Colorado's newly-opened Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center is a sight to behold. Here's why you should stop by and see it for yourself.  

Even when you're still miles away, the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center rises dramatically like a Colorado castle, dwarfing everything else -- including the nearby Denver International Airport. It used to be that DIA was the most eye-catching entity that could be seen from Peña Blvd., but the Gaylord most certainly supplants it.

With all that grandeur on the outside, we were curious about what the Gaylord is like on the inside. And we knew you'd be curious, too. So we connected with the Gaylord Rockies marketing staff and arranged a private tour of the facility (I mean, "facility" might be too utilitarian of a word for it!). 

First of all, you need to know this:

You don't have to have a reservation at the Gaylord just to go and see it. The general public is welcome to stop by the Gaylord, walk around its gorgeous atrium, and eat at one of its four main restaurant concepts: Italian, Asian, steakhouse, and sports bar. Just be prepared to pay the $8 parking fee.

One thing is for sure: Gaylord has nailed the "Colorado" ambience. Modern lines, earth tones, woodwork, and natural elements combine to create an awe-inspiring motif reflective of our great state (even the carpet in the hotel hallways features a linear pattern reminiscent of abstract ski tracks).

Most impressive of all the dining choices is the sports bar (on the northwest side of the atrium), which blew us away with its massive wall of screens (75 feet long and the largest in the state) that can be divided into multiple screen segments depending on the sporting event. Imagine watching Super Bowl here! All the restaurants are open to the public.

Check out the keg-themed urinals in the men's restroom:

Then there's the recreation area, which takes up 85 acres and includes a massive gym, water slides, a lazy river, an infinity pool, and so much more. The outdoor pools are heated and can be used year-round (except for the lazy river). Access to the water recreation area is limited to hotel guests only.

The spa is serene and smells absolutely heavenly ...

Approximately 80 percent of Gaylord Rockies' business will come from conferences. In fact, Gaylord features 485,000 square feet of convention center space, and when you combine that with the 1,501 hotel guest rooms, it is the largest combined resort and convention center in Colorado. 

The guest rooms on the west side of the building obviously have a perfect view of the Rocky Mountains and even the city of Denver in the distance. Gaylord Rockies owns all the land to the west of the property and plans to eventually build a Gaylord Rockies village that will feature boutique shops and eateries and an experience similar to downtown Aspen or Vail. 

Obviously, when spring comes, Gaylord will finish the massive job of landscaping the entire property, too.

From the horse statues galloping out front, to the Aspens and pine trees on the interior, everything at Gaylord Rockies shouts Colorado.

The fourth-largest of the five Gaylord resorts across the country, Gaylord Rockies opened on Tuesday, December 18. For a limited time, local residents can book rooms on certain dates for just $119/ night. It's located at 6700 North Gaylord Rockies Blvd. in Aurora, Colorado.

Gaylord Rockies

Have you been to a Gaylord resort before? Do you look forward to visiting Gaylord Rockies? We'd love for you to weigh in with your experience in the comments below!

Local golfer Becca Huffer just got her LPGA card. Read her story here!

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