The city of Clear Lake is hoping a new study will provide a better picture of the economic impact of the multi-million dollar hotel, conference center and restaurant development’s on the community.
Clear Lake City Administrator Scott Flory presented a proposal from Grey Hospitality to conduct a hotel event facilities impact analysis and schematic design for the proposed project to the City Council Monday evening.
“We’re not running that facility obviously, but we certainly have a vested interest in its success,” he said.
In October, the council unanimously approved a development agreement with WillowStream LLC for a $16 million hotel, conference center and restaurant on 5.8 acres in the Courtway Park Subdivision east of Interstate 35.
The development includes the construction of a GrandStay Hotels & Suites, an 8,500-square-foot conference/meeting/event center and a Jethro’s BBQ restaurant.
Flory told the council the developer approached the city about completing the analysis and schematic design for the development late last year, and he believes it’d be beneficial for both entities.
The study, which will be acted on at the council’s Jan. 20 meeting, costs $8,500 and will assess the overall economic impact of the conference/meeting/event center, identify the best ways to market the facility against competitors in the region and determine the most desirable floor plans and amenities.
“To me, this would be a small step to help the developers get this process underway and I think we’d get a lot of good out of it,” he said, adding a similar study was done prior to the McKesson development.
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Second Ward City Councilman Bennett Smith agreed.
“It’s a very good idea,” he said. “I fully support it.”
The proposed study is different from the one Clear Lake did more than a year ago, Flory said.
In November 2018, the city hired Patek Hospitality Consultants Inc. for a not-to-exceed $9,000 to conduct a market feasibility study for a 70-room hotel.
“The work by Patek was germane to whether or not the Clear Lake market could support a new hotel, such as the GrandStay,” he said. “It did not draw any in-depth fiscal conclusions or analysis regarding the broader economic impact to the community of the meeting/event/conference center component.”
The hotel event facilities impact analysis and schematic design review is expected to be completed within 60 days of hiring, the proposal states.
Upon completion of the study, Grey Hospitality will provide the city a written report and personal presentation of its findings.
The minimum requirements of the hotel, conference center and restaurant development are to substantially completed by Nov. 1, the agreement states.
Year in Review: Reporter Ashley Stewart's favorite stories of 2019
North Iowa is filled with some wonderful people.
And that’s what has made choosing my favorite stories from the past year so difficult.
In 2019, I celebrated my second anniversary at the Globe Gazette and my seventh as a reporter. I also transitioned from covering Hancock County and the city of Britt to Clear Lake — a transition that has connected me with more people.
People whose stories have inspired me, humbled me and challenged me.
These people, and their stories, are ones I won’t soon forget, and I hope you don’t either.
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Reach Reporter Ashley Stewart at 641-421-0533. Follow her on Twitter at GGastewart.