Hotel construction has been booming in Denver over the past year: Almost 9,000 rooms have either opened, or are under construction with plans to open by year-end. But with the exception of a major project at the Adam's Mark Denver (which will take it to 1,225 rooms from 744), most are in limited-service hotels.
There are several full-service projects that have been proposed. Westin Hotels & Resorts is negotiating with the City of Denver to build a 500-room hotel to be attached to Denver International Airport (DIA). Preliminary plans call for about 20,000 square feet of meeting space. A 500-room Crowne Plaza in downtown and a 305-room Omni with a 27-hole golf course at the Interlocken business park are also proposed.
A proposal for a 400-room Scanticon property with an 18-hole golf course near DIA came to a halt when the landowner filed for bankruptcy. Scanticon International, Inc. is waiting to review the reorganization plan to determine whether to go forward. The company, which already has made a major investment in architectural and engineering studies, is investigating alternate sites near DIA.
And just outside of Denver in the city of Westminster, the Westin Westminster will be breaking ground this fall for a planned opening in fall 1998. The 367-room hotel will be part of a major
development, the Westminster Promenade, a business, entertainment, and cultural complex. Adjoining the hotel will be a 50,000-square-foot conference center, owned by the city and leased to Westin for operation, which should be completed in October 1999.
Many hotel analysts say Denver's hot market needs to slow down and take stock of itself to avoid a crash, according to the Denver Post. They see too much development in the limited-service market and not enough in the full-service arena.
Eugene Dilbeck, president of the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, would like to see Denver expand the Colorado Convention Center and build another major headquarters hotel, making it a real contender for large convention business. In fact, a recent Coopers & Lybrand study recommended doubling the size of the convention center.
Convention Center News Breckenridge Beaver Run Resort & Conference Center offers 35,000 square feet of conference space, including 15 breakout rooms as well as exhibit space. It can accommodate up to 1,000 persons for a reception, or 650 banquet-style.
Denver The Colorado Convention Center's three floors begin at street level, with 65,000 square feet of meeting space in 45 separate rooms. Below ground level is a 35,0000-square-foot ballroom, with 30-foot-high ceilings. It can be divided in halves or thirds. Above the main floor is a 292,000-square-foot exhibit hall, divisible into halves or thirds, with a clear-span seating area for 7,000. There are 24 covered loading docks.
The Currigan Exhibition Hall, directly across Stout Street from the Convention Center, provides an additional 100,800 square feet of column-free space on one level. The upper level of Currigan is connected to the Auditorium Conference Center, providing another 16,000 square feet of meeting space in 12 rooms, and to the Auditorium Theatre, with 2,000 seats.
Keystone At Keystone Resort, 90 miles west of DIA, the 32,500-square-foot conference center can accommodate groups as large as 1,800 persons. There is a 16,000-square-foot ballroom and a 4,000-square-foot junior ballroom.
Pueblo About 30 miles south of Colorado Springs, the Pueblo Convention Center opened in June. The $8 million, 46,000-square-foot facility has a 16,000-square-foot grand hall, as well as meeting rooms with videoconferencing capabilities.
Hotel News Aspen * The Little Nell, at the base of Aspen Mountain, last winter opened a new, top-floor suite, the 2,500-square-foot Paepcke Suite, the largest of the hotel's 15 suites.
* The Ritz-Carlton, Aspen, with 257 guest rooms and 26 suites, has opened a new restaurant featuring western steak house fare, the Aspen Grill.
Colorado Springs * The 700-room Broadmoor recently completed a million-dollar renovation of its International Center (with 18,000 square feet of meeting space), including new interior design and some construction in the prefunction area. This past winter the East and West golf courses received a new water hazard, part of a new irrigation system that will be completed in 1998.
* An $8 million expansion and renovation program is complete at the 316-room Cheyenne Mountain Conference Resort.
Denver * The Adam's Mark Denver, three blocks from the convention center, plans to open a major expansion on August 21, upping its guest-room count to 1,225 from 744. Convention facilities will include 125,000 square feet of meeting, exhibit, and banquet space. The hotel will have three ballrooms, including one measuring 30,000 square feet, the largest in the state.
* Last year the Inverness Hotel & Golf Club spent $3.2 million in upgrades. The hotel, 30 minutes from DIA, has 292 rooms and suites. The conference center, certified by the International Association of Conference Centers, features 33 meeting rooms.
* A $4 million renovation of the Hyatt Regency Denver Downtown's 511 guest rooms was completed in March.
Keystone * The Keystone Conference Center at the Keystone Resort offers several group learning opportunities in partnership with Phoenix-based Strategic Solutions. For eight to 150 persons, the golf-based educational seminars, held at the Keystone Ranch Golf Course, enhance, problem-solving, and group management skills. The conference center will begin a two-year renovation this summer.
Vail/Beaver Creek * The Hyatt Regency Beaver Creek will cater and arrange pre- and post-convention trips, teambuilding exercises, and spouse getaways, available in the summer and fall.
* The 318-room, 32-suite Marriott's Mountain Resort at Vail has an exclusive agreement with the 7,000-yard Pete Dye championship course at Cotton Ranch Golf & Country Club in Eagle, CO.
* The Vail Cascade Hotel & Club last fall completed a $2 million renovation of the guest entry areas. The Centennial Ballroom and Rocky Mountain Meeting Rooms were refurbished. All hotel areas will be upgraded to be in compliance with the ADA. The hotel has 46,000 square feet of meeting space in 23 meeting rooms.
* The Lodge at Vail has refurbished 25 of the property's 63 guest rooms. Construction of the $12 million International Wing, with a new 6,000-square-foot ballroom and 19 additional rooms and suites, is under way. The ballroom will be completed in December.
Getting There Aspen/Sardy Field is three miles from Aspen and eight miles from Snowmass, providing up to 280 flights per week via United, Northwest and Northwest Airlink, TriSar, American, and Delta.
Colorado Springs' $84 million airport, opened two years ago, is ten minutes from downtown, and offers nonstop flights from 30 cities.
The $4.2 billion Denver International Airport, 23 miles northeast of Denver, has buried its bad press with service to 110 U.S. cities and nonstop service from 11 major U.S. carriers, with United accounting for 70 percent of the traffic.
Aspen Central Reservations Tricia Mayo, group sales manager
(970) 925-9000, ext. 7123
Fax: (970) 925-9008
Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau Pam Sherfesee, dir. of convention sales
(719) 635-7506, ext. 134,
(800) 888-4748, ext. 134
Fax: (719) 635-4968
Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau Kristin Richardson,
(800) 888-1990, (303) 892-1112
Fax: (303) 892-1636
Summit County Chamber of Commerce (Breckenridge, Keystone, and Copper Mountain)
Lynn Skall, executive director
Fax: (970) 668-1515
Vail Valley Tourism and Convention Bureau Jim Feldhaus, vp of mktg. and group sales
(800) 775-8245, (970) 479-2360
Fax: (970) 479-2364