DENVER-Minneapolis-based Radisson Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has pumped $12 million into the 300-room Radisson Stapleton Plaza, across the street from the former international airport. Stapleton closed in February 1995, when the Denver International Airport opened.

“When Stapleton was open, we saw occupancy rates of easily 70% each night,” Dermot Connolly, managing director of the hotel tells “But when the airport closed, our numbers plummeted.”

The hotel has repositioned itself with a major renovation that is nearly completed. Clearly, it has paid off, he says. The renovation includes outfitting each room with data ports and upgrades to the 11-story atrium, restaurants, meeting facilities and fitness center. Connolly says occupancy has reached the same level as when Stapleton was open. “And it just keeps getting better as we are on the gateway of the Stapleton redevelopment, the largest urban development in the nation,” he emphasizes.

Cleveland-based Forest City is redeveloping Stapleton into a mixed-use development. Soon, construction will start on a retail center and residential component. Connolly believes hotels in the Stapleton vicinity will reap their largest benefit when offices are built at the former airport.

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