Gaylord Rockies Begins $800M Colorado Project

The Gaylord Hotels chain is part of the Marriott International Int. portfolio of brands.

📅   Wed April 13, 2016 - West Edition
Chuck Harvey - CEG CORRESPONDENT


An $800 million project to build a two-million-sq.-ft. (185,806 sq m) Gaylord Rockies Hotel and Convention Center kicked off with a Jan. 13 groundbreaking ceremony at the Aurora, Colo., site where vertical construction has begun.
An $800 million project to build a two-million-sq.-ft. (185,806 sq m) Gaylord Rockies Hotel and Convention Center kicked off with a Jan. 13 groundbreaking ceremony at the Aurora, Colo., site where vertical construction has begun.
An $800 million project to build a two-million-sq.-ft. (185,806 sq m) Gaylord Rockies Hotel and Convention Center kicked off with a Jan. 13 groundbreaking ceremony at the Aurora, Colo., site where vertical construction has begun.
Visitors will enjoy sweeping views of the Rocky Mountains Front Range.
The hotel will feature 1,507 guest rooms including 114 suites. It will include a grand lodge with views of the Rockies, eight restaurants, indoor-outdoor pool complex, spa and salon, fitness center, outdoor basketball and tennis courts and walking trails.

An $800 million project to build a two-million-sq.-ft. (185,806 sq m) Gaylord Rockies Hotel and Convention Center kicked off with a Jan. 13 groundbreaking ceremony at the Aurora, Colo., site where vertical construction has begun.

The Gaylord Hotels chain is part of the Marriott International Int. portfolio of brands.

The ceremony at the 85-acre site, celebrated the closing of a $500 million construction loan needed to begin vertical work. Subsidies helped cover the remainder of the project including a $300 million package from the city of Aurora.

Ira Mitzner, president of Houston-based RIDA Development Corp., told attendees that the start of vertical construction would bring more than 10,000 construction jobs and more than 2,500 permanent jobs to Colorado. RIDA Development Corp. is project developer.

HKS of Dallas is architect.

General contractor is Mortenson/ WELBRO joint venture. The joint venture is a combination of M.A. Mortenson Co. of Minneapolis and WELBRO Building Corp. of Maitland, Fla.

The joint venture was selected to be construction manager and general contractor based on qualification and fees. The manager-contractor contract was for just shy of $530 million.

The project has more than 30 prime subcontractors and numerous sub-tier subcontractors. Major trade partners are RK Mechanical of Denver, mechanical work and plumbing; Intermountain Electric of Denver, for electric work on the convention center, Encore Electric of Englewood, Colo. for hotel electric work; and Kelley Trucking of Golden, Colo. for earthwork.

“We are in the process of awarding many of the other prime subcontractors at this time,” said Nancy Kristof, senior marketing communications manager of the Mortenson Co. Denver Operating Group.

Expected completion date for the hotel and convention center is late 2018.

Status of Project

Work began in early January on the vertical construction of the hotel and convention center. In early February heavy equipment arrived on site including scrapers, backhoes, dozers and graders.

Caisson drill rigs were ready to operate on Feb. 15.

Specialty equipment for the project includes four tower cranes to erect the hotel building. Workers also will operate two or three crawler cranes on the convention center site.

The crawler cranes will erect the steel and tilt-up panels associated with the convention center building.

Kristof said crews expect to install more than 6,800 tons (6,169 t) of structural steel in constructing the hotel and convention center. They also will install 12,100 squares of metal decking.

Workers will pour 70,000 cu. yds. (53,519 cu m) of concrete for the project.

At peak of construction, the project will have 1,000 to 1,400 trades' workers on site each day.

“With [more than] 1.9 million square feet being constructed simultaneously, it will require a significant workforce and close coordination of materials, labor and equipment,” Kristof said.

Construction Impacts to Surrounding Area

The project is located on a Greenfield site in Aurora, but near a neighborhood and school. Kristof described Mortenson and WELBRO as skilled in safety and project management.

“They are experienced in working adjacent to existing operational facilities without causing disruption,” Kristof said. “Logistic plans are in place to mitigate any potential impact to traffic,” she added.

A Well-Located Center

Aurora is known for its arts culture, sports and recreation. The resort will be less than 10 minutes from Denver International Airport.

Visitors will enjoy sweeping views of the Rocky Mountains Front Range.

When completed in late 2018, Gaylord Rockies will be the largest combined hotel and convention center in Colorado.

The hotel will feature 1,507 guest rooms including 114 suites. It will include a grand lodge with views of the Rockies, eight restaurants, indoor-outdoor pool complex, spa and salon, fitness center, outdoor basketball and tennis courts and walking trails.

The convention center will provide more than 485,000 sq ft. (45,058 sq m) of exhibition, meeting, pre-function and outdoor space.

Under a long-term contract, Marriott will manage the hotel and convention center. Economic impact of the project for Colorado is estimated at more than $7 billion.

More than 80 percent of guests are expected to be net new visitors to the state.