Project Will Deliver the Largest Combined Hotel and Convention Center in Colorado

Published on : Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Combined HotelMarriott International,  RIDA Development Corp. and Ares Management, L.P. held a VIP ceremony yesterday on the 85-acre site of the two million-square-foot Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center to celebrate the recent closing of a $500 million construction loan as well as the commencement of vertical construction. The private event was attended by its developers, finance partners, city and state officials, Marriott executives and project supporters.

Master of Ceremonies for the event, Ira Mitzner, President of RIDA Development Corp., stated, “The closing of the Gaylord construction loan and the commencement of vertical construction will bring over 10,000 construction jobs and over 2,500 permanent jobs to the state of Colorado.  This $800 million project represents the finest of public-private partnership, and will create a strong and unique economic engine for the State of Colorado for many decades to come.”

“Today’s exciting event represents another milestone in the construction phase of the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center, which we are thrilled to be involved with,” said Andrew Holm, Managing Director in the Ares Real Estate Group. “In partnering once again with RIDA Development and Marriott and with the support of the City of Aurora and the State of Colorado, we are confident in the lasting positive impact this project will have on the local economy and tourism industry here.”

Centrally located in Aurora, Colorado – a city known for its arts culture, sports and recreation, the resort will be less than 10 minutes from Denver International Airport with sweeping views of the Rocky Mountain Front Range.  Once completed in late 2018, Gaylord Rockies will be the largest combined hotel and convention center in Colorado.

Mayor Steve Hogan attended the event and stated, “On behalf of the City of Aurora, let me say we are excited about the possibilities of the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center.  We offer our congratulations and thanks to RIDA Development, Ira Mitzner, and everyone else involved in making this wonderful addition to Aurora, metro Denver, and Colorado, a reality.”


Marriott, together with the owner and development partnership led by RIDA Development and Ares Management, previously announced the December 2015 closing on a $500 million construction loan from Wells Fargo Bank as lead agent for an eight bank consortium including co-lead agents Bank of America and Bank of Nova Scotia, as well as Sumitomo Mitsui Bank, Credit Agricole, CIT Financial, MidFirst Bank and US Bank.

“Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center is a significant project, not only for Aurora and the Denver area, but for the entire Rocky Mountain region,” said Mark Lanspa, Executive Vice President in Wells Fargo Commercial Real Estate’s Hospitality Finance Group. “On behalf of Wells Fargo and our entire bank group, we are proud to partner with our long-standing customers, RIDA Development, Ares Management and Marriott International, on this exciting project and look forward to seeing its success.”

Concurrently, a $530 million guaranteed maximum price construction contract was entered into with Mortenson Construction and WELBRO Building Corporation allowing the project to begin vertical construction last month. Construction of the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center is expected to result in the hiring of more than 10,000 construction workers for one of the largest hospitality industry projects to break ground in the U.S. in 2016.


The Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center will feature:


Under a long-term contract, Marriott will manage the Aurora hotel and convention center, which is expected to lead to the hiring of approximately 2,500 permanent direct and indirect employees of the hotel.  The economic impact of the project is estimated at more than $7 billion of economic activity for the State of Colorado, with more than 80 percent of guests expected to be net new visitors to the state.

Speaking at the ceremony on behalf of Marriott International was David Marriott, Chief Operating Officer, Americas Eastern Region, who stated, “Through the power of both the Marriott and Gaylord Hotels brands, we’re excited to funnel first-time group business into the state of Colorado by adding to our portfolio a western region resort and convention hotel of this magnitude. With its extraordinary environments, first-class entertainment and services, and the convenience of everything in one place, Gaylord Rockies will be a destination within itself offering memorable experiences to group and leisure guests alike.”


Adding to the excitement of yesterday’s event, Bonnie Godsman, CEO of GAMA International, was on hand to sign the first contract for more than 5,100 room nights. GAMA’s 2024 Annual Leadership and Management Program (LAMP) will bring in more than 3,000 financial services field leaders and industry executives representing more than 50 companies from 23 countries. The association’s meeting is estimated to generate $1.5 million from rooms revenue with an additional estimated $1.5 million in out-of-room spend.  Due to the group’s size, GAMA has never met nor considered meeting in Colorado.

“My hearty congratulations to Marriott and Gaylord Hotels on the announcement of their Gaylord Rockies property,” said Godsman. “I am ecstatic to invite my organization and its members to experience our annual conference in this exciting new property in the beautiful city of Aurora.
2024 can’t come soon enough!”


The pre-opening sales office recently opened adjacent to the resort construction site in Aurora. Michael Kofsky, Director of Sales and Marketing, will lead a team with the goal of pre-booking more than 1.25 million room nights prior to opening. The hotel is expected to bring over two million visitors to the City of Aurora and the State of Colorado during the first several years after opening.

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