Mayor Robert W. Speer
Hall Of Fame Inductee — 2008
Mayor, City & County of Denver (1904-1916)
Robert W. Speer was probably more responsible for transforming Denver into a City Beautiful and the state’s top tourist attraction than any other person. As mayor, he literally changed Denver from brown to green with the planting of 110,000 shade trees throughout the city on redesigned broad boulevards. He doubled the City park system, creating Washington Park, Sloan’s Lake and City Park and personally redesigned the sunken flow path for Cherry Creek that later allowed for the bike-path system. His vision of Civic Center Park brought in fountains, a Greek Amphitheatre and monuments. He created the mountain park system that led to Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Winter Park Ski Area and Buffalo Bill’s Grave, and also led the drive to build the Auditorium Theatre. During his administration, the National Western Stock Show was born; Denver hosted the first Democratic National Convention, and VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau was created – only the sixth convention bureau in the world. Mayor Speer died while serving the city he loved from influenza that he caught walking to work in the rain.
Each Denver & Colorado Tourism Hall of Fame inductee reflects the profile of the inductee at the time of the induction.