DENVER (CBS4) – All public events scheduled to take place at all Denver owned and operated facilities by April 12 have been canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak. Mayor Michael Hancock announced the measure on Friday and affects the following facilities:
– Red Rocks Amphitheater (and Visitor Center)
– Denver Center for the Performing Arts
– Denver Coliseum
– McNichols Civic Center building
– Colorado Convention Center
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Among the major events affected, the closure means that this year’s Easter Sunrise Service in Red Rocks will not take place.
The DCPA wrote of its closure: “We are currently working to identify options for rescheduling or crediting (activities) and will post any updates online.”
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock declared a state of emergency for the city and county of Denver on Thursday in response to the coronavirus. On Friday he said that all city libraries and leisure centers would also be closed from Monday. He also said the city’s judicial system is involved in “prevention and risk mitigation planning” to protect the jury and the public.
“During this evolving public health situation, the health of everyone in our community is a top priority,” said Hancock.
The DCPA said Friday that it was preparing for the opportunity along with other agencies, but Mayor Hancock’s announcement was still difficult to hear.
“It’s a really difficult day, not just for us at the Denver Center, but obviously for everyone around the country and in our world. So it was one of the toughest days I can remember, “said John Ekeberg, executive director of the DCPA’s Broadway Division.
Ekeberg is responsible for booking major Broadway shows for the Denver Performing Arts Center. He says with so many moving pieces making the shows possible, he knows the impact will be big, but right now it’s hard to measure.
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“I’m not sure I know either. Of course, one of the things that I’m most disappointed with is the lack of the ability to bring people together as a community. That’s what we do in the theater, but of course this is a time when that is not the right choice and we fully support that choice, ”he said.
Ekeberg knows very well that money will be lost.
“There is a huge financial impact on the entire industry. As you probably know, New York’s Broadway is also closed for 30 days and many cities across the country are in the same situation as here in Denver and have to cancel performances. “We’ll be working on what the impact is in the weeks and months to come “, he said.
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He also pointed out the number of people behind the scenes who will be unemployed.
“That has a big impact on employment and staff. There are hundreds of people working in the theater every night, and without the stage going up, it will have an impact. “
Affected shows include SpongeBob, Mean Girls, and Improvised Shakespeare.
BJ Dyer was supposed to go to the Symphony on Friday night, although it is not operated by DCPA but is also closed. Although he couldn’t see his show, he was determined to keep his dinner reservation at Prelude & Post.
“They called all of their reservations today to confirm them and they said most of them would cancel but I said if you are still open we will come and spend money so yes we will” said Dyer.
While he can’t spend money on upcoming big shows in Denver, he’s determined to do whatever it takes for small businesses that are still open.
“The more you can do to spend some money where you can feel safe, it will affect not just small businesses, but the entire Denver and Colorado economies.”
On the previous Friday, the Denver Museum of Nature & Science announced that it would be temporarily closed to the public from March 13 at 5 p.m. They made the following statement:
“To further protect the health and safety of staff, volunteers, and visitors, the museum is taking a number of proactive precautions in response to the outbreak, including discouraging staff from traveling to the affected areas, implementing strict cleaning and disinfecting routines and in.” Maintain close contact with state and regional health authorities and the Centers for Disease Control.
The Denver Art Museum announced on Friday that it would be closed until the end of the month. The Molly Brown House Museum is also temporarily closed.
The Denver Botanical Gardens will remain open, but its interiors are now closed to visitors. MCA Denver, the city’s contemporary art museum, has also announced that it will be closed until April 24th.
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Earlier on Friday, Governor Jared Polis announced during a 45-minute press conference that gatherings of more than 250 people in the state are now temporarily banned.