Gaylord to build 1,500-key hotel near Denver Airport

AURORA, COLORADO Gaylord Entertainment Co. plans to build a 1,500-key hotel near Denver International Airport in suburban Aurora, about 25 minutes from downtown Denver.

The US$800 million convention resort, to be built on 85 acres, is slated to open in 2015. It will include 400,000 sq. ft. of exhibition and meeting space.

Construction will be funded by Gaylord, which is considering bringing in joint venture partners, along with tax incentives granted by the city of Aurora worth an estimated US$300 million. The city has agreed to reinvest nearly all new taxes generated by Gaylord Resort and Convention Center back into the project.

“We are thrilled by the prospect of a Gaylord property in the Denver market, which has fast become one of the most desirable tourist and business travel destinations in the United States and a destination of choice for meeting planners and conventions,” says Colin Reed, chairman and CEO of Nashville, Tennessee-based Gaylord. “Our loyal customers who return over and over again to our existing properties have been telling us for some time that they would love to be able to replicate the Gaylord experience in a market in the Western region of the United States. We believe that this is the perfect location for meeting that demand.”

Colorado-based Hensel Phelps Construction Co. has been selected as the general contractor for the project. Gaylord hopes to break ground by late next year.

Back in April, Gaylord was reportedly in talks with the National Western Stock Show about giving the resort a Western theme and jointly funding construction. In formally announcing the project on Tuesday, Gaylord made no mention of the annual 16-day event.

Rendering of planned Gaylord-branded resort in suburban Denver
Rendering of planned Gaylord-branded resort in suburban Denver