One of the area’s biggest commercial real estate events of the year, the Rocky Mountain Commercial Real Estate Expo and Fall Forecast, opens at the Colorado Convention Center on Thursday.

The 19th annual event, organized by the Denver Metro Commercial Association of Realtors (DMCAR) and the University of Denver’s Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management, begins at 8 a.m. Thursday and runs through 5 p.m.

Howard Lutnick, chairman and CEO of New York based Cantor Fitzgerald LP and BGC Partners Inc., is the keynote speaker. Other speakers include: Mark Rose, CEO of Avison Young, based in Canada (with a Denver office); Rick Pederson, senior vice president of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank; and Kelly Brough, president and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.

“This is the do-not-miss event of the year which presents key information on commercial real estate issues coupled with profitable networking,” said Mark Levine, Burns school director and professor. “Denver, always known as a second tier city, has now elevated to one that is attracting international investments, and national as well as international companies,” says expo co-chairman,Phil Ruschmeyer, senior vice president of the Avison Young’s Denver office.