Westin Denver International Airport hotel to open Thursday

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DENVER -- The Westin Denver International Airport hotel and conference center is less than one week away from being open for business.

The public was offered the first tour of the 519 room hotel Sunday.

Upon final approach of Denver International Airport, travelers are hard pressed to miss the large structure with top to bottom glass.

Designed to represent the wings of a bird, the building is 20 years in the making.

“The hotel and the transit center were always part of the original vision,” said Stu Williams, senior vice president of special projects for Denver International Airport.

Now four years since breaking ground, DIA’s connected Westin hotel and conference center is finally ready for arrival and crosscheck.

“There’s a number of reasons why this is so special,” Williams said. “I think we’ve achieved something very spectacular to make DIA even a greater airport.”

Open for the first time for the public to tour Sunday, one mother and son traveling from Colorado Springs called it an incredible space.

“You can see the mountains way out there,” Tungsten Alcazar said.

“Oh, how beautiful,” said his mother, Kathy Lemos. “Everyplace we go, it’s got the big glass and the view of the outside.  It’s just beautiful."

With 519 rooms, a lobby and sky bar overlooking the high-speed commuter rail train, a pool and fitness center with views of the mountains and airfield, a conference center and two ballrooms, and outdoor plaza leading to the airport terminal, city leaders call this hotel one-of-a-kind.

“Oh, this is fantastic.  Ah, you can watch the plane’s taxiing,” Alcazar said.

“It’s like sitting under a bridge,” Lemos said.

It’s a convenient bridge leading to the skies that can take you almost anywhere in the world.

“Having a world-class hotel at a world-class airport just increases our value as an airport worldwide,” Williams said.

The grand opening is Thursday. The public can start staying overnight on Friday.  Rooms range from $189 to $499.

City leaders say bookings are already strong and its first conference is booked for this weekend.