A California-based company wants to bring some of the more prominent vacant buildings in Denver to life, but only for a limited time.
Operating in San Francisco for roughly seven years, Non Plus Ultra has made arrangements with owners of the former Denver Post print shop in Globeville, Sports Castle on Broadway, and the Denver Rock Drill location in RiNo to book events on the premises .
The company also handles some of the booking for ReelWorks Denver, the RiNo venue formerly known as EXDO Event Center.
NPU founder and CEO Jordan Langer told BusinessDen last week that his company is primarily looking for space “that would otherwise be empty”.
In the case of Rock Drill, the just sold Sports Castle and Post Office facility, each location is likely to be renovated or redeveloped in the years to come. NPU will just book them until work begins.
“You get a percentage of everything we generate,” Langer said of the property owners.
The sports palace has been used occasionally for events since the sports authorities closed in 2016 and has been home to a seasonal Spirit Halloween shop for several years. However, Langer expects usage to increase.
“Some really fun things are going to happen in this room,” he said.
Langer said events are “such a massive addition to the brand” and companies increasingly want to host them in architecturally interesting buildings.
“The days of hotel ballroom events are coming to an end,” he said.
Langer said the events could be booking a booking for a few hours in a single evening, but could also be a temporary attraction that has been running for weeks, like Van Gogh Alive, which operates locally at the Stanley Marketplace in Aurora.
NPU generally doesn’t book more than a year and the schedule may be shorter for certain venues.
NPU’s arrangement with ReelWorks is slightly different as the venue already exists solely for booking events and other gatherings.
Andrew Feinstein, CEO and managing partner of EXDO Group Cos., Which operates the venue, told BusinessDen that its employees will continue to work with existing clients and book music-oriented shows – which have become a new focal point for the venue.
However, Feinstein said that NPU “will handle the booking for Reelworks Denver for all new event business.”
“With our focus on being more music-oriented, we thought it would be welcome to have some help on the events page,” he said.
Langer, meanwhile, said that part of the appeal of having ReelWorks in the stall is that it’s a turnkey venue that’s especially useful when the company receives last-minute booking requests.
Langer said Denver is one of three cities where NPU is concentrated, along with San Francisco and Los Angeles. The company also has a small presence in Seattle.
When the redevelopment of NPU’s existing Denver venues begins, Langer hopes to replace them with other interesting and unused buildings in the city.
An ideal venue is “architecturally significant” with high ceilings and generally just large.
“It doesn’t make sense for us to take part in the 500-person event world,” says Langer, because there are enough rooms for that.