In a statement released yesterday, Gaylord Entertainment Co. confirmed rumors that surfaced last month about the location of its next mega-resort: In mid to late 2012, it plans to break ground on a new resort and convention hotel in Aurora, Colo., which is located less than 10 minutes from Denver International Airport and just 25 minutes from downtown Denver.
"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," said Gaylord Entertainment Chairman and CEO Colin V. Reed. "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."
Gaylord, which owns four of the nation's 10 largest convention hotels — including its signature property, the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, as well as the Gaylord Palms in Orlando, the Gaylord Texan in Dallas and the Gaylord National in Washington, D.C. — plans to open its Denver resort in mid to late 2015. At a cost of approximately $800 million, it will be located on 85 acres, featuring panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains along with 1,500 guest rooms and 400,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space.
"When you see the quality and service at a Gaylord property you understand why they get so much repeat business. This project will bring thousands of new visitors to Colorado," said Ed Tauer, Mayor of Aurora, Colo. "The community benefits are awesome. Our top priority is jobs, and this brings over 1,800 new jobs with a great employer."
Continued Reed, "We are in the very early stages of planning and will make certain that any project we pursue is done so under the appropriate economic conditions and provides the appropriate returns for our shareholders. We are pleased to work with the city of Aurora, Adams County and the state of Colorado on the next steps of this project and look forward to becoming a valuable part of the Aurora community."