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Air Force Academy plans new hotel, visitor center

A groundbreaking ceremony on Monday celebrates the launch of the 57-acre project.

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. — A new visitor center, hotel and conference center are coming to the United States Air Force Academy.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Monday at 9 a.m. for a new visitor center and True North Commons Development outside the Academy’s North Gate.

The Air Force Academy said the new development is planned on 57 acres of Air Force property and includes a publicly-accessible commercial hotel, conference center and office space. The development is part of a public-private partnership.

Plans for a 32,000-square-foot visitor center include modern, interactive and informative displays and experiences. The Academy said a grand atrium may feature aircraft, spacecraft and satellites ascending toward the ceiling to represent Air Force and Space Force missions.

The new visitor center will be designated an official Colorado Welcome Center and the project is the fourth and final City for Champions project in Colorado Springs.

Most of the project is scheduled for completion in 2024. 

The Academy said its current visitor center was designed in the 1980s and is a 10-minute drive inside the Academy from the North Gate.

"The new visitor center will be framed around cadet life as a way of showing guests what it is like to attend the Air Force Academy, welcoming returning alumni and inspiring people of all ages," said a release from the Academy.

"This project will reimagine how we welcome visitors not only to our campus, but to the entire region," said General Clark. "For some of the most promising young people our nation has to offer, the journey toward leading the Air Force and Space Force begins right here in Colorado Springs. The new visitor center will tell the story of our Academy and its critical mission, and we are grateful for the supportive partnerships turning a bold vision into reality."

"We’re incredibly excited for this modern update to the Academy visitor experience to move forward," said Carlos Cruz-Gonzalez, Academy Director of logistics, engineering and force protection. "The new visitor center is designed to look like an aircraft wing, perfectly illustrating our flying mission."

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Credit: Air Force Academy
Credit: Air Force Academy

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