In 2022, Red Rocks hosted 531,906 out-of-state visitors and 106,454 out-of-region visitors.
Nearly half of all concert-goers at Red Rocks traveled from out of state last year to see their favorite musicians, spending $305 million in the Denver metro area before and after concerts, according to the first-ever economic impact study of the amphitheater.
That was one of the most interesting points gleaned from the study, which also concluded that the record number of shows in 2022 — Red Rocks was booked nearly every night from April to November — has contributed to unprecedented revenue and audience growth.
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The outdoor venue, which is owned by the city of Denver, employs 1,500 people during the season and supports about 5,500 jobs, representing an annual total of $216 million in income (paychecks) and $717 million in economic output in the metro area (spending), according to BBC Research & Consulting, which prepared the report.
“In addition, visitor spending is subject to sales tax and lodging tax, generating more than $20 million per year in tax revenues for state and local governments,” the research film said. “The City and County of Denver alone generates more than $6 million in sales tax revenue from Red Rocks visitor spending.”
In turn, that spending helps fund other investments in Denver arts and culture through the collection of the Facilities Development Admissions Tax, BBC wrote. Denver Arts & Venues, the city’s cultural arm, owns Red Rocks, the Colorado Convention Center, the Denver Performing Arts Complex, Loretto Heights, and the McNichols Civic Center Building.
The venue manager for Denver Arts & Venues, Tad Bowman, and Visit Denver’s vice president of marketing, Justin Bresler, joined BBC Research’s Michael Verdone on a video call Wednesday to announce the study’s results.
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats perform during night one of “Red Rocks Unpaused,” three nights of concerts presented by Visible at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Sept. 01, 2020 in Morrison. (Visible)
Also in the report:
In 2022, Red Rocks hosted 531,906 out-of-state visitors and 106,454 out-of-region visitors out of a total of approximately 1.6 million event attendees
Out-of-state spending impacts Colorado as a whole, not just the Denver metro area, supporting “about 7,300 jobs and $222 million of labor income,” the authors wrote.
In addition to generating $6.4 million in sales tax revenue for Denver last year, Red Rocks sent $7.1 million to the state’s coffers, and another $7.5 million for other local governments in the Denver metro area.
Red Rocks revenue is diverse, including facility rental fees, equipment rentals, labor reimbursements, concessions and merchandise sales and ticketing fees ($6.75 per ticket).
“By using the most recent data from 2022, the study reduced the influence of pandemic-related effects so that the study reflects more typical operations at Red Rocks.”
Despite Red Rocks’ reputation, the venue “must continue to have the resources needed to provide a welcoming, safe, and enjoyable atmosphere for artists and visitors.
Red Rocks’ concert seasons have been eventful lately outside of the heavy booking, which is mostly done by Denver-based AEG Presents Rocky Mountains (with tickets sold by the related AXS service — the city’s official seller) and, far less often, individual event promoters.
Major renovations, a class-action lawsuit over tickets for people with disabilities — settled for $48,000 last year — and severe weather that injured dozens of fans have dominated the conversation as much as the stunning takeover of electronic dance music bookings at the venue.
The roughly 9,250 seat venue officially opened in June 1941.
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