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Hotel and event center planned in Delano
Aug. 13, 2012

By Starrla Cray and Ryan Gueningsman

DELANO, MN – Visitors to Delano may soon have a comfortable place to spend the night, thanks to a new hotel that’s in the planning stages.

“We’re hoping construction will start in September,” Delano City Administrator Phil Kern said.

The development agreement was approved at Wednesday’s city council meeting, and is now being finalized with the lender.

Rick and Tom Schaffer (owners of USAquatics in Delano) purchased the 3.3-acre site, located west of Crossings Court between Highway 12 and St. Peter Avenue, in 2006.

Although the timing wasn’t right for construction then, they are confident in the current hotel plans.

“Now’s the right time,” Rick said.

The project will be developed in two phases. The first calls for a 56-room hotel with a pool, which may be completed as early as next spring.

Long-term plans involve construction of a 14,500-square-foot event center and a hotel expansion.

For now, through, the focus is on getting the hotel built and operating.

“We should be open for the baseball tournament next year,” Rick said.

The need for a hotel in Delano has been backed by a market study and broad feasibility study.

“We saw very good numbers,” Rick said, adding that the hotel would be in a good location to serve those involved in weddings, sporting events, business functions, family gatherings, and other activities taking place in the area.

The hotel brand will be GrandStay Hotel and Suites. It is anticipated the hotel will bring 25 to 30 new jobs to the community.

“We’re excited to be getting closer to the finish line,” Kern said.

According to Kern, Delano saw a record year in 2011 – nearly $10 million – for commercial/industrial construction.

“That’s a higher number than we’ve seen in over a decade,” he said. “It’s another sign that companies are putting their trust in Delano.”

At the council meeting Wednesday, the council agreed to a subsidy in the amount of $385,457 being provided from the city from available tax abatement funds. This will assist the project with respect to infrastructure costs and offset access fees for hooking into the city’s sewer and water.

Council Member Dan Vick thanked the developers for their persistence in the project.

“Thank you for sticking in there and making this happen,” added Mayor pro tem Holly Schrupp. Mayor Dale Graunke and Council Member Derek Schansberg were absent from the meeting.

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