By Eric Heinz
A new equestrian center and possibly a hotel are coming to the National Western Center (NWC) within the next few years.
The Denver City Council recently approved an agreement with the National Western Center Authority (NWCA), the nonprofit that manages the campus, to spend $5 million over the next three years to develop a new equestrian center and possibly a hotel. The NWCA also has plans to build a new parking garage.
Brad Buchanan, CEO of the National Western Center, said recent community meetings about the plans were productive.
“We got a wide array of suggestions for … uses and potential programs for the equestrian center, and then the next steps are to … add programs that address community need and desire, and that’s what that whole conversation was for,” Buchanan said.
The location of the projects would be near the Platte River, north of the CSU Spur campus. Buchanan said NWCA wants to include community members as much as possible to help form the content of the request for proposal, which will eventually be released once the formal plans for the facilities are ready.
If the process goes according to schedule, Buchanan said the facilities could be completed by 2027 or 2028.
“These first two meetings were really visioning sessions,” said Jenna Garcia, the director of marketing and communications for the NWCA. “Everything was on the table. There was no bad idea. We just wanted people to come to the table with some ideas on what they would like to see integrated in the potential equestrian center and development opportunities.”
The National Western Center Authority Board’s Community Advisory Committee meeting will take place from 5-7 p.m. on July 26 at the National Western Center offices, 4701 Marion St. suite 401, and will also cover the plans for the new facilities. Additional community meetings regarding the equestrian center, hotel and parking garage will take place from 5-7 p.m. on Aug. 2-3, with locations to be determined. More information will be available at nationalwesterncenter.com under the “Community” tab. People who want to subscribe to updates from the NWCA can text NWCENTER to 21000 (for English) or NWCespanol to 21000 (for Spanish).