DEN Westin Hotel and Transit Center Grand Opening

The Challenge

The new Westin Hotel at the Denver International Airport (DEN) was ready to open for business. For a venue long awaited since 1995 when DEN began operating, it wouldn’t be enough to simply open the hotel doors and let in all the guests. 

On the day the hotel opened in late November 2015, chilling winds whipped through the plaza that connects the hotel to the airport. Forceful winds on the high plains, where DEN is located, can turn wicked even on the clearest, sunniest Colorado day. But nobody involved with this extraordinary event had any cause for concern. The diligent and thorough events team at CIG always has a plan C.

Only a striking, momentous event would do. 

Our Solution

For CIG, its never too soon to start planning. The team began visualizing the hotel opening event more than a year before the targeted event date. Close collaboration with the DEN and The Westin DEN teams allowed CIG to get the vision, and the eventual reality, just right. CIG recommended closing the hotel for media visits three months before the opening event, generating anticipation and interest to guarantee media coverage.

The day of the event, the CIG team escorted 20 print, broadcast and online reporters and photographers through the newly finished space. Sneak-peek, panoramic footage revealed the hotel’s swooping form, which was designed to resemble a bird in flight.

With a touch of luck, the ferocious wind calmed to a breeze just in time for airport leaders and area dignitaries to detail the hotel’s history. Following the public address portion of the event, two aerialists emerged as planned, climbing the black fabric and artfully commanding the ribbon to its cutting. CIG had arranged – and concealed for maximum dramatic effect – these aerialists to bring the ribbon to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock’s scissors.

“I have to say, this is the most creative ribbon cutting I’ve ever done.” – Denver Mayor Michael Hancock.

More than 600 attendees closed the event with an uplifting champagne toast.

The Results

CIG rose to the occasion, literally levitating the firm’s reputation for unconventionally exceptional events. Bigger-picture thinking, coupled with meticulous planning and execution, yielded local and national attention and media exposure for the city, the airport and the hotel.

Event attendance surpassed projections by hundreds with representation from all desired audiences. And most importantly, our media strategy worked, to the tune of 180+ unique stories for nearly 295 million media impressions valued at $1 million in exposure. It was a significant event for the airport, by design, and it set Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ (former owner of Westin properties) new exposure benchmark for hotel openings worldwide.

million media impressions

2016 PRSA Gold Pick

Government Media Relations

2016 PRSA Gold Pick

Government Media Relations

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Suite 1800
Denver, CO 80264

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