The mile high city of Denver is ‘bringing the world to America’ for the 5oth IPW18 and three days of meetings, networking and showcasing the U.S from the 21st – 23rd of May.

I’m in Denver this week for what is my first International ‘Pow Wow’ and have already been extremely impressed with the warm hospitality this city has laid on to greet us all with.

The Rockies sized welcome began at the airport yesterday when the Visit Denver team handed me a free train ticket into the city, a Denver Pale Ale, a bottle of Denver water and a hug from their furry blue bear mascot.

And my stay has just got better and better since with Visit Denver staff all over the city providing a seamless experience to get around and share their tips on discovering the best of the city.

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How could I refuse?

 

Denver really is the mile high city…

The myth is real. Because by some amazing stroke of good luck, the 13th step on the west side of the State Capitol Building is exactly 5,280 feet above sea level – one mile high (1.6 kilometres).

In Denver’s rarified air, golf balls go 10 percent farther. So do cocktails (danger alert for the Australian contingent) with alcoholic drinks packing more of a punch than at sea level. The sun feels warmer because you are closer to it and there is 25 percent less protection from the sun.

Did you know too that Denver has a mild, dry and sunny climate with more annual hours of sun than San Diego or Miami Beach? Yep, even in winter, Denver is dryer than Phoenix with an average daily high of 7 degrees Celsius in February.

In fact, Denver receives only 14 inches of rain a year – which is about the same as Los Angeles.

 

On with the 50th show…

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6,000 international travel buyers, suppliers and media will attend IPW18 this year, which is celebrating it’s 50th birthday and officially begins on Sunday evening (MDT) with a ‘Discover Denver’ welcome event at the Denver Centre for the Performing Arts.

The annual IPW is the travel industry’s premier international marketplace and the most significant driver of travel to the U.S which has also proven to generate over 700,000 new foreign visitors and $1.7 billion in new tourism revenue for host cities within three years.

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The Media Press Brunch

President and CEO of Visit Denver, Richard Scharf says;

“An incredible amount of business takes place within the walls of the convention centre during IPW, but after business hours, more than 5,000 travel executives and journalists from around the world will spread out across our city, and we want to ensure we create an immersive experience for them that is both memorable and productive for future tourism business.”

“We’re an urban city at the base of the Rockie mountains. We have the best of both worlds, and that’s what we’re going to show them.”

President and CEO of Visit Denver, Richard Scharf

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The Hyatt Regency, my digs for the next few days

There’s a strong Australian presence again at the show in Denver this year with most wholesalers represented as well as a host of freelance journalists and media here to get up to speed with all that’s new in the USA.

I arrived on Saturday evening and jumped straight into the Visit USA Australia and New Zealand welcome function at the apt ‘Cowboy Lounge’ in the city. With around 150 Aussies attending, the local ales and free pouring spirits were flowing and the smiles getting wider as a mix of the altitude (there’s that danger alert again), excitement and jetlag began to kick in.

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This will be needed…

The event features a host of pre and post famils as well as nightly events and parties and entertainment at lunches including legendary band the B-52’s and Denver’s homegrown band One Direction headlining the closing party on Wednesday night.

Needless to say, it’s going to be a massively productive and fun few days for everyone, but most of all, for the city of Denver.

Stay tuned for more IPW18 stories in the coming days.

Find out more: www.ipw.com

A big thanks to American Airlines for flying me over to Denver this year via Los Angeles from Sydney. Check out their latest flight deals to Los Angeles on our California Destination Guide here.

Have you been to IPW or Denver before? Share your thoughts below.