Voters Approve Convention Center Expansion Denver voters approved a $268 million Colorado Convention Center expansion project in their November 2 election, a move that will create the sixth-largest facility west of the Mississippi.

"It's taken us three years," says Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau President Eugene Dilbeck, "but with the people's approval, it's a definite go."

Dilbeck says the design process for the project, which includes 292,000 square feet of new exhibit space and 60,000 square feet of meeting space, will begin immediately. The expansion is expected to break ground in early 2001 and will be the mirror image of the existing Colorado Convention Center. Because expansion was all in the grand plan when the CCC was built in 1987, Dilbeck says construction will have minimal effect on events during the construction period.

In separate, but related, developments: * Marriott International signed a letter of intent to build a 1,100-room convention headquarters hotel on a site across the street from the CCC. The $211 million hotel could break ground as early as spring 2000, with a 34-month build-out construction period. The twin tower hotel will feature 85,000 square feet of meeting space and two ballrooms, one at 30,000 square feet and the other 15,000 square feet.

* A block down the road from the CCC, Hilton Hotels will join the neighborhood. The Denver Executive Tower Hotel will close for a $108 million renovation project and reopen in late summer of 2001 as a new 659-room Hilton Hotel, with 30,000 square feet of meeting space.