2 Hotels Planned for Area Next to Menard’s in Waite Park [AUDIO]
WAITE PARK - There's a hotel boom happening in Waite Park. Mayor Rick Miller says a developer is planning on building two hotels on a vacant lot next to Menards along Highway 23.
The plan is for a 90-room Staybridge Suites extended-stay hotel and also a 120-room Holiday Inn, including a restaurant and bar. They're expecting to break ground on one of the hotels this spring.
A spokesman for Miller Architects says he's not ready to talk about the project yet, because there is still a lot of details to be worked out. But, they're planning to announce more specific plans in a few weeks.
These two hotels are in addition to another separate project to build two hotels on the site of a trailer park, near 6th Avenue.
Miller says the city wasn't necessarily looking for hotels.
The project along Highway 23 will not require any city involvement. But, the project along 6th Avenue is seeking help from the city in the form of a TIF agreement.
Miller says both projects are exciting for the city.
Right now the city only has a Motel 6.
Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the St. Cloud Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Julie Lunning says it will be interesting to see how the four new hotels do. She says we have a shortage of hotel rooms on the weekends when there's a big youth sports tournament in town. But, there's a lot of vacant rooms during the weekdays...
Lunning says the St. Cloud occupancy rate, compared to other regional centers, is a little soft.
Lunning says the Waite Park location for both projects is also interesting. She says it will benefit the people visiting the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University. But there's a higher demand for hotels closer to the Sartell Medical hub and in downtown St. Cloud near the River's Edge Convention Center.