The Local newsletter is your free, daily guide to life in Colorado. For locals, by locals. Sign up today!
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a…mustache? That’s the guessing game travelers have been playing since the exterior of the Westin Denver International Airport hotel and conference center started to take shape. (Actually, the architects at multinational firm Gensler had to figure out a way to fit 519 rooms into a space hemmed in by existing bridges and the Federal Aviation Administration’s guidelines that prohibit blocking the view from the control tower. The result just happens to look, officially, like a bird.) The Westin, which opens on November 19, may not be fine art itself—though there’s plenty of that in and around the estimated $544 million building, including a $2 million sculpture by environmental artist Ned Kahn—but its purpose was always intended to be practical. The Westin features 37,000 square feet of meeting space, and the bottom floor will serve as a transit center where RTD’s new East Rail Line will terminate starting in early 2016. In short, the hotel might be the first leg in DIA’s transformation from a far-flung way station into a destination. For business travelers at the very least, its pillowtop mattresses, indoor pool, three-paned soundproof windows, and convenient location should make the road a little less wearisome.