AURORA, Colo. (CBS4)– Crews have started construction on what will be a massive hotel near Denver International Airport. The Gaylord Rockies Hotel will have 1,500 rooms, a conference center and a year-round water park.

The project has been in the planning stages for years. It was delayed after Denver pulled back on a state tax subsidy.

“We are under construction,” said Wendy Mitchell, president and CEO of the Aurora Economic Development Council. “Anything worthwhile is hard and takes time.”

About two dozen workers with Mortenson Construction planted boundary stakes around the 80-acre parcel north of East 64th Avenue and east of a proposed extension of Himalaya Road in the High Point development south of DIA.

The project has a 36-month construction schedule, with a planned opening targeted for Thanksgiving 2018.

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