DENVER (KDVR) – It has been one year since the first COVID-19 case was reported in Colorado, and the rules of social distancing are starting to feel relatively normal.
But music venues and event centers are looking forward to getting back to what was normal before the virus changed everything.
“A packed show night in here, we would have hundreds of people in this venue,” said Duncan Goodman, owner of Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom in RiNo. “It was all standing, mostly general admission, and people were shoulder-to-shoulder.”
Before the pandemic, Cervantes could fit around 900 people in its venue. Today, the popular music ballroom looks more like a restaurant with table service for those attending shows.
“It’s going to be awkward when we get back to regular normal,” said Goodman. “This is our current normal, it was the new normal a few months ago and now it’s just normal.”
Goodman hopes to have his venue back to pre-pandemic normal by the fall.
“I think it’s realistic that by the end of the summer we will be back to normal capacity and there will be a show here at Cervantes that will look and feel normal, like how it was prior to COVID,” said Goodman. “Leading up to that, it’s going to require a reduction in social distancing, from 6 feet down to 3 feet. We do expect that to happen maybe in June or July.”
The Colorado Convention Center also plans to reopen in phases. The building can hold up to 60,000 people, but its first few events in 2021 will have significantly fewer.
“It will be gradual phase-in and gradually better, we know people don’t like to wear masks and want to hug each other again and all that good stuff, we want to see that as well,” said Rich Carollo.
The Convention Center hopes to hold its first 2021 event in May. In the past few months, staff have been busy at work installing new, unique safety measures to ensure people feel comfortable coming back inside.
“We really want to see that bustle again and smell the food in the hallways,” said Carollo. “We want to hear the people, see them happy and excited to be in Denver.”