A few years back, I blogged about the expansion at Denver International Airport and what was coming down the pipeline outlined by three new elements:
1. The Public Transit Center
2. The Westin Hotel
3. The Public Plaza
Here is an update as lots has happened over the past few years -
The Public Transit Center. Everything confirms construction is still on track. No pun intended! This is the end-of-line station for RTD’s East Line which is a 23 mile connection between DIA and Union Station. The A Line (referred to as the East Rail Line during construction) will open for service in the spring of 2016 providing easy, affordable and reliable connections between downtown Denver and DIA. A little bit about these new ‘rail cars’. Passengers on the A Line will travel on new commuter rail vehicles, just as they will on the B, G and N lines. Commuter rail vehicles have level boarding at all doors of the train, travel up to 79 mph, have a total capacity of 209 people (including seating for 91 people) and have two wheelchair spaces per car. These trains also have larger seats, overhead storage, luggage towers and bicycle racks. This line will connect commuters to Downtown Union Station in about 35 mins. Pretty nice for the commuters I’d say!
The Westin is NOW taking online reservations. The 519-room hotel and conference center, which includes 35 suites, is part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: HOT); it is set to open Nov. 19.
A really neat new technology this hotel will be using, the first Starwood hotel in the Denver area, is the new “SPG Keyless” technology that allows guests to open their room using their smartphone or Apple Watch, according to a prior announcement. This is an app that allows guests to bypass the front desk. For all the technologically advanced individuals this may be a real plus. Side note, there’s a possibility it may not be available on day one of the hotels operation but the technology will be launching “within the first two months” after the hotel opens per a spokesman for the Westin.
This hotel design is quite thought provoking – the end result design met the site location needs both vertically and horizontally while fulfilling the large number of planned guestrooms. Each of the guest rooms and suites sport floor-to-ceiling windows (can you say BIG) offering views of the mountains, DIA, or the plains, depending on which way the room faces. I would very much enjoy a night’s stay in this Westin…I could then confirm to everyone that yes I have stayed there and it’s amazing! I might need to try that sometime soon……
The New Public Plaza. It’s the new public plaza that DIA’s CEO Kim Day is looking forward to the most. “The plaza that we are creating is going to be a great urban space, connecting our new hotel and transit center to our existing Jeppesen Terminal. It will provide a venue for music, art and events, and will create a cultural connection to downtown, better integrating the airport into the community.” This is a huge 82,000 sq ft plaza which is mostly covered space. It has been designed to be used for many types of events; art installations to auto shows. It can be configured to accommodate as many as 4,500 people. This space will be programmed by Denver Arts & Venues. Completion looks to be on time in 2016.
In summary this incredible expansion is a magnificent substantiation of the massive growth happening not only the Denver Metro area but all of Colorado! Something to be proud of for sure.