|By Kathryn Richert, Daily Camera,
Boulder, Colo.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Oct. 3, 2007 - As many as seven new hotels will pop up in Broomfield beginning next summer.
City leaders and developers cited several reasons for the hotel boom that will create competition for the two major hotels in Broomfield and surrounding areas.
The economy is good, people are traveling, and Broomfield is a growing market, said developer Garrett Baum. His company, Urban Frontier, is planning to build three hotels in Broomfield. The city has the businesses, restaurants and retail to support hotels and vice versa, he said.
Vacancy rates in the Interlocken district, where some of the hotels are proposed, are at 7 percent. It hasn't been that low since 1998, before the dot-com bust, said Terri Groves, Broomfield Economic Development Corp.'s director of investor relations and real estate.
"There's no reason we couldn't support any of these projects," Groves said.
Plus, Broomfield's population is expected to be in the 80,000 range by buildout in 2030, she said. The close proximity to Denver and Boulder has attracted more than 20 headquartered businesses, creating a lot of business travel, Groves said.
Broomfield also has easy access to Denver International Airport, and Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport is right in Broomfield's backyard.
It doesn't hurt that Denver has experienced growing tourism, which trickles into Broomfield. Denver posted a record number of overnight visitors in 2006 -- 11.7 million, up 13 percent from the previous year. It was the highest single-year jump in Denver's history, according to a study commissioned by the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.
It's a safe bet that tourism will continue to grow in Denver from media coverage of the 2008 Democratic National Convention in August, said Rich Grant, communications director of the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Hotels along the U.S. 36 corridor already have blocked out rooms to accommodate some of the 35,000 people expected to flood in for the convention.
Dave Kennedy, general manager of Renaissance Boulder Suites at Flatiron, said he's not surprised developers are picking now to build.
Occupancy rates are relatively high at 70.4 percent in the northwest corridor of Denver, according to Horwath Horizon Hospitality Advisors monthly lodging trend report. Rates have increased about 15 percent in the area in the past year, said John Montgomery, Horwath managing director.
The decision to build is "a comment on the confidence in the businesses and industries that are already there," Kennedy said.
But, developers are always looking long-term because hotels are a "cyclical" industry, with demand and rates changing every few years. Kennedy anticipates demand and rates to flatten over the next couple of years, making it a good time to build to catch the market on the upswing in future years.
Broomfield isn't the only city experiencing a hotel boom. Westminster is slated to add at least two more hotels and a development proposed along U.S. 287 in Lafayette will boast a five-story hotel or two.
Developers and city leaders aren't worried about how well the new and existing hotels in Broomfield and surrounding areas will fare. There's enough variety, Montgomery said.
The Omni Interlocken Resort, Renaissance and Westin Westminster are full-service, high-end hotels. Aloft in Arista and a proposed hotel in the Interlocken district will be boutique, loft-style hotels. Aloft is expected to be complete next summer. Both will be off the U.S. 36 corridor.
Four of the proposed hotels in Broomfield are considered mid-tier hotels.
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Copyright (c) 2007, Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.
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