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By Dillon Thomas

GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4) – In an effort to promote tourism, business and education, the City of Greeley recently celebrated the opening of the Double Tree Hotel and Convention Center in Downtown Greeley.

The hotel created more than 100 extra rentable rooms, while also developing a 14,000 square foot convention center.

greeley conventions 6pkg transfer frame 0 Greeley Celebrates Opening Of New Convention Center

(credit: CBS)

“Everybody here has been anxious for this project to start coming out of the ground,” said David Kennedy, General Manager at the Double Tree in Greeley.

City Manager Roy Otto told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas the need for a convention center, and hotel, in Downtown Greeley was first noted in 1999.

“Until now, Greeley hasn’t had anything like that,” Kennedy said.

The hotel, which also features a restaurant, was opened at the end of August. It is located across the street from Lincoln Park, in the center of the city.

“The project leaders built this for Greeley,” Kennedy said. “We believe a Greeley hotel and events center has some specific Greeley demand.”

greeley conventions 6pkg transfer frame 1006 Greeley Celebrates Opening Of New Convention Center

David Kennedy (credit: CBS)

Otto said the timing of the project’s completion also comes at the beginning of a potentially large population boom in the city, which currently has more than 100,000 residents.

“For a long time, Greeley was by far the largest and most dominant community in northern Colorado,” Otto said.

greeley conventions 6pkg transfer frame 1411 Greeley Celebrates Opening Of New Convention Center

Roy Otto (credit: CBS)

Now that the project has been completed, the city hoped local businesses that used convention halls in nearby cities, such as Fort Collins, would consider relocating their events to Greeley. The city also said the design of the facility could encourage outside businesses to consider hosting their events in the new building as well.

As the Double Tree was completed, the city also explored future options for further development of the Downtown Greeley area.

greeley conventions 6pkg transfer frame 2110 Greeley Celebrates Opening Of New Convention Center

(credit: CBS)

“This facility, and (The University of Northern Colorado) on the other side, are the two parts of the barbell of downtown,” Otto said. “We are going to connect it all together with redevelopment.”

Otto said some projections suggested the City of Greeley could one day be home to more than 400,000 people. He said this project will be just one of many down the road, that help encourage positive growth in the community.

greeley conventions 6pkg transfer frame 1714 Greeley Celebrates Opening Of New Convention Center

(credit: CBS)

“We think we are positioning our downtown to be a part of that future growth that happens here,” Otto said.

The Double Tree hotel also created a training center, where they will employ UNC students with paid internships, as they study hospitality.

Management said they hoped an event center like this will allow local students to better understand how the business works, while also encouraging them to stay in Greeley after graduation.

Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.

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