|By Josh Mitchell, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle,
CheyenneMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Dec. 09, 2011--CHEYENNE -- In a sign that commercial development may be picking up in Cheyenne, a new 64-room extended-stay hotel is expected to be built next year on West Lincolnway.
The project, being developed by the Aberdeen, S.D.-based Rivett Group, is expected to go under construction no later than April and be operational by September, a company representative said Thursday.
Ryan Rivett with the Rivett Group said he could not release the name of the new hotel at this time.
But he said it is a new brand that recently started in North Dakota, and Cheyenne will be the third location.
It will be located directly west of the Super 8 motel, which the Rivett Group has owned since it opened in 1978.
The 7-acre lot where the hotel will be located is currently vacant. The hotel will only take up about 2 acres, with the rest being left vacant, Rivett said.
Rivett said his company has enjoyed doing business in Cheyenne and wanted to expand its presence here.
"Cheyenne's been a very consistent market over the years," Rivett said. "We're confident enough in the market to make another investment in Cheyenne."
There is a cluster of hotels on that side of town, and City Councilwoman Amber Ash said, "I have concerns regarding the ability to sustain more hotels in that specific area."
But Ash said if the company thinks there is a market for a hotel there, then that is OK with her.
Rivett declined to say how much of an investment the new hotel would be.
He said his company is aware of the possible oil play coming to Laramie County, but he said that was not a deciding factor in building a new hotel here.
Darren Rudloff, president and CEO of Visit Cheyenne, said he thinks that area of town can support more hotels.
"You are not going to get overcrowded with hotels," he said. He said hotels, vehicle dealerships and fast-food restaurants often build around the competition.
"West Lincolnway has been our hotel row," Rudloff added.
Currently, the project is going through the city approval process, including being annexed into the municipal limits. The annexation should be completed in January.
Rudloff said it is positive news that a new hotel is coming to town.
"It's always nice to have companies coming in here to replenish our lodging inventory and show their confidence in our market," Rudloff said.
He added that Cheyenne has had a strong lodging industry in recent years, at or exceeding the national occupancy rate, which was 57.4 percent in 2010.
He noted that in 2010, 63.8 percent of Cheyenne's approximately 2,200 lodging rooms were occupied. There are about 35 hotels and motels in and around Cheyenne.
From January to October of this year, the local occupancy rate has been 68.6 percent, which is up 4.5 percent for that same time period the previous year.
The oil field activity last winter boosted occupancy rates, he said.
The average room rate in Cheyenne of $76 is up 5.4 percent from the previous year, he added.
The rising occupancy rates and room costs are contributing factors to new hotel developments coming to Cheyenne, he said.
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