for renewal
by metro area voters in November. SCFD organizations that responded to surveys
accounted for 96% of funds distributed by SCFD. This is the strongest survey response
rate to date.
Support from the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Bank, and numerous in-kind
corporate sponsors, with the participation of hundreds of metro Denver cultural
and scientific organizations, make the study possible. This is CBCA and Deloitte’s
sixth study measuring the effects of SCFD-funded organizations.
Key Findings from the 2001 Study
2001 total economic impact of $1.083 billion – $648 million in spending by cultural
organizations and $435 million in event-related spending by cultural audiences.
The 1999 total impact was $844 million.
Cultural organizations paid $14.5 million in payroll, seat, and sales taxes in
Cultural institutions invested $41 million in new construction, remodeling, and
Cultural revenue in 2001 was $208 million – one half earned through ticket and
other sales, and the other contributed by individuals, corporations, foundations,
More than 9 million people, twice the state’s population, attended Denver area
cultural activities in 2001. This compares to 7.5 million people visiting Front
Range ski resorts and 5.3 million people attending Denver’s professional sporting
Cultural visits consisted of 4.3 million paid, 3.9 million free, and 870,000 reduced
Cultural tourism generated $139 million; almost 860,000 cultural visitors were
from outside of Colorado.
Cultural institutions provided tours & educational experiences for two million
school children, more than four times the number of metro area K-12 school students.
More than 1 million people enrolled in paid and free courses, with an equal number
of people choosing to become members or subscribers of cultural organizations.
For more information, contact CBCA at 303-282-5129 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.