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DENVER - After a couple of soft grand openings, Denver's new Union Station officially opens on Saturday.

They will be showing off their new hotel, plus stores and food outlets. Big crowds are expected.

It's been a $54-million transformation of the 120-year-old station.

It's really a capstone in Denver's move from a city that once had a declining population - to one of this country's fastest growing urban areas.

To the station's east is Lower Downtown, it now has some of the lowest office vacancy rates and highest office rents in the city.

To the west is the Central Platte Valley, which now has $1 billion in commercial and residential development going on, plus the new $500-million regional transit center.

There are 15 new restaurants and retail businesses. Two new bars, and a 112-room hotel are part of the historic Union Station's makeover. And Saturday, Denver will celebrate the official grand re-opening of the station.

The entire project's economic impact has been vast. Investors will continue to develop projects in LoDo and the Central Platte Valley, because of the easy access to downtown and DIA.

In just the last six years, nearly 25,000 jobs were created with an economic impact of more than $3 billion.

Since 2013, there have been 13 corporate relocations to the Union Station LoDo area and those companies have brought lots of jobs.

Developers completed 14 construction projects in the area, with 11 more underway. They have also added 2,100 housing units, 112 hotel rooms and two million square feet of office space.

The grand opening festivities on Saturday will include a street festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of Union Station.

There will be food trucks, lots of vendors, family activities and live music.

You can tour the station itself between noon and 8 p.m.

Tickets are free at the festival. Time-stamped tickets can be purchased online for $1.

Visit Union Station's grand opening website for more information.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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