Cost to see VP Mike Pence in Denver plummets after tickets struggle to sell

Isaac Brekken, The Associated Press Vice President Mike Pence, accompanied his wife, Karen, as he spoke earlier this month in Las Vegas, is scheduled to speak at a Colorado Republican Party fundraiser Oct. 26 at the Denver Marriott.

Because of a lack of demand, the Colorado Republican Party is offering a Groupon-like deal to see Vice President Mike Pence.

Pence is the headliner for a party fundraiser Oct. 26 at the Denver Marriott Tech Center, where the minimum-priced tickets originally cost $275.

The party announced the event weeks earlier but struggled to sell the 800 tickets available. So now it’s lowering the lowest-price ticket to $150, a 45 percent discount. A couple can attend with a two-for-one deal at the original $275 price.

Colorado Republican Party Chairman Jeff Hays tried to put his best spin on the news, writing in an email Wednesday: “Due to popular demand, we have made more tickets available at a new lower price.” But the same invite later says space is limited.

Daniel Cole, the party’s spokesman, clarified: “We are hearing from a lot of people that they very much want to see the vice president but the tickets were too expensive.”

He added: “We couldn’t fill the large room at that ticket level.”

Cole declined to release the number of tickets sold to date, adding that he never expected the event to sell out because of the size of the room.

The move creates another tier of seating. The original $275 ticket is now reserved seating “in the best locations,” Cole said. The new, lower price is open seating. Both tickets include dinner.

“All Republicans want to see the vice president, and many Republicans can’t afford the $275 ticket,” he said, citing grumbling online from party activists since the fundraiser was announced.

The top ticket for the event is $10,000 and includes a VIP reception, premier seating and a photo opportunity with Pence. All the proceeds for the fundraiser go to the state party.

Often political fundraiser are designed to be exclusive events, Cole said, but in this case “our aim is to satisfy both — to do as much fundraising off of it as we can at the same time as allowing as many people as possible to see the event.”

But the ticket discount didn’t escape the eye of the Colorado Democratic Party. “I think it’s another indication of a lack of enthusiasm — right on the heels of a weak fundraising quarter for Republican candidates in Colorado,” said party spokesman Eric Walker.

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