In addition to the new hotel, the redeveloped station will feature retail and restaurants developed by the same group that runs Denver’s Larimer Square, home to some of the city’s top eateries including Bistro Vendome, Capitol Grille, Osteria Marco, Ocean Prime, Rioja and TAG, as well as some of the city’s one-of-a-kind boutiques.

A new light rail line will open west to Golden in 2013, and in 2015, there will be direct rail service from Union Station east to Denver International Airport.  Union Station is also the northern terminus for the free, electric shuttle buses that run up and down Denver’s mile-long 16th Street Mall and is the station for AMTRAK’s California Zephyr, with two trains daily heading east and west.

“It was the railroads that caused Denver to become the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco, so it is fitting that Union Station will once again become the center of downtown Denver and will be served by this wonderful new hotel property,” said Richard Scharf, president & CEO of VISIT DENVER.

The new hotel will join the Oxford Hotel as the only accommodations in Denver’s hip historic district, known locally as “LoDo.” This 26-square block area is home to more than 90 brewpubs, restaurants, rooftop cafes and music clubs. It contains one of the largest collections of Victorian and turn-of-the-century brick warehouses in the nation, as well as being home to Coors Field, the 50,000-seat stadium for the Colorado Rockies.  The hotel is a 15 minute stroll, or quick ride via the free 16th Street Mall hybrid shuttle, from the Colorado Convention Center, and will bring the total of downtown hotel rooms within walking distance of the center to 8,550 rooms.

The new hotel will also have easy pedestrian and biking access to LoHi, or Lower Highlands, a booming area of downtown Denver that is filling with chef-owned restaurants, breweries, one-of-a-kind galleries, rooftop view bars and boutiques. The neighborhood is accessible to Union Station by a series of pedestrian bridges and bike paths. Denver launched B-Cycle, America’s first bike sharing program, in 2010 and in 2012 the program will have nearly 700 shiny red bikes available at more than 75 stations around the city, including one at Union Station.  B-Cycle will be retained at the refurbished Union Station and strongly supported by the new hotel, making it possible to bike from here to all parts of Denver.

“Denver is not only saving this historic station, but adding to it with a new hotel that will bring a 24-7 vibrancy to the building, and surrounding downtown neighborhoods,” Scharf said.  “With our new direct rail service to Denver International Airport opening in 2015, this will also offer a convenient downtown hotel with easy access to the airport,” Scharf said.