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Buckley lodging officially opens

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.--  Colonel Daniel Dant, 460th Space Wing commander, right, Col. Deirdre Mahon, 460th Mission Support Group commander, left, join the rest of the officiating party in the Rocky Mountain Lodge ribbon cutting, Feb. 24, 2011.  The new lodge has 150 rooms, 120 of which are for visitors and 30 rooms for transient families leaving or reporting into Buckley. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Riley Johnson)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.-- Colonel Daniel Dant, 460th Space Wing commander, right, Col. Deirdre Mahon, 460th Mission Support Group commander, left, join the rest of the officiating party in the Rocky Mountain Lodge ribbon cutting, Feb. 24, 2011. The new lodge has 150 rooms, 120 of which are for visitors and 30 rooms for transient families leaving or reporting into Buckley. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Riley Johnson)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.--  The Buckley Suite at the Rocky Mountain Lodge is dedicated in memory of 1st LT John H. Buckley, Feb. 24, 2011. The Buckley Suite is of six designated visitor suites offered by the Rocky Mountain Lodge (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Riley Johnson)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.-- The Buckley Suite at the Rocky Mountain Lodge is dedicated in memory of 1st LT John H. Buckley, Feb. 24, 2011. The Buckley Suite is of six designated visitor suites offered by the Rocky Mountain Lodge (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Riley Johnson)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.--  Colonel Daniel Dant, 460th Space Wing commander, presents a dedication plaque with Ellen Reid, daughter of the first Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, Paul W. Airey, Feb. 24, 2012. The dedication plaque will be displayed outside of the Airey Suite at the Rocky Mountain Lodge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Riley Johnson)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.-- Colonel Daniel Dant, 460th Space Wing commander, presents a dedication plaque with Ellen Reid, daughter of the first Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force, Paul W. Airey, Feb. 24, 2012. The dedication plaque will be displayed outside of the Airey Suite at the Rocky Mountain Lodge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Riley Johnson)

BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- After months of delays Buckley's Rocky Mountain Lodge, the base's Visiting Quarters and Transient Lodging facility officially opened for business Feb. 24, 2012 during a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony here.

It is also the newest VQ/TLF in the Air Force.

"It took a lot of people to get us to this point," said Col. Deirdre Mahon, 460th Mission Support Group commander as she recognized key 460th Civil Engineer and 460th Force Support Squadron personnel who worked tirelessly to get the lodge open.

Although the lodge has been open "unofficially" since just before Christmas, the facility has been running at near capacity since then. Some 4,000 guest have already stayed in the lodge including over 120 distinguished visitors who have visited the base.

"This facility is a big deal for us and has the look and feel of a 5-star hotel," said Col. Dan Dant, 460th Space Wing Commander. "This will enhance the quality of life of mission partners here at Buckley."

Two of the six DV suites were also dedicated during the grand opening. The general officer suite was named in honor of the base's name sake--1st Lt. John Harold Buckley, a Longmont, Colo. native and a World War I flier who was killed in France in 1918 while on a strafing mission. The other suite is named after the first Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Paul W. Airey. His daughter, Ellen Reid was on hand for the dedication. The other four suites are named: Centennial, Pioneer, Rocky Mountain and Sentury.

"The Christmas 'soft opening' has helped us work out some of the glitches in the facility," said Josh Coleman, Rocky Mountain Lodge manager. "We were able to make some changes in our programs, procedures, have civil engineering run our systems to full capacity, improve on making the sure the rooms were ready for our customers and do the necessary training with our staff to make this a first-class facility."

The $35 million lodge has 150 rooms--120 rooms for visitors and 30 rooms for transient families leaving or reporting into Buckley. The lodge is a hybrid facility in that it combines both the VQ and the TLF into one facility. Normally most military base lodging facilities are separate facilities. In addition, it is opening as a brand new facility.

"We are definitely glad to see this day come for the base and the Air Force," said Coleman. "It's been a long process and we're happy that we are finally open."

For reservations contact the Rocky Mountain Lodge at 720-847-5899 or DSN 847-5899.
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