Aurora wins ruling as lawsuit over Gaylord hotel project gets tossed

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DENVER — The city of Aurora won a major ruling Wednesday when a Denver District Court judge threw out a lawsuit by 11 hotels against the Gaylord Rockies Hotel and Conference Center, clearing the way for the project to go forward.

The hotels, mostly in Denver, wanted the Colorado Economic Development Commission to reconsider the $81.4 million in incentives that were awarded to Aurora for the project. But Judge Norman Haglund said none of the claims had standing.

Construction on the $800 million project, which includes a 1,500-room hotel and water park near Denver International Airport, could start next year, with an opening in 2017.

“The judge today did not decide the legality or appropriateness of the RTA subsidies awarded for the Gaylord hotel,” said Hilary Wells, an attorney for the plaintiffs.  “Rather, the court’s decision is limited solely to the issue of our clients’ standing, and we respectfully disagree with the ruling — we believe they do have standing to make these claims, and we are considering all of the appellate options outlined by Judge Haglund.”

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