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New 100-room hotel headed for Fort Lupton

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Marriott-chain hotel planned for property north of Safeway

By Ben Wiebesiek

FORT LUPTON — The city has finalized a deal with a new 100-room hotel planned for the vacant lot north of Safeway, city officials announced last week.

The planned hotel will be a Fairfield Inn and Suites, part of the national Marriott family of hotels.

City Administrator Claud Hanes said the new development would be on the eastern end of the lot and could help anchor more new businesses in that part of the city.

“They’ll have kitchenettes in some of the units,” Hanes said. “It will have a conference/convention area. It will have meeting rooms. It’ll have a pool. And everything will be looking out to the golf course to the east.”

Hanes said the company is hoping to break ground on the project in October.

“We’ve been working diligently with the investors that came in that had the idea. They came in and said, ‘Do you think it will work?’ and we told them, ‘You know, motel housing in Fort Lupton is a field of dreams, guys.’ There’s very few places to get a hotel room or motel room. So they did some research; we provided them — my economic development director and I and my planning director, the mayor — we all gave them a lot of information about statistics how much employment has grown in the community, and how there was a shortage of housing ... And we basically assured [the investor], ‘You’ll be full.’”

The city was able to bring the deal together without a tax incentive package — other than a promise for swift passage through the city’s permitting process

“We just promised speed; we’d get them there quick,” Hanes said.

Many cities, such as Brighton, have passed special sales taxes for hotel room rentals, known as a lodging tax, and Hanes said the city was exploring that option.

“We’re looking into that to put one in place, but basically we have to set up a district of some sort, and then put the lodging tax on,” Hanes said. “And they told us in Brighton the hotels came to them and said, ‘You should put this in because you have an unfair advantage over everybody else. We expect to charge that to our residents.’ So they put one in by request from the hotel chains, and we’re pursuing doing the same thing.”

Brighton voters approved a 3-percent lodging tax in 2011.

Hanes said its a positive sign for that area that the hotel is coming in right on the heels of another new business, O’Reilly Auto Parts, which is having a grand opening celebration Sept. 19.

“This hotel will be the kick off to the development of the whole parcel,” Hanes said of the land at the north east corner of First Street and Rollie Avenue. “With O’Reilly’s opening, and now the hotel, we’re hoping for an apartment unit of some sort, and then three retail sites potentially.”

And beside the development opportunities, Hanes said the new hotel will also give customers more options in the city.

“I think the hotel is going to be a great amenity for the city,” Hanes said. “It will give people an opportunity for a another lodging place to stay. We’ve got three other lodging establishments in town and this one will be the biggest of any of them.”

Contact Ben Wiebesiek at 303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email bwiebesiek@metrowestnewspapers.com.