Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR), together with the owner and development partnership led by RIDA Development Corp. and Ares Management, L.P., announced today the closing of a $500 million construction loan from Wells Fargo Bank as lead agent for construction of the two million square foot and 1,500 room Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center in Aurora, Colorado. The hotel is scheduled to be completed in late 2018.
The eight bank consortium included co-lead agents Bank of America and Bank of Nova Scotia, as well as Sumitomo Mitsui Bank, Credit Agricole, CIT Financial, MidFirst Bank and US Bank.
Simultaneous with the closing of the construction loan, a $530 million guaranteed maximum price construction contract was entered into with Mortenson Construction and WELBRO Building Corporation. The loan closing and entry into the construction contract will allow the project to begin vertical construction, which is expected to result in the hiring of more than 10,000 construction workers.
Marriott will manage the hotel and convention center, under a long-term contract, which is expected to lead to the hiring of approximately 2,500 permanent direct and indirect employees of the hotel. The economic impact of the project is estimated at more than $7 billion of economic activity for the State of Colorado, with more than 80 percent of guests expected to be net new visitors to the state.
Michael Kofsky will serve as the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Aurora, Colorado hotel and will lead a team with the goal of pre-booking more than 1.25 million room nights prior to opening. The hotel is expected to bring over two million visitors to the City of Aurora and the State of Colorado during the first several years after opening.
"I am extremely pleased that the financing for the project has closed and major vertical construction is underway. At a time of uncertainty in the economy, it is especially fulfilling to know that the partnership should create over 10,000 jobs for the great State of Colorado over the next three critical years," said Ira Mitzner, President of RIDA Development Corp. "The partnership would like to recognize the efforts of the City of Aurora, led by Mayor Steve Hogan and the State of Colorado, for their tireless partnership in bringing the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center to fruition."
"We are very pleased with the continued growth of our longstanding relationships with RIDA, Marriott, Wells Fargo and the other lenders participating in this transformative project," said Andrew Holm, Managing Director in the Ares Real Estate Group. "The construction of the Gaylord Rockies continues Ares' history of developing best-in-class properties across major markets in the United States, and we are grateful for the opportunity to work with the City of Aurora on this $800 million project."
"We are thrilled to welcome the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center," said Dave Grissen, Group President, Marriott International. "Adding a western group destination of this scale to Marriott's portfolio allows our sales teams to leverage existing group business demand into the property and create new demand in the market with meetings customers who have never considered Colorado for their events."
"The Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center is a significant project, not only for Aurora and the Denver area, but for the entire Rocky Mountain region," said Mark Lanspa, Executive Vice President in Wells Fargo Commercial Real Estate's Hospitality Finance Group. "On behalf of Wells Fargo and our entire bank group, we are proud to partner with our long-standing customers, RIDA Development, Ares Management and Marriott International on this exciting project and look forward to seeing its success."
Luke Charlton, Chief Operating Officer of RIDA Development Corp, added, "The Gaylord Rockies is designed to attract out of state visitors to our Colorado convention center for particularly large-scale corporate and association meetings, as well as be a dynamic leisure destination."
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