Visit Denver is preparing for a trip of its own.
The nonprofit trade association that works to promote tourism to the Mile High City has leased a floor in the new Block 162 office tower at 675 15th St., President and CEO Richard Scharf told BusinessDen Friday.
It will be the first move in 30 years for the organization, which has had its office in the Denver Dry Goods building at 1555 California St. since the early 1990s, Scharf said.
Scharf said Visit Denver’s current landlord informed the organization earlier this year that it would like to potentially convert the Denver Dry Goods office space to residential units.
“It’s a good time to be looking, with favorable market conditions,” Scharf said, alluding to the sluggish office leasing market.
Denver Urban Renewal Authority also has its office in the Dry Goods building and intends to move, according to Executive Director Tracy Huggins.
“We are early in that process,” she said. “We’ve issued an RFP for a broker.”
Visit Denver isn’t moving far. The 30-story Block 162 tower is across the street from its current office.
Scharf said the organization is taking the entire 12th floor, about 28,000 square feet. Visit Denver’s current space is about 20,000 square feet, but the elevators and bathrooms that it uses aren’t within that.
“That now has to go in the new space,” Scharf said. “It gives us some room to grow, but not a lot.”
The organization has 65 employees. Scharf said the search for a new office revolved largely around location, particularly proximity to the Colorado Convention Center, which is a block away.
“With the new expansion, our staff spends a lot of time with customers over there,” Scharf said. “That’s an area that’s good for us to be an anchor in.”
Scharf said the organization could make the move in June, although that depends on permitting to build out the new space.
In 2022, the Mile High City welcomed a record 36.3 million visitors who spent $9.4 billion, according to Visit Denver.
The 600,000-square-foot Block 162 tower was developed by Houston-based Patrinely Group and USAA Real Estate and completed in spring 2021. Other tenants include law firms Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and Sherman & Howard.