|By Rich Laden, The Gazette, Colorado
Springs, Colo.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
September 17, 2010 --Almost every year since it was founded in 1920, the Colorado Association of Realtors has held its annual convention at The Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs -- a nearly 90-year run that's lasted about as long as the internationally known, five-star resort has been in business.
But the association's annual Broadmoor gathering will end next year when the group moves its convention to Denver in an effort to boost sagging attendance.
"It wasn't The Broadmoor so much as it was the lack of Realtors participating the last few years," said Randy Reynolds of Prudential Rocky Mountain Realtors in Colorado Springs and the association's incoming board president.
This year's convention, Oct. 17-19, will take place at The Broadmoor, just as it has nearly every year since the resort opened in 1918. In 1990, the association held its convention in Keystone, but returned to The Broadmoor a year later.
In 2011, and for two years after that, the association's confab will take place at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, on the 16th Street Mall.
Five years ago, 2,374 members attended the association's convention at The Broadmoor; last year, attendance fell to 1,150, said Tyrone Adams, the Denver-based group's communications and events director.
An association task force spent months studying the problem, and a solid majority of the group's 160-member board approved the switch in June.
Cost increasingly has become a factor for real estate agents, many of whom have watched business suffer in recent years because of the housing downturn. Last year, association members who attended the entire event paid about $1,300 each for rooms, meals and other convention-related costs, Adams said.
"It became pretty costly for our members," he said, adding that some attendees stayed at nearby hotels instead of The Broadmoor.
The association has about 22,000 members, including 10,000 in the Denver area. Holding the event in Denver will allow some metro-area members to attend, yet go home at night and not pay the cost of a hotel room, Reynolds said.
The Broadmoor was disappointed to lose the convention, but there are no hard feelings, said John Washko, vice president of sales and marketing.
"There's no industry that's been hit harder than real estate," he said.
The loss of the convention hasn't necessarily hurt The Broadmoor because it's known for months of the likely move and has had time to re-sell those dates, Washko said.
Reynolds, who had opposed the move, hopes the association will be back.
"My hope is that after the three years in Denver are over, they'll realize that The Broadmoor was such a great place, they'll go back."
Contact the writer at 636-0228
IF YOU GO
The Colorado Association of Realtors will hold its annual convention Oct. 17-19 at The Broadmoor hotel, 1 Lake Circle, on Colorado Springs' southwest side. More information: coloradorealtors.com or 1-303-790-7099.
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Copyright (c) 2010, The Gazette, Colorado Springs, Colo.
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