|By John Aguilar, Daily Camera, Boulder,
Colo.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Feb. 19, 2011--SUPERIOR -- Superior may soon land its first hotel -- a four-story, 122-room structure positioned to compete for lodging dollars in an area where the ConocoPhillips campus is expected to one day spur significant economic growth.
Earlier this week, the town agreed to give a small parcel of land it owns at the northwest corner of Coalton Road and Flatiron Circle to Resolute Investments, an Englewood-based real estate investment firm, if the company puts together a successful deal for a new hotel.
Resolute, which already owns more than 13 acres at the intersection, said it needs the 0.93-acre parcel from the town to make the $9 million hotel project viable.
Kristopher Barnes, a lead developer for Resolute, said Friday that his firm is a week or two away from going under contract with a hotel development company. He declined to disclose the name of the hotel chain expected to put up the 60,000-square-foot building just west of the FlatIron Crossing mall.
Barnes said while economic conditions for building a hotel may not be optimal right now, prospects for the future are a different story.
"The fundamentals of the market are not as good as everyone would like, but with ConocoPhillips being up there, things will get better," he said.
ConocoPhillips bought StorageTek's 432-acre property in Louisville in 2008 and plans to build a research, development and global training facility that, when completed, could employ 7,000 people. The oil giant has recently run into delays submitting its final plans.
But Barnes said by the time the hotel is built, which may not be for another three years, ConocoPhillips' situation should be clearer and the economy as a whole in better shape.
Barnes said Superior is willing to give the land, valued at $125,000, to Resolute as an incentive because of the economic benefits the town would get from the project.
"This hotel will bring added revenue to the town that it doesn't currently generate," he said.
Paul Nilles, Superior's finance director, said the town expects to net $500,000 from building fees associated with the hotel's construction, and $120,000 a year thereafter in sales and property taxes.
"It would provide some substantial one-time and ongoing revenues to stabilize the town's finances," he said.
And the project wouldn't end with the hotel, Nilles said. Resolute has submitted a conceptual plan to Superior that calls for two 75,000-square-foot office buildings and room for more than 11,000 square feet of retail at the site.
Superior could see $2 million in one-time fees and $275,000 a year in revenues from the overall development, he said.
"The hotel is a way of getting the entire development going," Nilles said.
The hotel will be entering a market that isn't lacking for accommodations. At the Omni Interlocken Resort and the Renaissance Boulder Flatiron Hotel, both in Broomfield, there are a combined 622 rooms. And in Louisville, along West Dillon Road, there are six hotels with 564 rooms.
Matt Hofmann, lead manager for two Marriott properties in Louisville, said Superior's new hotel across U.S. 36 could cut into weekend numbers at existing hotels.
"There's no weekend demand in Louisville," he said. "That would impact us."
But overall, Hofmann is confident that future economic growth along the U.S. 36 corridor, which he said goes beyond ConocoPhillips to projects like the NASA-affiliated Aerospace Clean Energy park, will pick up the slack. Louisville, Erie and Longmont have expressed interest in landing the 200-acre research and manufacturing campus.
"The 36 corridor definitely has some good momentum," he said.
Joe McClure, director of economic development for Broomfield, is equally confident that the market is strong enough to support another hotel.
"With development, it tends to feed off itself. You see a shovel break the ground here and you see another shovel break the ground there, and things start to pick up exponentially," he said. "From my perspective, this market is not overbuilt."
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