Aurora mayor talks economic impact of Colorado’s largest hotel

AURORA, Colo. -- The largest hotel in Colorado is set to open next week just south of Denver International Airport. The 1,501-room Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center promises to produce a bit of an economic boom in Aurora and Denver.

The massive complex sits on 85 acres, currently surrounded by a whole lot of nothing. But economic development leaders say – just wait! The total building area is two million square feet, according to the City of Aurora. The behemoth of a hotel will open its doors on Tuesday. It’s expected to bring in 2,546 jobs and 451,580 new visitors a year.

“I think the potential is unprecedented for a Colorado business,” said Aurora Mayor Bob LeGare.

LeGare is excited for the spillover impact that will produce the development of dozens and dozens of new businesses and homes.

“The Gaylord Hotel is really the catalyst that helps kick that off-- and kind of-- puts that area on the map,” LeGare said.

Elsewhere in the United States, Gaylord resorts have turned empty land in boom towns in just several years. Just south of the resort, a pre-planned community is in the works similar to Denver’s Stapleton neighborhood. Surrounding the hotel will be a 130-acre Gaylord Rockies Village of businesses and entertainment venues.

“It’s the commercial development that really brings the tax revenues that make the difference financially for the City of Aurora,” LeGare explained.

Already, Aurora says 1,126,604 room nights have been booked at the Gaylord Rockies representing reservations made by groups and businesses that have never hosted in Colorado.

The City and County of Denver says it’s looking to start marketing its portion of the area in 2019 with flexible zoning rules to welcome many different businesses. Denver also says it will be thoughtful about the process by reserving open space and ensuring views to the mountains.

Specific businesses have not been announced yet.



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