|Funding being sought for proposed Gering hotel|
|September 04, 2013 Jerry Purvis|
Cobblestone Hotels have completed a study and found that a possible multi-level hotel in Gering is feasible.
Wisconsin-based Cobblestone, which has holdings in Nebraska, scheduled a meeting in May to gauge the level of local support prior to conducting the study. The developers are looking for an investment of about $2 million from local sources on the just over $4 million project.
Gering Mayor Ed Mayo said he knew the project was feasible. “We’ve all known that. Every time you come to town, there’s never any room.”
Currently, the city has only 91 hotel rooms to accommodate more then 180,000 travelers and visitors each year. One of the more recent examples of room shortages occurred during the American Legion Class B state championship baseball tournament, hosted by Gering. Some teams didn’t learn they had earned a berth until just before the event, and had to stay as far away as Torrington.
City of Gering officials are now talking with potential investors to see what kind of financing can be arranged to complete the project. Some of it would come from bank financing with opportunities for Tax Increment Financing and LB 840 funding through the city.
The proposed multi-story hotel would contain about 50 rooms, a breakfast area and a pool/hot tub on site.
Cobblestone officials have already indicated they want to site the hotel as close to the Gering Civic Center as possible. With that in mind, city council members have already discussed potential locations.
One location is on N St. directly north of the Civic Center on property that used to house the Health and Human Services offices. One drawback discussed was that the neighboring Union Bar has bands playing in the summer, which could increase noise in the area.
Another possible site is the parking lot on the northeast corner of the Civic Center. While a potential hotel could be connected to the center, it would also eliminate a lot of parking space.
A third possible site is the northwest corner of 10th and M Streets, called the McKee property. However, Prairie Pines Quilt Shop is located there.
Mayo said there’s another possible site west of the Civic Center, but it hasn’t been researched as to potential. So for the near term, raising the needed funds is the primary goal.
Cobblestone Hotels has properties in Fairbury, Seward and Wayne, Neb. and two under construction in Hartington and Broken Bow.