Denver Mayor Michael Hancock joined President Stephen Jordan and others at the Hospitality Learning Center (HLC) last Thursday to kick off Denver Restaurant Week (DRW) in a most appropriate way: with a red wine toast.
Coached by Jackson Lamb, assistant professor of hospitality, tourism and events, Hancock cooked a flaming bananas Foster in the HLC mixology lab in front of approximately 75 guests, including chefs, students and University officials, to draw attention to what has become the largest restaurant week in the nation.
Hosting the kickoff provided great exposure for the University’s HTE program, Lamb says. “This is the first year we’ve had a brand new building to show off and we showed it off last week,” he said. “We’re doing all the right things…to draw attention to our program.”
DRW started Saturday and will run to March 8, with a record 356 participating restaurants offering a multicourse dinner for the “mile-high” price of $52.80 for two ($26.40 for one), tax and tip not included.
“It’s a great way to invest in our community by investing in those who are serving us in the restaurants and also to try out some of the great culinary talents in our community,” Hancock said.
Last year, a record 404,400 meals were served and interest appears to be up in 2013. “On just the first day the menus were available at DenverRestaurantWeek.com we had more than one million page views,” said Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER, the Convention and Visitors Bureau.
After learning that VISIT DENVER chose the HLC for the kickoff, Jordan said, “This is an honor and another great opportunity for us to showcase the HLC to some of the industry’s top people. With hospitality being Colorado’s No. 2 industry, the hope is to foster partnerships that will benefit our hospitality, tourism and events students.”
This is the second time that MSU Denver has hosted the Restaurant Week launch.
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