Colorado Gaylord enacts enhancements

Pictured: rendering of Gaylord Rockies’ updated Grand Lodge. Image © Marriott International
Marriott International’s Gaylord Hotels site in Aurora, Colorado, USA is to undergo a major overhaul just five years after opening.

Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center is set to re-concept three of its existing restaurants, launch a new dining experience, remodel its Grand Lodge and increase the amount of function space with a new event pavilion.

Leading position

Known for being the largest combined resort and convention centre in Colorado, Gaylord Rockies has played host to both leisure travellers and meetings ranging in size from five to 10,000, weddings, and other family celebrations since December 2018.

Focusing on continued investment in meeting spaces and food and beverage experiences, Gaylord Rockies is aiming to expand its position as a leader in bringing people together.

Second phase

Scheduled for completion in Q3 2024, these enhancements are phase two of the current multi-year investment plan by ownership group Ryman Hospitality Properties, providing a more spacious and elegant environment for both group and leisure customers.

The additional enhancements will complement the phase one investments that included a redesign of the outdoor lawn spaces and the addition of dining terraces for Old Hickory Steakhouse and Mountain Pass Sports Bar, all completed in April 2023.

Next enhancements

The next enhancements include the addition of new bar and restaurant concepts in the onsite Grand Lodge. Opening in spring 2024 are Embers Lodge Bar and The Fortunate Prospector. Later in 2024, the two current restaurants (Monte Jade and Vista Montagne) will be re-concepted to Garden & Grain and Copper Table.

A new event pavilion, Mountain View Pavilion, named for its views of the Rocky Mountains, covers 12,118 sq ft of indoor event and pre-function space, more than 14,000 sq ft of outdoor terraces and patios, as well as 15,000 sq ft of turfed lawn areas. Interior plans include floor to ceiling windows, banquet space, a sky light, an indoor fireplace and west facing mountain views. The Pavilion is set to welcome guests in 2024.

Rare growth

Suzy Hart, general manager of the 1,501-room resort, said: “You rarely see this amount of growth in a resort property.

“We just completed a major exterior enhancement in April and now we’re ready to give guests the interior experience of their dreams.”

Refreshment refreshments

The new Embers Lodge Bar will replace the current bar, Pinyons, and the Après Ski Village space – becoming the crown jewel of the Grand Lodge – where guests can enjoy a front row view of the Rocky Mountains. The updated design will feature a 360-degree wrap around bar and 248-person seating area.

Also joining the fray will be new English pub The Fortunate Prospector, situated on the right side of the atrium. Seating 134, the menu pulls inspiration from traditional English roots, featuring British cocktails and traditional faire along with a 12-draft beer tower.

Eatery enrichments

For dining upgrades, the new Garden & Grain will be the first restaurant within the Gaylord Hotels brand focusing on healthy fare. Placing an emphasis on sustainable practices, the eatery will prioritise gluten free, vegetarian, keto, low-carb and vegan options, providing savoury yet holistic cuisine while celebrating local farmers. Garden & Grain will replace Monte Jade, available to all resort guests and outside spectators.

Home to authentic Colorado cuisine served for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Copper Table will be a dining experience replacing Vista Montagne. The menu includes local trout and hearty flavours in rotisserie free-run chicken, cast iron elk and bison ribeye. Handcrafted cocktails, hyper local craft beer and wine selections will be available. Copper Table will seat 328 people, an increase of 117 from its previous capacity.

Long term plan

This investment in Gaylord Rockies is part of a long term growth plan within the Gaylord Hotels brand, with ongoing enhancements in food and beverage, recreation, meeting space and guest rooms in all five properties.

Furthermore, the newbuild Gaylord Pacific and Convention Center Chula Vista Bayfront will add 1,600 keys to the portfolio in southern California in Q2 2025.