Denver braces for convention hordes
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
DENVER ” Organizers of the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday promised minimal interference when hordes of delegates and media descend on Denver in August because most events will take place outside rush hour and many delegates will use public transportation.
Leah Daughtry, the chief executive officer of the national convention, said the biggest problem people might have is getting a lunch reservation. She said delegates will have breakfasts at hotels, then leave for daylong caucuses after rush hour ends.
She said most convention events will be in the evenings.
“There won’t be any major disruptions because of our schedule,” Daughtry told a crowded community meeting on convention plans and concerns.
Some business representatives were skeptical, noting the tight security and limited access to some venues.
Michael Kadovitz works at an engineering firm between the Pepsi Center, where the convention will be held, and a convention center about 10 blocks away where caucuses are planned. He said he’s worried about security zones being set up around the venues.
“We’re glad to have the festivities, but I represent 13 people in our office. How are we going to be affected getting to work?” he asked.
Judith Thomas, a global marketing specialist with Denver-based ProLogis, said she attended the meeting because she thought an official schedule for the convention would be released. Like many other Denver businesses, she said ProLogis, which focuses on sustainability, is looking to promote itself by sponsoring an event during the convention, but making plans is difficult because a schedule likely won’t be released until Aug. 1.
“We’re finding there’s not a lot of good resources. There’s no official schedule so we sort of have to piecemeal it together,” Thomas said.
Randle Loeb, who represents the homeless, said no provisions have been made to provide alternatives for homeless people who sleep in parks set aside for protests.
Chantal Unfug, an aide to Mayor John Hickenlooper, said many details are still being worked out.
Hickenlooper issued a statement last week trying to reassure residents that plans are under way to deal with the impact.
He said while additional screening and security measures will be in place at some locations near events, downtown residents will be able to get to their homes and garages.
“Hosting the Democratic National Convention represents a tremendous economic and marketing opportunity for metro Denver and Colorado, as well as a chance for local residents to witness and participate in a historical event,” Hickenlooper said.