Aurora Mayor tells state commission Gaylord hotel will break ground later this year


AURORA | One way that Aurora city officials can guarantee $81 million in state tourism incentive money won’t be pulled from the massive Gaylord hotel project is to actually break ground on it.

Aurora Mayor Steve Hogan told the Colorado Economic Development Commission Thursday the project would break ground sometime between October and December of this year. Hogan’s announcement was part of a quarterly update to the commission on the hotel’s progress.

 “The truth is, the project is alive, well, and moving every day toward a groundbreaking in the 4th quarter of this year,” Hogan said following the meeting.  “The City, the Aurora EDC (Economic Development commission), the Aurora Chamber and Visit Aurora are doing everything we can do to make sure it happens.”

RIDA Development Corp., the Houston-based developer who will build the Gaylord hotel, confirmed the project is moving forward in a letter that was also given to the Colorado Economic Development Commission Thursday.

“Equity has been unconditionally committed and expended in the tens of millions of dollars,” wrote Ira Mitzner, CEO of RIDA.  He wrote that the project budget is within 3.5 percent of the cost of the original project that was estimated at around $824 million when it was approved in 2012.

“But for the addition of  the water park, the project design is the same as introduced to the Commission in 2011 and approved in 2012,” he wrote.

According to Mitzner’s letter, the hotel and conference center will be 1.9 million square feet. It will have a 60,000-square-foot atrium, 400,000 square feet of meeting space, 1,500 hotel rooms and 7,300 square feet of retail shops. It will have a minimum of three restaurants, as well as indoor and outdoor pools. It will also have a spa and fitness center that will measure 29,0000 square feet.

He said in his letter that groups were already interested in visiting the future Gaylord hotel in Colorado. According to the letter, the interested groups include the Alliance for Continuing Medical Education, the American Gas Association, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, CCA Global, Georgetown University, Goodyear, Greenway Medical Technologies, Henry Schein, Johnstone Supply Company and Petco.

“These business organizations represent a very small sub-set of the companies that do not currently sponsor the same events in Colorado that they do in other areas where a Gaylord branded hotel and conference center is located,” he wrote.

Mitzner wrote in the letter the hotel would be completed by 2018.

In May 2012, the Colorado Economic Development Commission approved a tax incentive package for the Gaylord hotel and conference center worth $81.4 million over 30 years.

The delayed project has been the subject of recent inquiry by some state officials, prompting charges from Aurora officials that politics and Denver hotel competitors are part of a scheme to kill the massive hotel and conference center.

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6 years ago

Good job Mayor Hogan! Don’t take any of their crap. You just moved up another notch on my list.

6 years ago

This gaylord nonsense has gone further ahead in a few months than the Regatta Plaza debacle which inches along. Will Regatta Plaza become the new FanFaire?