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Red Rocks Generates More Than $700M Annually for Denver & Colorado, Study Finds

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The Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado has long been a must-play venue for touring artists and a top destination for music fans thanks to its natural beauty and geologically driven acoustics. Now, a recent economic impact report commissioned by Denver Arts and Venues [DAV], which owns and operates Red Rocks on behalf of the city of Denver, quantifies the financial power of the red sandstone venue first opened in 1941, estimating that the 9,525-capacity amphitheater is responsible for generating $717 million annually in the Denver metro area and the state of Colorado.

The first-ever economic impact study of Red Rocks Amphitheatre’s role in local economies, by BBC Research & Consulting (BBC), evaluated data from the 2022 Red Rocks concert season in hopes of quantifying the ripple effects of dollars spent in the region by fans, tourists and crews who bring shows to the 83-year-old venue’s iconic stage.

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“Red Rocks is the most amazing concert venue in the world,” said Denver Mayor Mike Johnston in a statement. “This study proves what Denverites have known for years: Red Rocks, and Denver’s creative community, are powerful economic and cultural forces for our city.”

The report found that Red Rocks was responsible for 7,300 full- and part-time jobs last year, generating $216 million in payroll in the Denver metro area and an additional $6 million statewide. Last year, Red Rocks clocked in $186 million in ticket sales from an attendance of 1,747,465 at 217 ticketed events — an increase of nearly 300% from 75 events just a decade ago.

“From performers and stagehands to box office staff and maintenance crews, 1.5 million Red Rocks fans means a big boost for the local concert industry,” said Tad Bowman, venue manager at Red Rocks. “There will be 400 people working on-site each show, but there are literally thousands of jobs across the region supported by what happens at Red Rocks.”

The report found that 30 percent of fans, on an average night, travel to Red Rocks from from outside the Denver Metro Area, with the top visitor markets being Chicago, New York/New Jersey, Los Angeles, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Minneapolis-St. Paul and San Francisco.

Last year, Red Rocks recorded almost $40 million in gross concessions revenue and is the top on-premise location in the United States for sales of White Claw Hard. Overall, the venue sells more than 1 million malted beverages annually, including more than 400,000 seltzers.

“Every Coke or Coors sold has a long line of people who’ve gotten that beverage into a fan’s hands,” said Brian Kitts, who oversees Red Rocks’ corporate partnerships and marketing.

For its part, the city-owned venue spends $8.5 million on annual maintenance and notes that money spent at Red Rocks supports government and city arts and cultural programs, including $6 million in tax revenue to the city of Denver as well as money spent to enhance venue security and fan experience.

“The study makes it clear that regular re-investment back into the venues managed by DAV are crucial in ensuring Red Rocks is and continues to be a destination for visitors and an important piece of Colorado’s economic puzzle for years to come,” added Bowman.

More information, including the full study, can be found at RedRocksOnline.com/Impact.

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