|By Julie Dunn, The Denver Post
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Jan. 12, 2006 - Long-delayed plans to build a 528-room, $125 million hotel at Denver International Airport could be resurrected as early as this spring, according to Stan Koniz, the airport's chief financial officer.
The hotel project was shelved in early 2003 due to the financial turmoil at United Airlines and the economic downturn.
Now that United plans to exit bankruptcy early next month and the local economy is rebounding, it's time to revisit the idea, Koniz said.
"So we got the designs out, started dusting them off and are taking a look at the agreements to see if they still work," he said.
DIA would most likely finance the construction of the hotel through the sale of bonds.
"Given the improving trends in market conditions around hotels, it certainly merits revisiting the possibility," Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper said. "I think it's something that would benefit DIA and our entire community. It would make it easier for more people to come and do business here." DIA still has an agreement with Westin to operate the hotel if it is built, Koniz said.
The hotels close to the airport routinely post some of the best occupancy rates in the metro area, but often have lower average daily rates than areas such as downtown, according to the Rocky Mountain Lodging Report.
DIA also is in the process of re-evaluating plans to build a fourth covered parking structure on the west side of the main terminal, which could hold roughly 1,667 vehicles and could cost more than $40 million to build.
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