Denver's auditor wants to know why Marriott International is blocking attempts to find out about how the airport next to Denver International Airport has been doing since it opened in 2015.
City auditors waited months while Marriott withheld financial, operational and performance information about the Westin Hotel, according to a new report by Denver’s Office of the Auditor.
The hotel company responded by pointing to a management agreement that designated the requested information as proprietary.
The city is in a management agreement where Marriott International pays fees to run the Westin Hotel. However, the city spent more than $700 million in bonds and airport funds to build the hotel and the transit center surrounding it.
“This is a transparency and accountability issue,” Auditor O’Brien said in a news release. “If we could not get the documents needed for the audit in a timely manner, how could the airport be doing regular monitoring on its own to assure the proper care and management of the hotel?”
Westin management told the audit team that the Denver airport hotel received one of the best scores in the company, and that Marriott conducts annual reviews of all of its hotels. Due to lack of access to supporting documents, however, the audit team has been unable to verify that claim or any other self-reported performance information, the release says.
The auditor’s office says the city has not received a cut of the projected $52 million in revenue from the Westin Hotel. The report also found that the airport cannot ensure potential hotel revenues are not being lost due to a lack of financial and performance monitoring.
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