by Sarah J.F. Braley | March 01, 2014
Local Update

• New at Denver International Airport: A 519-room Westin hotel and conference center is under construction, slated to open in 2015 with more than 26,000 square feet of meeting space. Also in the works is an on-site Regional Transportation District hub that will begin running FasTrack trains downtown in 2016. In addition, United Airlines began nonstop flights from the airport to Tokyo last May.

• The 112-room Crawford Hotel will open this summer in Denver's historic Union Station. The property takes up the top floors of the north and south wings. Groups will have access to 10,000 square feet of meeting space at the 80-room Oxford Hotel across the street, as well as that property's Oxford Club, Spa and Salon. Also coming to the vintage 1881 beaux arts train station will be four new Colorado chef-owned restaurants, a variety of shops and more.

• The former Colorado National Bank reopens next month as the 230-room Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center Hotel. The building's soaring white-marble lobby and murals of American Indian life have been retained and beautifully restored, and three of the bank's original vaults -- one that serves as a private dining room -- are part of the hotel's total 3,000 square feet of event space.

• The 196-room JW Marriott Denver Cherry Creek recently unveiled the $1 million renovation of its 2,400-square-foot outdoor Fireside Terrace, which features fire pits and lounge seating while accommodating up to 250 people for events. The hotel has a total of 8,400 square feet of meeting space, including the 3,150-square-foot Grand Ballroom and the 2,175-square-foot Bluebell Ballroom.

• Construction is proceeding on The Art, a 165-room boutique hotel in downtown's Golden Triangle Museum District, near the Denver Art Museum and the History Colorado Center. Opening is set for January 2015, with meeting space details still to come.

• The Denver Museum of Nature & Science, a city attraction since 1900, opened a new wing last month, adding 126,000 square feet of space on five levels. The Morgridge Family Exploration Center, which connects to City Park, features galleries for traveling exhibitions, a hands-on Discovery Zone for children and a multilevel Science Atrium that can host evening events. With the extra space, the museum will be able to accommodate more than 4,000 people for a reception.

Meeting Hotels: In Colorado's capital city, more than 8,400 rooms are within walking distance of the Colorado Convention Center. Major properties include the 1,225-room Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, 1,100-room Hyatt Re­gency Denver at the Colorado Convention Center, 615-room Denver Marriott City Center, 512-room Grand Hyatt Denver, 430-room Westin Denver Downtown, 403-room Embassy Suites-Downtown Convention Center, 239-room Four Seasons Hotel Denver and 202-room Ritz-Carlton, Denver.

To compare hotels and send RFPs, visit mcvenues.com.

Convention Center: Colorado Convention Center; exhibit space, 584,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 63; (303) 228-8000; denverconvention.com

Airport Transit: Denver International Airport, about 24 miles northeast of the downtown district. Transfer cost by taxi, $54.50 to downtown and $60.50 to the Denver Tech Center; by Super Shuttle, $21

Taxes: Room tax, 7.5%; sales tax, 7.35%; total tax on hotel rooms, 14.85%

Group Venue: A huge outdoor deck and bar opens along with the baseball season at Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, on April 4. The new 38,000-square-foot upper concourse, dubbed the Rooftop, will hold up to 4,500 people and provides seating for up to 1,200 for nongame-day events. The on-site 5280 Craft Bar is named for the Mile High City, which is 5,280 feet above sea level, and the bar itself is touted as "52 feet, 80 inches long." In keeping with the numerology, the bar will feature 52 beer taps. atmlb.com/1ez8WnT

Contact: Visit Denver, The Convention & Vis­itors Bureau, (303) 892-1112; visitdenver.org