DENVER-Disney Regional Entertainment is bringing its ESPN Zone restaurant and sports complex to Denver’s Tabor Center, which is undergoing a $25-million renovation.

The ESPN Zone–the eighth in the country–will open in fall 2001. The 23,000-sf venue will be the smallest in the country, but it probably will be the most efficient, Randall Baumberger, vice president and general manager of Disney Regional Entertainment tells

The entertainment center will be positioned on the second floor of the Tabor Center, a 16-year-old facility that had opened in Downtown in 1984 at the edge of LoDo. It’s extremely unusual to find 20,000 sf on one floor in an urban center, which has forced Disney to build the centers on multiple floors in other cities, says Baumberger.

In Denver, only the 2,000-sf Sports Center Studio Store will be on the first floor. The second floor will include an 8,600-sf sports arena with interactive games;,a screening room with a 16-foot screen surrounded by a dozen 36-inch monitors the StudioGrill restaurant and the Skybox for private parties. In addition, the ESPN Zone will sport more than 130 TV monitors, including a dozen in the restrooms.

The addition of the ESPN Zone will return the Tabor Center to its former glory, says Kin Koehn, regional senior vice president of Equity Office Properties, which owns Tabor Center. When it opened, it had been considered the crown jewel of the Downtown shopping district. It had included a Westin Hotel and class-A office tower.

The announcement of the ESPN Zone kicks off a $25-million renovation and addition of the Tabor Center, which currently is anchored by a Cheesecake Factory and a Palm restaurant. When the renovation is completed, the Tabor Center will have added 25,000 sf to its existing 111,000 sf and will boast 44 tenants.

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