By Jim Hagerty
Adding to Rockford’s riverfront hotel announcement and offering another enhancement to the Rock River Trail (RRT), a redevelopment agreement will place a $6.1 million hotel along the Rock River in the city of Rock Falls, Ill., officials announced last week.
Rock Falls has entered into the agreement to build a Holiday Inn Express & Suites on the east side of the river.
“This project is the anchor project for our city’s riverfront and will bring other development into the RB&W District, it’s an exciting day for the City of Rock Falls,” Rock Falls Mayor Bill Wescott said.
Wescott said the project will have an estimated $2.3 impact on the city for the next 10 years, with $1 million paid into the TIF for property taxes, $700,000 in hotel/motel taxes and another $600,000 in municipal utilities.
The project will bring 75 construction jobs to the area and 20 permanent jobs when the hotel opens.
“We are very excited about the project as we feel the Holiday Inn Express brand is a great fit for the area and will be an asset to the entire Sauk Valley area,” development partner, Neil Densmore, said. “We commend the City of Rock Falls and Mayor Wescott on their efforts to bring this project to Rock Falls and we look forward to starting construction soon.”
The hotel franchise is part of Intercontinental Hotel Group. It will boast standard queen-and king-bedded rooms and suites facing the Rock River, fitness center, sundry shop and a meeting room for up to 40 people.
The project is being developed by Great Lakes Management Group, Kothe Real Estate Partners; Landgraf Construction, of Madison, Wis.; and Gibbs Construction Services, of Dyersville, Iowa. It is being financed by Sauk Valley Bank.
“I am very excited about this,” said Frank Schier, founder of the RRT. “Holiday Inn Express & Suites will offer a quality package to travelers on the Rock River Trail, which needs more commercial hospitality on its shores for travelers on our new national water trail, our scenic and historic road route, and our soon-to-be announced bike route.
“The Rock River is a tremendous economic development tool for all of the 37 municipalities on our beautiful river. I admire Rock Falls for its vision and utilization of its riverfront. Rockford also must be substantially congratulated for its $74 million commitment to our Rock River shores with the Ingersoll sports complex and the Ziock hotel and convention center. The Rock River Trail is gathering substantial momentum. Dixon is using the RRT as part of its new PR campaign,” concluded Schier.
From the May 14-20, 2014 issue