Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Gaylord Entertainment, Stock Show fan, sponsors Aurora's big night... in Denver

There have been some tense times between Aurora and Denver officials since word came down this summer that Gaylord Entertainment would like to build a hotel/resort complex in Aurora -- and move the National Western Stock Show there, too.

But Colorado's two biggest cities called a truce when the Aurora Economic Development Council held its big annual celebration... at a downtown Denver hotel. The major sponsor? Gaylord Entertainment.

A-List 2011, "presented by Gaylord Entertainment and LNR Property" (which would contribute 85 acres to the Gaylord project, according to the incentives package Aurora has presented Gaylord) and featuring speaker Andre Agassi, attracted a thousand people to the Hyatt Regency at the Colorado Convention Center.

That center, as well as the hotel that Denver built to help support it, could take a major financial hit if Gaylord builds its $800 million, 1,500 room hotel complex in Aurora, according to a report from HREC, a Denver-based hotel and casino real estate consulting firm. That report was commissioned by some downtown hotel and business groups and presented to a Denver City Council committee on Tuesday; it argues that about one-third of the business at the Aurora hotel would come from existing hotels, and the metro area would lose $186 million in visitor spending over four years. The City of Denver alone would lose $6.9 million in lodging and sales tax revenue, it predicts.

And, in particular, Gaylord's Aurora hotel would have a "material and critical" effect on downtown's two largest hotels -- the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel and, yes, the Hyatt Regency.

Wonder where A-List will hold its big event a few years from now...

More from our Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Michael Hancock gives the National Western Stock Show another ride."

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun