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GLBT Community Center of Colorado to host grand opening celebration on Sept. 17

Marking a milestone in Colorado GLBT history, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Colorado (The Center) will host a Grand Opening celebration of its new $2.5 million home at 1301 E. Colfax Ave. on Sept. 17 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Center now owns its home for the first time in its 34-year history, and has doubled the amount of space it had at its location on Broadway.

"The building is quickly becoming the epicenter for the LGBT community and beyond -- a central meeting place, an information hub and a community resource," said Center Executive Director Carlos Martinez.

The Center bought the former Video One building for $985,000 in May 2009 and renovations began last fall. The building was completed in early July and The Center opened to the public on July 12.

Some of the highlights of the new building:

* 15,000 square feet, doubling The Center's old space
* Four floors including a rooftop patio
* Decreased carbon footprint with green construction and renovation
* Expanded space for conference facilities and meetings

The City and County of Denver played a significant role in facilitating the purchase of the building by providing The Center a $250,000 nonprofit community block grant.

"The City and County of Denver is pleased to be involved in making the new Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Colorado a reality," said Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. "Denver has long been a leader in the Rocky Mountain region in the fight for fair and equal treatment of all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. The new Center is reflective of that, and will boost economic development efforts on the East Colfax corridor."

The Center is expected to attract more than 3,500 visitors a month to its new location, which will provide a direct economic benefit to the businesses in the vicinity. In addition, The Center hosts PrideFest every year, which creates an estimated $23 million in annual economic impact for the city, according to a 2009 research study by Birchill Enterprises.

The Center is in the second year of a three-year, $3.5 million comprehensive campaign to fund the building's purchase and renovation, as well as The Center's operations. The campaign also will create an endowment fund to ensure The Center's continued success.

The Center so far has raised about $2.8 million toward its $3.5 million goal, which it expects to reach by the end of 2011.

The GLBT Community Center of Colorado is the only statewide, nonprofit community center dedicated to empowering and advancing Colorado's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender population. It serves as a catalyst for community organizing, support services, social activities and cultural events. To learn more about The Center, visit www.glbtcolorado.org.

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