biennial study results

Who cares about culture?
All of us! Culture makes a significant and critical contribution to metro Denver ’s economic vitality. A vibrant cultural community makes this an attractive place to live, work, and visit, brings new dollars into the state, stimulates community development, and strengthens business.

The 2006 Economic Activity Study of Metro Denver Culture connects the dots between cultural and scientific activities and their effect on our economy, community, and quality of life.

Documenting the economic return on investment generated by culture helps communicate the value of the arts and sciences and stimulates public and private funding. This study helps translate the value of cultural activity into business terms, demonstrating that science and culture are big business in metro Denver – and generate big business for our economy.

Key findings of the study include:

Culture created $1.4 Billion in metro area economic activity in 2005.
What can you build with $1.4 billion?
Bronco’s Invesco Stadium, Coors Field & 5 Pepsi Centers.

Economic activity includes $785 million in audience spending, $597 million in operating expenditures, and $44 million in capital expenditures.

Culture means New Money, dollars coming into our local economy from outside the metro region which have a particularly important impact on business and community vitality. In 2005, culture generated $387 million in new money from cultural tourism, capital spending, and federal government grants.

Culture is big business, generating jobs, business spending, and tax revenue equivalent to the largest private employers in metro Denver . Nonprofit scientific and cultural organizations paid almost $95 million in wages to 10,800 employees and over $16 million in seat, sales, and payroll taxes.

The attendance at 2005 cultural events reached 14 million – a line that would stretch from the Denver Art Museum to The Louvre in Paris, France.

Culture provided 1.7 million opportunities for metro area school children, about two experiences for each of our 780,708 students.

Cultural activities attracted 2.4 million visitors from outside the metro area.

Cultural spending ripples out to fuel business. Each $1 in cultural spending creates $1.32 for other businesses. What do a hotel, an accountant, a restaurant, and a general contractor have in common? They all get money from culture!

Culture is a great return on investment. Building on $38.3 million in investment through the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District tax, the cultural sector returned $387 million in new money to our local economy, an impressive 10:1 return on investment.

View or download these topic sheets for more information on the study and results:
2006 Study Information

Cultural Economic Activity
The Business of Culture
Cultural Attendance
Cultural Tourism

The Multiplying Effect of Culture

Culture Keeps Connecting

View interviews
Cultural Economic Activity

John Hickenlooper, Mayor & Michael Hancock, Denver City Council

The Business of Culture
George Sparks, Denver Museum of Nature and Science & Tony Garcia, El Centro Su Teatro

Cultural Tourism
Richard Scharf, Denver Metro Convention and Visitors’ Bureau & Walter Isenberg, Sage Hospitality

The Multiplying Effect of Culture
Joe Blake, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerece & Cathey Finlon, McClain Finlon Public Relations

Quality of Life
Cleo Parker Robinson, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance & Hassan Salem, US Bank

Read the Study Press Release

For a copy of the 2006 Economic Activity Study in Spanish, click here.
For a copy of the

Estudio del año 2006 sobre la actividad económica de la cultura en el área metropolitana de Denver in espaƱol, click here.

Presentations Available

We would like to make a presentation on the 2006 Economic Activity Study to your business, civic, or cultural group or board. Presentations can range from a quick 10 minute overview to a full 45 minute presentation and discussion. To schedule a presentation, contact Susan Beyda at or 303-282-5129.

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