ENR Mountain States magazine previously announced our 2019 Best Projects award winners (see my editor’s blog on this website). Now, after tabulating final results and polling our judges, we are ready to announce the finalists for Project of the Year in both the Intermountain area (Utah, Idaho and Montana) and Colorado, Wyoming and the Dakotas.

The voting for Project of the Year was close, as always, but a handful of projects emerged as front runners. To be considered for this honor, a project had to also be a winner (first place) in its individual category and receive a first-place vote from more than one judge and at least two second-place votes from others.

The winners of this award will be announced at the Best Projects breakfast award ceremonies in Denver (Oct. 22) and Salt Lake City (Oct. 24).

Here are the finalists in alphabetical (non-ranked) order.


Colorado/Wyoming/Dakotas Project of the Year Finalists

Amick Building Restoration & Hyder Office Tenant Improvement, Denver

Entry submitted by Hyder Construction

(This project also won first place in the Renovation/Restoration category.)

Hyder Construction’s renovation of the historic Amick Building in Denver’s Santa Fe Arts District converted a dilapidated, vacant structure into a vibrant office and retail space. The work consisted of two components: a complete renovation of the building’s core and shell, and the detailed tenant finish of two floors to create new office space for Hyder. The project was a chance to showcase a number of preservation techniques, skillfully combined with modern construction technology and a thoughtful design by Elsy Studios.

Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center, Aurora, Colo.

Entry submitted by Mortenson/Welbro JV

(This project also won first place in the Residential/Hospitality category.)

The Gaylord Rockies Resort is an iconic structure encompassing nearly two million sq ft of high-end hotel, restaurant and convention space. Designed and built with the theme of a mountain ski lodge, the 85-acre site contains an indoor-outdoor recreational park and 1,500 guest rooms, including 114 suites, and four restaurants, making it largest and most complex hospitality venue in the state.

Recreational facilities include an 800-ft-long Lazy River; expansive event lawns; a resort-style outdoor pool; a 22,000-sq-ft indoor pool venue with slides; tennis courts; a pool bar; a putting course and a basketball court.

SugarSquare, Denver
Entry submitted by Jordy Construction

(This project also won first place in the Small Project - Under $10 Million category.)

SugarSquare is a new four-story, 11,400-sq-ft building located between 15th and 16th Streets on Wazee Street in Denver’s LoDo neighborhood. The project was conceived as an addition to the historic Sugar Building at 1530 16th St. The new building is at once distinctly modern, yet respectful of its neighborhood context. And it is just 25 ft wide. Designed by architects Semple Brown Design and constructed by Jordy Construction, the façade is derived from the lines of surrounding buildings, with a unique glass-and-steel structure, both on the street side as well as the south-facing and alley walls.

Intermountain Project of the Year Finalists

(for projects in Utah, Idaho and Montana)

Olmsted Hydroelectric Power Plant, Orem, Utah
Entry submitted by Central Utah Water Conservancy District

(This project also won first place in the Energy/Industrial category.)

Provo Canyon in Orem, Utah, hosts one of the oldest hydropower generation facilities in the western United States. Hydroelectric-power started there on April 26, 1904, when the plant was put into service. The site has produced power almost continuously since that time, but the old plant needed to be replaced.
The replacement project included lining the existing 12-ft rock tunnel with an 84-in. steel pipeline, an 84-in. buried penstock and building a new powerhouse with modern hydroelectric equipment, plus installing a new power transmission line.

Salt Lake City Fire Station No. 3, Salt Lake City
Entry submitted by Blalock & Partners

(This project also won first place in the Small Project - Under $10 Million category.)

The design of the SLC Fire Station No. 3 is intended to provide a complementary counterpoint to the existing historic golf course clubhouse, which will harmonize with the site over time. The structure includes a three-bay apparatus garage and living quarters for 11 firefighters. A second floor, 50-person multi-purpose room provides space for employee training and community gatherings. Amenities include an exercise room, a second-floor exterior deck, a full-service commercial kitchen and a gardening area. It was also designed as a net-zero-energy facility.

UVU Noorda Center for the Performing Arts, Orem, Utah
Entry submitted by Layton Construction Co.

(This project also won first place in the Cultural/Worship category.)

The 132,000-sq-ft Noorda Center serves as a cultural arts landmark for Utah Valley University and surrounding communities. The new building acts as a gateway on the east side of campus. Key spaces include an 890-seat concert hall, 501-seat proscenium theater, 150-seat dance venue, small dual-purpose recital halls and ensemble rooms, a scene shop addition, and teaching and practice rooms. The building also contains administrative offices and support spaces, a warming kitchen, a conference room, and a multipurpose rehearsal and events space.

Please plan to join us for the big awards celebrations in late October. Information and registration for these Best Projects events in Denver and Salt Lake City (and others across the country) is available at: https://www.enr.com/enr-best-projects-awards.