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DENVER-As ground was being broken on the new $354.8 million, 1,100-room Hyatt Denver Convention Center Hotel, the city received some more good news. Two major convention groups representing $33 million in business signed letters of intent to hold future conventions in the Mile High City.

The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers will bring 9,000 attendees to Denver in June 2006 and the American Water Works Association, who will bring 12,000 delegates to Denver in 2013.

“These two groups represent the tip of the iceberg,” says Eugene Dilbeck, president & CEO of the Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We have 54 groups representing $710 million of definite and tentative business that needed this hotel before they could hold their conventions in Denver.”

“The Hyatt Denver Convention Center Hotel will make the expanded Convention Center more competitive, create jobs, pump up the local economy and bolster city revenues,” crows Mayor Wellington Webb, who will end his 12-year tenure as mayor in three weeks. “I’m pleased to take this project off my ‘to do list’.”

Mayor Webb applauded the work of Revenue Director Cheryl Cohen-Vader, City Council President Cathy Reynolds, and Councilwoman Elbra Wedgeworth, whose district takes in the Convention Center and Hotel. “Together we have accomplished in 15 months what has taken others three to fours years,” says Webb. He notes this is the largest convention center hotel in the country built under an innovative public financing mechanism.

The Denver Convention Center Hotel Authority, an independent governmental agency created by the city, financed the hotel through tax-exempt bonds costing 4.61% in interest, far below the 10%-12% a private developer would pay.”The lower costs of public financing made the hotel possible,” says Cohen-Vader.

“We’re thrilled to bring the Hyatt name to a third property in the Denver area,” says Nick Pritzker, president of Hyatt Development Corp. “This property is instrumental in elevating Denver to a first-tier city for convention-goers and will be an economic boom.”

The 37-story hotel will be the largest building in the southwest quadrant of the Central Business District. It’s being built across the street from the $268 million expansion of the Colorado Center. The hotel is scheduled to open in December 2005.

The hotel, designed by Denver-based Klipp Colussy Jenks Dubois Architects and constructed by Hensel Phelps Construction Co. will have a four-story glass atrium offering views of the lobby below and the Colorado Rocky Mountains to the west.

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