Gaylord conference hotel finds developer for 1,500-room Aurora site

Gaylord conference hotel

Gaylord conference hotel

Abandoned by the company that proposed it and left for dead by many observers, the massive Gaylord Aurora convention hotel project has found a second shot at life.
Aurora officials told the Colorado Economic Development Commission on Thursday that Area Property Partners of New York will arrange financing for the $824 million project and that Rida Development Corp. of Houston will develop the 1,500-room hotel.
“We never gave up,” said Wendy Mitchell, president and CEO of the Aurora Economic Development Council.
Marriott International, which will manage the property in conjunction with four existing Gaylord convention hotels, was key to getting the stalled project going.
Rida and Area are developing a $350 million, 1,000-room hotel in Houston that will operate as a Marriott Marquis. They also financed and built the 1,400-room Hilton Orlando and renovated a 1,200-room Hyatt Regency in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
“They are both strong companies, plus coupled with Marriott, it makes a good three-part team to move the project forward,” said Kenneth Free, owner of Straightline Advisors, which provides consulting services on developing hospitality real estate.
Still, Free said the project is a large one and carries substantial risks.
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