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New Incentive to Book Meetings and Events in Colorado

By M+E Staff

Colorado’s Meeting and Events Incentive Program was introduced to assist in the state’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. As an added bonus, it also will help groups get back into the practice of meeting face-to-face. Here’s a brief overview to help determine if your gathering might qualify.

How Does It Work?

The program provides pre-approved applicants with a 10% rebate of up to $100,000 against the eligible hard costs of hosting meetings and events that take place between July 1, 2021 and December 31, 2022. An online application must be submitted no later than 45 days before the meeting has occurred.

To receive the incentive rebate, the applicant must be the primary organizer, event host, or the meeting or event planner. 

Eligible Events

An event is eligible for a rebate only once per year. Eligible events include but are not limited to business meetings, conferences, conventions, exhibitions, trade shows, consumer shows, festivals, concert series, and weddings. The event needs to:

•               Be a new Colorado meeting or event contracted on or after April 6, 2021; 

•               Be a previously booked meeting or event taking place in Colorado that is at risk of being canceled, postponed, or relocated outside of Colorado without support;

•               Generate at least 25 paid overnight room nights in a motel, hotel, vacation rental or other lodging establishments;

•               Have total eligible hard costs at or above $35,000; and

•               Meet any additional criteria established by the Colorado Tourism Office.

Hard Costs That Qualify

Approved meetings and events can receive a 10% cash rebate only for various hard costs associated with hosting the gathering: event space/venue rental, event rentals, food and beverage, audiovisual support, entertainment, registration and event management, and transportation. There are specifics about these eligible hard costs so make sure to read the details

Non-eligible hard costs include alcoholic beverages, lodging and resort fees, event planner and management fees or costs, gratuity, print and web design work (e.g., logo, event website, invitations and event collateral such as signage), ancillary functions not occurring at the event or venue space.

Examples of Meetings & Events Funded

Elizabeth O’Rear, director of grants and funding for the Colorado Tourism Office, provided examples of meetings that have applied for and received incentive funding to date. 

  • After a 2020 Mediterranean cruise for high-producing employees was canceled, one company relocated the event for 40 to Gateways Canyon Resort south of Grand Junction. More than 110 room nights were booked. 
  • The Alzheimer’s Association brought its five-day international conference and more than 1,200 delegates to Denver in 2021. Numerous event spaces, including the Colorado Convention Center and multiple hotels, and a variety of food, beverage and entertainment venues were utilized and more than 5,000 nights of lodging sold. 

Destination Colorado is working in tandem with the Colorado Tourism Office to get the word out about the incentive and has helpful information and tools on its website. Check it out!