Developers of the Gaylord Rockies project said Thursday they are adding a $25 million water park to the proposed 1,500-room hotel and conference center in Aurora, hoping the attraction will help to bring in individuals and conventions that otherwise might look to meet or vacation elsewhere.
Ira Mitzner, president of Houston-based Rida Development Corp., which is developing the $824 million project, acknowledged that he still has not been able to close on private funding needed to move ahead with construction on the hotel while a group of Colorado hotels is suing to require a state board to reconsider its decision to award $81.4 million in incentives for the Gaylord Rockies.
But he said that he believes this addition will make it easier to get that funding as soon as the matter is cleared up in court.
"We're moving forward. We bought the land. We put the team together to spend money on drawings," Mitzner said after he and other project leaders announced the new development at a news conference Thursday. "I have a great deal of confidence that, A, we will be victorious in the lawsuit and B, this project is important for my company's future and the state's future."
A spokeswoman for the 11 Colorado hotels said the announcement was not a surprise, since two other Gaylord properties have water features. She said it just adds to the reasons that the state should never have given tax money to the hotel.
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