An equestrian center, a hotel and a parking garage are coming to the National Western Center

Denver’s going from cow town to horse hub.
2 min. read
The National Western complex is distorted through old, wavy windows, Sept. 12, 2019. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denver's rural roots still have some life in them.

Plans for a new National Western Center Complex, a hub of agricultural education, food, horses and culture, are coming to fruition. A hotel, a parking garage and a new equestrian center are in the works, too.

The Equestrian Center Project will include a 4,500 seat arena, a barn with 550 horse stalls, and an additional 580 parking spots.

The hotel will bost 200 rooms and be next to the equestrian center.

City officials and the National Western Center picked the team working on the development, from financing to management.

The group, Community Activation Partners, includes Fengate Asset Management, Hensel Phelps, Perkins&Will, Oak View Group, McWhinney Real Estate, Sage Hospitality and 4240 Architecture.

"This collaboration represents a significant step forward in our mission to convene the world at the National Western Center to lead, inspire, create, educate, and entertain in pursuit of global food solutions,” said Brad Buchanan, the head of the National Western Center. “Adding the Equestrian Center, hotel and parking garage to the campus will provide exceptional benefit to our customers and community partners.”

Ensuring the National Western Center stayed in Denver was a key goal for former Mayor Michael Hancock's administration, and current Mayor Johnston continues to back it.

“The city and our partners remain committed to delivering on priorities outlined in the Master Plan and included in 2015’s Ballot Measure 2C,” said Mike Bouchard, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center. “The equestrian center is a vital part of campus infrastructure and supports current and future uses.”

Next steps include integrating community feedback in the design, creating progress goals and finalizing the project's design.

Once the project is wrapped, the first two phases of the National Western Center's master plan will be finished.

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