Gaylord adds Mortenson, HKS to team


Breaking News


  • Rida, the developer of the proposed $800 million Gaylord Hotel adds team members.
  • Mortenson is the general contractor, HKS is the designer.
  • The announcement came at the Aurora Economic Development Corp’s A-List event.




A rendering of the proposed Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center in Aurora.

A rendering of the proposed Gaylord Hotel and Convention Center in Aurora.

Rida Development Corp., the Houston-based developer of the proposed $800 million, 1,500-room Gaylord Colorado Hotel and Conference Center in Aurora, announced Thursday evening that it added to new key players to its team for the project that is expected to create more than 10,000 construction jobs.

Ira Mitzner, president of Rida, announced that Mortenson Construction will be the general contractor for the massive project and HKS Architects will design it.

He made the announcement this evening at the Aurora Economic Development Corp.’s annual A-list, a sold-out dinner at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum at Lowry.

“This is yet another important step to bringing this very special project to realization,” Mitzner said. “Mortenson and HKS are the right partners and we are pleased to add them to our team.”

He said both companies have “great histories of constructing important projects in Colorado.”

While downtown Denver hotel operators have fought any economic subsidies for the Gaylord development, fearing that the hotel and 400,000 square feet of conference space it plans on 85 acres south of Pena Boulevard, east of Tower and Road and near E-470, would cannibalize downtown business, without growing the pie, no such criticisms or fears surfaced at the A-list event.

“This is, and always has been, a win-win for the state of Colorado,” said Wendy Mitchell, president and CEO of the Aurora Economic Development Council.

In addition to the construction jobs, the projects is anticipated to create 2,500 permanent jobs and attract more than 451,000 new visitors to Colorado each year.

The anticipated annual economic impact to Colorado is projected at $243 million.

Mitchell honed into that message.

“The Gaylord Hotel and Conference Center will create   thousands of jobs, bring new tourism to our state and produce significant revenue to the city and state — helping provide better economic opportunity to our region,” she said.

Mitzner agreed and said the additions to the development team will further that mission.

“We look forward to working with (Mortenson and HKS) creating thousands of jobs and delivering a project that all Colorado will be proud of,” Mitzner said.

In Denver, Mortenson recently finished the 695,000-square-foot, $199 million Ralph L. Colorado Judicial Center.

It also built such landmarks in Colorado as Coors Field, the Pepsi Center, the 1800 Larimer office tower, the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Denver, the Denver Art Museum Frederick C. Hamilton Building, Concourse B at the Denver International Airport, University of Colorado Denver Anschutz Medical Campus Research II building in Aurora and the Vestas Blade facility in Windsor.

Welbro Building Corp., based near Orlando, Fla.,  will join Mortenson on the Gaylord project.

“Welbro has a long standing relationship with the RIDA team,” said Maja Rosenquist, vice president and general manager of Mortenson.

“Integrating our visions will ensure a quality experience and projects for the city of Aurora, RIDA and all stakeholders,” Rosenquist said.

HKS has operated in the Rocky Mountain region for more than three decades and in 2011 opened an office near Coors Field.

Some of the projects designed in Colorado include the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences  in Denver, the Four Seasons Resort in Vail, the Parker Adventist Hospital in Parker, and the Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette.

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John Rebchook

John Rebchook has more than 30 years of experience in writing and communications. As the Real Estate Editor for the Rocky Mountain News, he wrote about residential and commercial real estate for 26 years. He has won numerous awards for business stories and columns that he wrote, both as an individual and part of teams. In addition to real estate, he also covered economic development, banking and financing, the airlines, and cable TV for the Rocky. In addition, he was one of the original freelance writers for, covering commercial real estate for the Internet publication.

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