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DENVER-The recent convention of the American Society of Association Executives–a meeting of meeting planners– drew 3,000 executives who have the power to decide where $56 billion worth of association meetings are going to be held each year. For Denver, that could mean a $1.7 billion windfall, based on incremental meeting businesses in other cities such as Boston, Chicago, Orlando and New York.

The money typically flows into cities over the next five years after hosting what is known as the “Super Bowl” of the meeting industry.

“Eighty percent of the meetings in the Colorado Convention Center are association meetings,” says Eugene Dilbeck, president of the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. “For the first time in history, Denver will have practically everyone who has ever booked the convention center–or will book it and the expansion in the future–all in the city at the same time. It’s a once-in-a-career opportunity for us to show off Denver to the people who can bring us billions of dollars of meeting business.”

With stakes this high, the Bureau and city officials took no chances. A massive hospitality and clean up program has been taking place the past few months to get Denver ready.

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