Roadblocks Looming for Massive Aurora Hospitality Project

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor Aurora dished out a massive incentive package to attract an $824 million investment into the confines of its city limits. But, as the chief of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. found out, trouble is imminent when [...]

Aurora dished out a massive incentive package to attract an $824 million investment into the confines of its city limits. But, as the chief of the Metro Denver Economic Development Corp. found out, trouble is imminent when you generate as much as $300 million in incentives. Several efforts have recently surfaced to halt (or at least stall) proceedings for Gaylord Entertainment’s hotel project. Some efforts carry more weight than others as Game On Inc., a nonprofit organization and one of the project’s greatest opponents, has raised over $40,000 in order to finance two focus groups and a poll directed towards Aurora voters.

The subject of the polling was voters’ opinions regarding the massive subsidies awarded by local authorities for a 1,500-room hotel. The plan is to gain enough funding and momentum to determine a ballot measure against the incentive package, The Denver Post reports.

Focus groups were comprised by likely voters, over the age of 50, but excluding Democrats and liberals. This process has alarmed a series of local officials including councilman Bob Fitzgerald, who was quoted by The Post as saying that a less-than-transparent process can only be viewed as manipulative and wrong. He also noted that the move is obviously self-serving.

The project is indeed hitting some roadblocks, but given the area’s current penchant for regionalism it seems unlikely that it will be cancelled. The venture has too much potential for revenue generation in the future.