Revitalized Union Station grand opening on Saturday

DENVER — After years of work and a lot of money, the much-anticipated Union Station will finally celebrate its grand opening Saturday.

A $1.7 billion public-private partnership is turning a relic into what it was more than a century ago. It will be a transportation hub for buses, trains and bikes, and in 2016, a new RTD commuter rail link to Denver International Airport.

In the next two years, there will be 180,000 travelers making their way through the station every day. It’s also set to be a cultural hub as well with 14 new restaurants, shops and the new luxurious Crawford Hotel.

“I got to see the lobby and the lobby’s beautiful, and the hotel is gonna be great, and I can’t wait to access everything here,” visitor Stephanie Beville said.

“They incorporated some of the old antique stuff down there with the new stuff and it looks really great,” visitor Stephen Clark said.

Added Mayor Michael Hancock: “It’s creating new opportunities for people traversing through our city, people who want to live downtown. It’s making LODO even more vibrant.”

The grand opening was initially scheduled to happen two weeks ago but it was delayed to allow businesses more time to settle into their new spaces and prepare for the crowds.

Some restaurants, bars and retail outlets will not be ready to open to the public Saturday but there will still be plenty to do, see and eat.

The grand opening ceremony will be held at noon Saturday. The celebration starts at 10 a.m. with a street festival in front of Union Station with food trucks, family fun and live music.