Thursday, April 28, 2011

National Western, Gaylord seek stock show and entertainment complex (including Commerce City)

By Margaret Jackson, The Denver Post

The National Western Stock Show is working on a deal to relocate to a new facility near Denver International Airport that would be developed in conjunction with a giant Western-themed hotel and entertainment complex.

In addition to the stock show complex, the combined development with Nashville, Tenn.-based Gaylord Entertainment Co. would include about 1,500 hotel rooms and more than 300,000 square feet of conference space valued at about $1 billion, according to a source familiar with the deal.

"Gaylord has been engaged in active discussions with several municipalities in the Denver area that recognize the positive economic impact a Gaylord property brings to the communities in which it operates," said Brian Abrahamson, the company's vice president for corporate communications. "From meeting-planner research that has been conducted by our company, the greater Denver region is seen as a top 10 destination for the loyal Gaylord customer."

National Western has been talking for years about relocating from its complex at Interstate 70 and Brighton Boulevard. The buildings on the site are considered obsolete, and the stock show has no place to expand.

The 105-year-old show runs 16 days each January and has attracted more than 600,000 humans and 15,000 head of livestock each of the past 14 years, with 644,818 attendees this year. In 2006, the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce estimated the show's economic impact at about $84 million.

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