Gaylord Entertainment’s planned conversion into a real estate investment trust has had a major impact on a project out west that’s received millions of dollars in government support. Earlier this year, Gaylord announced its transition to a trust and that Marriott would take over day-to-day operations of its hotels. The company is looking for ways to jump start its venture in Colorado.
Last year, Gaylord proposed building a 1500-room hotel and conference center in Aurora, near Denver International Airport. CEO Colin Reed says Gaylord still has interest in what was originally an $820 million project.
We will use the coming months to examine how the project can be completed with minimal involvement from the company through the development phase.
That could be hard to do. Analysts say it’s more cost effective for real estate investment trusts to buy existing properties rather than build new ones. State and local government in Colorado offered nearly $400 million in incentives for the hotel and conference center. In June, the Denver Post ran an editorial calling Gaylord ‘phonies’ and ‘snake oil salesmen’ for asking for the incentives and then dragging their feet on the deal.