Downtown hotel idea gets 1st nod from city
An idea to partner with downtown hoteliers to attach a ballroom and a new hotel to Grand Junction’s convention center got the initial nod from the Grand Junction City Council.
Councilors unanimously approved a letter of intent Wednesday outlining the arrangements in the public-private partnership between the city, its Downtown Development Authority, and owners of three downtown hotels, brothers Kevin and Steve Reimer.
The total project to add and attach a hotel and ballroom to Two Rivers Convention Center and make upgrades at the city’s facility is expected to run $12.5 million. The DDA plans to borrow $6 million for the project and the city will repay the DDA half that amount, or $3 million, in annual payments over 15 years, Grand Junction City Manager Greg Caton said.
The city plans to give the land that currently occupies Two Rivers’ parking lot to the Reimers who plan to build a 100-room hotel and a 10,000-square-foot ballroom there. Caton estimated the land is valued at $1 million. Former studies pegged the construction of a ballroom at $15 million. For a total city contribution of $6 million, “I believe the city is getting a good value in this regard,” Caton told councilors.
Caton said the hotel and ballroom construction should be completed by the spring of 2021. However, the city can use money from the DDA in the interim to make needed changes at Two Rivers. Those upgrades run the gamut from sprucing up the facility to making needed operational repairs.
The agreement also stipulates that the city buy land owned by the Reimers at the Wells Fargo drive-thru on the southeast corner of Second Street and Ute Avenue.
The city would buy the land for $200,000, the amount the Reimers paid for it, Caton said. The bank structure would be torn down for parking. Additionally, the former Mesa Pawn building, now owned by the city, would be torn down and the site also used for parking.
The letter of intent is a step toward making a formal agreement, but it is not the final say.
The Reimers first plan to build another new hotel, Tru Hotel by Hilton, a 45,000-square-foot $10 million project on Colorado Avenue between Second and Third streets. That hotel is expected to open in spring 2019.
Councilors mostly praised the ideas, saying the plans would boost visitors to the area and increase the tax base.
Councilor Duncan McArthur said he wasn’t comfortable with all the arrangements, but voted to go ahead with the letter of intent because it isn’t a binding agreement.
“I think this is positive overall for the entire city, not just our downtown,” Councilor Phyllis Norris said.