Ending weeks of speculation, Denver’s Mayor Wellington Webb picked the Hyatt Corp. to manage a 1,100-room headquarters hotel, to be located within a block or two of the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver.
The announcement was made on August 18, during the American Society of Association Executive’s annual meeting in Denver. Hilton Hotels had been the other finalist with Hyatt. As part of the agreement, Hyatt will buy $10-$12 million in bonds to help finance the construction of the building, which has an anticipated opening in 2005. The city is raising the financing for the rest of the construction through bonds. The exact location, contractor, and architects for the building should be announced in the next few weeks, according to the Mayor’s office.
"This is another reflection of the incredible importance the city of Denver places on the value of the meetings and the hospitality business," said Denver Metro CVB president and CEO Eugene Dilbeck. He added that the city invested more than $6 billion in meetings and tourism-related infrastructure in the 1990s, and that another billion is being invested.
At the heart of that investment: a $300 million expansion now underway that will double the size of the Colorado Convention Center by the end of 2003, giving the center 584,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space on one level. The city is also doubling the size of its art museum by 2005 and opening a $50 million addition to its Museum of Nature & Science next year--an addition that will be offered as a major meetings venue as well.
"We are 300 miles from the geographical center of the country, a central location for meetings," Dilbeck said. "What we’ve lacked in infrastructure, we are now adding."