“Not-funky” room-renovations are coming to the Convention Center’s Hyatt Regency

In total, 1,100 rooms will be remade.
3 min. read
Hyatt Regency, 650 15th St. 489 feet tall, 38 stories. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Denver Convention Center Hotel Authority is getting ready to launch a massive room renovation at its Hyatt Regency hotel at the Colorado Convention Center.

The building, a brainchild of Mayor Wellington Webb's administration, opened in 2005 and has had several renovations since.

At 38 stories, the building is one of the tallest in the city -- and that's an whole load of rooms to rework: 1,100 to be precise.

Such room renovations are a massive endeavor (and a massive pain).

"Every seven or eight years you do a minor room renovation and every 15 to 20 years you generally have to do a major room renovation," said Bill Mosher, CEO of the Denver Convention Center Hotel Authority.

Minor room renovations -- which have happened in the past -- include replacing the carpet and furniture, painting the walls and basic repairs.

A couple years ago the hotel spent $12 million renovating its lobby and first-floor restaurants.

But what's coming is bigger.

"For a major room renovation, we'll go in and redo lighting, walls, bathrooms, all new furniture, carpet and all the hallways, so that it appears new," Mosher said. "That's the process we're embarking on."

So what's the deal with the hotel?

The hotel was created alongside the Colorado Convention Center. Initially, the Webb administration tried to find a developer willing to front the money for a project. When that didn't happen, the city created the Denver Convention Center Hotel Authority to fund the project.

The Authority, which is governed by a seven-member board appointed by the mayor and City Council, owns the hotel. It was financed through tax-exempt bonds but still pays all the same taxes any other hotel would.

While the city has sway over the hotel, it is not paid for through any city funds. Renovation funds come from money set aside from earnings.

If the authority ever sells the hotel, any profits will go back to the city.

The renovation is a work in progress -- rather, almost in progress.

The Authority has sent out a request for proposals for project managers who are able to hire a team and guide the planning and execution of the renovations.

Mosher's best guess is the project will be complete within three years.

When work starts, several floors of the hotel will be shut off for renovations at any given time, probably during slower winter months. But the hotel will not stop operating.

What it will look like, exactly, is hard to say.

A yet-to-be-hired architect will help decide what the new rooms will look like. Mosher's hope is they are airy and reflective of Colorado, both themes of the overall interior of the building.

"We want to be timeless," Mosher said.

That means whatever's installed needs to last -- conceptually, but also physically.

"A convention hotel serves so many people and so many different types of people that you need to be really well done," Mosher said. "And not funky. Not hipster. Just high quality. And we have a great reputation for that, and we want to keep that."

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