Large commercial developments—in particular, office and mixed-use work—topped the list of the largest projects to break ground in the Mountain States in 2015. The annual Top Starts ranking, based on the construction cost of the projects as reported by contractors, also includes higher education and highway projects and several hospital additions.

Click Here to View 2015 Top Starts in the Mountain States

At the head of this year’s list is the long-awaited start of the controversial Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, near Denver International Airport in Aurora, Colo. Led by joint-venture contractor Mortenson/WELBRO, the $530-million, 85-acre development, which overcame several lawsuits seeking to block its tax rebates, includes a 1,500-room hotel, more than 1.9 million sq ft of hospitality, retail, commercial and convention space, and an indoor-outdoor water park.

Project officials say the Gaylord project is expected to create more than 10,000 construction jobs and 1,500 permanent jobs and attract 450,000 new visitors to the state every year. Completion is scheduled for late 2018.

Mortenson also is building one of the other large projects on this year’s list, the $172-million on-campus stadium at Colorado State University (see related story. p. MS19).

Other Colorado commercial projects on the list include Shae Properties’ $110-million 1776 Curtis Street tower, Continuum’s $97.9-million redevelopment at Ninth and Colorado, Novare Group’s $75.5-million SkyHouse Denver, the $73-million Dairy Block, all in Denver. Sala LLC is doing the $91-million 28th and Canyon redevelopment, Boulder, and Forum Real Estate Group is working on $60.4-million Pearl Place Office development, also Boulder.

Commercial work in Utah includes the Towne Ridge Office complex, Sandy, being built by Okland Construction; Jacobsen Construction’s $35.2-million East Village project, also in Sandy; phase two of Big-D’s Traverse Mountain office building in Lehi, and multiple buildings by Jacobsen at Vista Station and Thanksgiving Station, in Draper and Lehi, respectively.

Health-care projects include the $259-million Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, being built in Provo, Utah, by Jacobsen Construction for Intermountain Healthcare (see related story, p. MS24) and the second phase of the Nampa Replacement Hospital, under construction in Nampa, Idaho, by Layton Construction.

Layton also is building a new health center for the University of Utah in Farmington, Utah. Okland is underway with a new $37-million office building for CHG Healthcare in Midvale, Utah, and Jacobsen is expanding the surgical facilities at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City.

Haselden Construction is working on the third phase of the Aspen Valley Hospital in Aspen, Colo., and JE Dunn will complete a neurology expansion and renovation at the HCA Swedish Medical Center in Denver this fall.

Large transportation projects include a key segment of south I-25, known the New Pueblo Freeway, in Pueblo, Colo.; the I-25/Cimarron Street interchange in Colorado Springs; wildlife safety improvements on Colorado Highway 9, near Kremmling; and work on the I-70/Havana Street interchange in Denver.

Several higher-education projects made the list, including the new biology and chemistry buildings at CSU, along with its innovative student health center; the ENT Center for the Arts at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs; a dining and community commons at CU’s Boulder Village and a high-bay research facility at the University of Wyoming in Laramie.

Other education projects that got underway last year were Fort Morgan Middle School, Midvale Middle School and the Logan High School’s “reinvention” project.

Also on the list, a prison expansion in Gunnison, Utah; new student housing at Dixie State University in St. George, Utah; the Carla Madison Rec Center, being built for the city and county of Denver, and the Hale Centre Theatre in Sandy, Utah.