Where the 31 million visitors to Denver in 2018 were from, and why they came

Colorful sunrise over downtown Denver skyline (Photo: Getty Images)

DENVER — More than 31 million visitors from California, Texas and other states came to Denver in 2018 to visit attractions like the Denver Zoo, Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre and other attractions.

Last year was the third year in a row Denver had more than 31 million visitors, according to a news release from VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. The year’s tourism revenue matched the 2017 record of $6.5 billion.

The data was compiled by Longwoods International, which conducts an annual visitor profile study.

“Since 2006, one year after voters approved an increase in tourism spending, Denver has seen a remarkable 64% increase in tourism, compared to 22% nationwide,” said Jayne Buck, vice president of tourism for VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau, in the release.

Here are the top states visitors to Denver were from in 2018, aside from Colorado, according to the release:

  • California
  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Arizona
  • New York

These were the top cities outside of Colorado where visitors to Denver were from in 2018:

  • Los Angeles
  • New York City
  • Chicago
  • Houston
  • Dallas-Ft. Worth
  • Kansas City
  • Phoenix

The top paid attractions visited by non-Colorado residents were (in order):

  • Denver Zoo
  • Denver Art Museum
  • Colorado Rockies
  • Denver Botanic Gardens
  • Denver Museum of Nature & Science/IMAX
  • Colorado Railroad Museum
  • Buffalo Bill’s Museum/Grave
  • Children’s Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus
  • Denver Broncos
  • Denver’s Downtown Aquarium

The top free admission attractions were:

  • Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre
  • Coors Brewery
  • Colorado State Capitol

The top shopping and entertainment areas for non-Colorado residents were:

  • 16th Street Mall
  • Cherry Creek
  • LoDo “Lower Downtown” Historic District
  • Denver Union Station
  • Denver Pavilions
  • Larimer Square
  • Park Meadows Retail Resort
  • Outlets at Castle Rock
  • FlatIron Crossing Mall
  • Belmar
  • Shops at Northfield/Stapleton

In 2018, 4,650 new hotel rooms and more than 250 new restaurants were added to the city, and Denver was named among the top places to live in the U.S. for the fourth consecutive year, according to the release.

For more information, check out the full Denver 2018 travel presentation from Longwood International.

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