In September 2019, Provident was engaged to serve as nonprofit Owner for an exciting new project outside of the North Gates to the U.S. Air Force Academy. For over two years, Provident worked closely with Blue & Silver, master developer, as well as Matthews Southwest (developer), GE Johnson (GC), CoralTree Hospitality (operator), RBC Capital Markets (underwriter), and many others, to make this project reality.
The Project, a 375-key upscale hotel and 26,000 square foot events center, is part of TrueNorth Commons, a larger development connecting the Academy and the City of Colorado Springs and includes the new Air Force Academy Visitors Center. The development will be located just outside the North Gate of the USAFA in the shadow of the 14,115-foot Pikes Peak, known as America’s Mountain. It is conveniently located just 30 minutes from the Colorado Springs Airport and an hour south of the Denver-metropolitan area. The mixed-use development will offer more than 190,000 square feet of retail and office space along with a 32,000-square-foot visitor center and Provident's 375-room hotel and conference center.
The hotel, which will be managed by Denver-based CoralTree Hospitality, will offer the services and amenities expected from an upscale property serving corporate, group and leisure guests. Food and beverage amenities will include a full-service three-meal restaurant, a bar, and a café. Other amenities will include a business center, an outdoor pool and sun deck, a full-service spa and gift shop.
In the spirit of its landmark location, the hotel will offer the only in-hotel flight simulator in the United States. Two flight simulators will provide guests with a real-life pilot experience. The simulators will reproduce the flight deck of the 737 NG with seats, throttles, switches, pedals and yoke from original parts of the real aircraft (other parts of the flight deck are scale reproductions). The experience will include a 220-degree wraparound screen with HD imagery to make the experience as life-like as possible.
Working within Provident’s mission of Lessening the Burdens of Government and Fostering Economic Development, the team was able to make this vision a reality for the City and the Academy. The hotel will be owned by Provident Group – Falcon Properties LLC, a special purpose nonprofit entity, of which Provident is the sole member.
Financing Structure. The Project was priced on January 13,2022 through the issuance of $231.89 Million in tax-exempt and taxable revenue bonds through the Industrial Development Authority of the City of Phoenix, Arizona. With the support of the City of Colorado Springs and the Association of Graduates and Air Force Academy Foundation, Provident accessed the municipal market through RBC Capital Markets to finance the $250 million project. The transaction includes six series of bonds and three levels of priority, including Senior, Subordinate and Junior Lien series. The Senior Lien Bonds are rated ‘BB’ by S&P, with subsequent bonds issued as non-rated. Essential structuring assistance was provided by Becker Capital & Finance.