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History and Milestones | Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce | Denver, CO
Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce | Denver, CO

History and Milestones

For nearly 150 years, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and its predecessors have continually worked to make Denver a prosperous, highly livable city. From bringing the first railroad to Denver in 1867 to helping make Denver International Airport (DIA) a reality in 1995, the Chamber has played an important role in shaping the quality of life in the Front Range.



Click on the above image to view the Denver Metro Chamber's history.

Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce History from 1864 to 2017: The architects of Colorado's past and future.


Denver Board of Trade raises funds to bring the railroad to Denver from Cheyenne.


The Denver Board of Trade becomes the Denver Chamber of Commerce.


The Chamber houses the first public library.


The Chamber successfully lobbies the federal government to select a site here for what becomes Fort Logan. The same year, the Chamber launches a "Bureau of Information" that mails literature to 50,000 prospective visitors.


The Chamber facilitates and resolves the conflicts between Populist Governor Davis Waite and Denver police commissioners.


The U.S. Mint is located here, thanks to strong Chamber lobbying.


After intense promotion, the National Stock Growers Association Convention meets here. By 1906, the National Western Stock Show is officially at home in Denver.


The Chamber provides strong support for regional construction of water storage reservoirs and begins promoting water conservation.


The Chamber supports the construction of Cherry Creek Blvd.


The Chamber forms the Denver Convention League, which books 42 conventions its first year.


The Chamber supports creation of a magnificent new civic auditorium in Denver to attract a national convention. The Democratic Party selected Denver to host its convention in 1908.The Chamber raises funds to prevent the closure of the Denver Museum of Natural History.


The Chamber organizes a Good Roads Convention, which raises $500,000 for road construction.


The Chamber drafts a smoke ordinance, later adopted by the Denver City Council, to reduce black clouds believed to be caused by wasted fuel in area factories.


The Chamber purchases, and later donates, the land on which Fitzsimons Army Medical Center was located.


The Chamber begins fundraising for land to be used for Lowry Aviation Field, and in 1926 helps win airmail service for Denver.


The Chamber, after a decade of work advocating for an airport, the Chamber celebrates the opening of
Denver Municipal Airport (later renamed Stapleton International Airport).


The Chamber donates the land for Lowry Air Force Air Base to the federal government.


The Chamber launches Forward Metro Denver, an economic acceleration program. Its efforts attracted 280,000 new jobs.


The Chamber is instrumental in the formation of the Regional Transportation District (RTD).


Auraria Higher Education campus is opened, after years of Chamber support and involvement.


The Chamber's special Airport Task Force recommends that a new regional hub airport be built, rather than waiting for the year 2000 as planned.


The 16th Street Mall opens, which was a project strongly supported by the Chamber.


The Chamber forms the Metro Denver Network, The Greater Denver Corporation and the Small Business Profit Center.


The Colorado Convention Center opens, a project strongly supported by the Chamber.


The Greater Denver Corporation and the Chamber help create more than 190,000 jobs for the six-county metro Denver region over a seven-year span.


Denver International Airport opens, which was a top economic development project of the Chamber.


The Chamber, led by the Metro Denver Network, successfully positioned Denver and the Front Range as a high-tech hub and introduced the moniker "Convergence Corridor-Technology with Altitude." In addition, the Chamber, which has backed the development of light rail since 1994, helped celebrate the opening of the new Southwest Light Rail line.


The Chamber increases its representation from six counties to seven as Broomfield becomes the metro area's seventh county.


The Chamber proposes a $15-billion, 20-year, multi-modal transportation legislation compromise, which is passed by Colorado legislators and signed by Governor Bill Owens.


In partnership with Aurora and the region's economic development leadership, the Chamber provides business support for the passage of a bill to ensure the CU Health Sciences Center Fitzsimons campus build-out. The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (Metro Denver EDC) is created and launches BreakThrough Denver! a five-year campaign to create 100,000 jobs and raise $12.5 million to fund economic development activities.


Voters in the seven-county metro area approve FasTracks, a 12-year, $4.7 billion regional transit build-out plan. The Chamber and Metro Denver EDC contribute $500,000 to the campaign.


As architects of the campaign for Referendum C and D, the Chamber provided both the leadership and economic resources to ensure the passage of the ballot measure and played a key role in Colorado's economic recovery. The Chamber also created a new affiliate, the Colorado Competitive Council (C3), a statewide lobbying entity to support other local efforts to assure that the business sector has a voice in regard to state legislation.


The Denver Metro Chamber and the Colorado Competitive Council (C3) release “Business For A Competitive Colorado” as the agenda to grow the state’s 11 top industry clusters to enhance Colorado’s future economic competitive edge.


The Denver Metro Chamber and Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation commissioned a comprehensive study showing $1 billion in lost economic opportunity, annually due to infrastructure needs on I-70.


The Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce introduces a new logo, symbolizing the organization’s statewide focus and reach. Supported the Democratic National Convention attraction and event, in partnership with the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, with a financial commitment of more than $300,000. Provided $400,000 and staff leadership to Coloradoans for Responsible Reform to defeat the “Poison Pill’ ballot initiatives (53,55,56 and 57). ConocoPhillips announces plans to establish a new Global Technology and Corporate Learning Center at the former Storage Technology campus in Louisville, Colo. ConocoPhillips is the country’s third-largest energy company and number five on Fortune magazine’s top 500 companies list.


Kelly J. Brough is selected as the next Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, and becomes the first woman to serve in that role.The Denver Metro Chamber launched its first legislative scorecard, tracking 4,600 legislative votes.


With the opposition campaign led by the Chamber, voters in the state of Colorado overwhelming defeat three extreme anti-tax measures—Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101.


The Chamber launched the Chamber Getaways program, bringing 160 people from nine different states on a tourist trip to China. Other destinations added to the Getaways program include India and Russia.The Chamber published its first historical book in several decades, “Persistence in Vision.”


The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office announced that Denver will be one of three locations for its new satellite offices. United Airlines announced that it will begin daily nonstop service from Denver International Airport (DIA) to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport in 2013, ending more than a decade of efforts to land the route. DIA also added direct, international flights to Mexico and Iceland, increasing the state’s access to the global marketplace.


The inaugural nonstop United airlines flight to Tokyo debuted. Nearly 70 business, tourism, government, education and energy officials traveled on the first two inaugural flights and participated in a trade mission to deliver the clear message to Tokyo and all of Asia that Colorado is open for business.
The Denver Metro Chamber building at 1445 Market St. began a remodel project to update the building's location visibility and street presence, and create a more collaborative, innovative environment for Chamber members and staff.