June 4 2008, 12:34 PM
For whatever reason, whether it was lack of a decisive nominee or general lack of interest, the city's Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention hasn't reached its fundraising goal of $40.6 million. So far, only $25 million has been raised. The Denver Post reports today that the various Sunday-night parties at the convention may be scaled back to a single event.
After months of planning for two-dozen parties to fete the 56 delegations to the Democratic National Convention, the city's host committee is considering scrapping those parties in favor of one, single bash. Facing a shortfall in the amount of private money the host committee needs to do such things as throw these parties, planners are notifying the different venues that they won't be needing the spaces on Aug. 24, the Sunday before the convention opens. .Among the venues that would lose out: The Denver Museum of National History, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the Botanic Gardens and the Denver Zoo. Other savings will be in labor and transportation costs. While the Host Committee will be saving the money, it's also money that won't be pumped into the Denver economy. Among those losing out, I imagine, are our local caterers, florists, waitservers, bartenders -- even valet-parking attendants. Which may end up proving what has long been suspected -- that hosting conventions isn't profitable for cities or their communities. The Committee is hoping now that Barack Obama has been declared the presumptive nominee, contributions will start rolling in. Next week, they plan on rolling out an online donation page on their website and hope the public will make small donations. I'll be sending in my $5, not for the Democratic Party, but for Denver. I want to see the convention succeed so it will pump some money back into the community. The more scaled back events become, the less likely that is to happen. Even more importantly, this will be the most closely watched presidential convention in history. Denver will be front and center for weeks before the convention and during it. Simply as a matter of civic pride, I want to see it shine.