Super 8 owner requests expansion assistanceThe Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. approved a Flex PACE request for a Jamestown motel owner looking to add 20 units to its property in Jamestown.
The Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. approved a Flex PACE request for a Jamestown motel owner looking to add 20 units to its property in Jamestown.
The JSDC held its regular board of directors meeting Monday.
Kal Patel, owner of Super 8 in Jamestown, said the additional rooms would be built separate from the existing Super 8 motel property. The rooms will rent at a lower rate than the existing rooms, Patel said, and target truck drivers. That would free up rooms for families looking to stay at the motel during tournaments and other events, he said.
Hotel space is sometimes a hot commodity in Jamestown where the city is sometimes limited in what and how many events it can host because it doesn’t offer enough lodging, said Connie Ova, JSDC CEO. The city could host more events if more rooms were available, she said.
Patel requested up to $85,000 in local monies as part of the Flex PACE Interest Buy-down funding. If approved by the Jamestown City Council and Stutsman County Commission, the city and county would split the funds $68,000 and $17,000 respectively. JSDC voted unanimously in favor of the funding package.
“He has a personal guarantee,” Ova said. “He has some enthusiasm.”
In addition to the 20-bed addition, another 55-bed motel is under consideration, Patel said, saying he would evaluate the success of the addition before deciding whether to build another property.
Patel is also building a storage facility with 101 units. The Flex PACE funding is not part of that project, which was a concern for some JSDC board members.
“I wonder if it opens a Pandora’s Box,” said member Brion Bittner.
In other business, the JSDC also consented to performing an assessment on the region to determine which industries it should target, said Lindsey Larson, marketing/business development specialist.
The study would reduce time and labor spent on recruitment, Larson said, with the end goal as high-paying and skilled jobs for the region. The $67,000 study would take 4-6 months to complete and cost JSDC nothing as Northern Plains Electric, Dakota Central Communications, Otter Tail Power and AgCountry Farm Credit Services have already agreed to fund half the study. The other half is expected to come from an Economic Development Administration grant. If the EDA grant is not approved, JSDC will not proceed with the study, Larson said.
Member Chris Rathjen questioned whether a study was necessary; saying the JSDC already has a staff to determine which industries are best for the area.
Member Dave Smette said a study would give an outsider’s perspective to the area.
“It would be another tool in our toolbox,” Ova said.
Also, Ova reassured the board that the Buffalo City Grill is set to re-open next month. She said she’s heard rumors from concerned citizens questioning whether the downtown restaurant will open again.
Mayor Katie Andersen agreed.
“We’ll try and squash all the negative rumors,” she said.
In other news from the meeting:
* Past-president Jim Boyd updated the board on Jamestown Regional Airport’s partnership with Delta Airlines. Delta sent the Jamestown Airport Board a letter terminating services, Boyd said. The services will continue until the board finds a suitable replacement, he said, saying it has submitted requests for proposals.
Boyd said the airport continues to set boarding records including 521 passengers last month.
“Delta has done a great deal,” he said, “building our community.”
* Buffalo City Tourism Foundation Executive Director Nina Sneider said tourism numbers are down this year by about 25 percent. She attributes the decline to flooding and gas prices.
Also, the foundation is considering when to do its Independence Day fireworks display next year, saying the Fourth of July falls in the middle of the week. Pyrotechnics typically cost more than $10,000 for shows on that day, whereas the foundation paid $8,000 for its show this year. The July 2 display was paired with events at Jamestown Speedway.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan-Anderson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at email@example.com