The pandemic may have delayed plans for two new hotels near Colorado Springs Airport, but it didn’t stop them.

Now, almost two years after construction was originally scheduled to begin, work is slated to begin in early 2022 on the $ 62 million project, which would add the hotels and a possible conference center as part of the airport’s fast-growing Peak Innovation Park.

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Jim DiBiase, director of COS Hotel Partners Project 1, said the first of three phases of construction on the dual-brand hotel complex should begin in April and be completed in spring 2023.

It will comprise a four-story, 139-room Residence Inn on 6 acres southeast of the Milton E. Proby and Peak Innovation parkways, just south of the airport’s passenger terminal.

He said a second phase, which includes a four-story Courtyard by Marriott hotel with 127 rooms, would begin a year after the Residence Inn opened.

The project includes a 12,000 square foot conference center that would be built if the demand for meeting space in the two hotels were big enough, DiBiase said. The project’s development group, which includes Atlanta-based Hotel Equities, plans to purchase the property in Peak Innovation Park for $ 1.7 million in March after gaining approval from city officials.

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The two hotel complex was proposed in mid-2019 and construction was due to start in spring 2020, but the project was delayed after the COVID-19 pandemic slowed travel and tourism.

Airport passenger numbers have been booming since the Dallas-based low-cost airline giant Southwest Airlines began service to Colorado Springs in March with 13 daily flights to Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas and Phoenix.

“We believe the demand (for these hotels) will be extremely strong; there are no other hotels in the business park,” said DiBiase.

“We estimate these hotels are operating at 80% occupancy. Demand for these hotels is strong from the military, Amazon, Aerospace (Corp.), and Northrop Grumman. The city continues to grow, and the airport area continues to grow with it.” it.”

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The Peak Innovation Park includes a fulfillment center, delivery station and sorting facility for the online retail giant Amazon, a space war laboratory under construction by a nonprofit research organization Aerospace Corp., Offices for defense contractors Northrop Grumman, a military airport and a regional forest fire fighting complex for the U.S. Forest Service.

DiBiase said its partners could also be bidders to develop a full-service hotel on a nearby location with multiple restaurants, extensive meeting rooms, and other amenities in about five years.

DiBiase and Hotel Equities are also partners in a 261-room hotel expected to open in April on the 400 block of South Tejon Street in downtown Colorado Springs that will carry the Marriott brands SpringHill Suites and Element.

2 hotels would be built for the first time at Colorado Springs Airport