City favors funding economic impact study of hotel, convention center, restaurant development

by Marianne Gasaway

Clear Lake City Council members appear to be receptive to funding a study which will measure the economic impact of a hotel, conference center and restaurant development in its newest urban revitalization area, known as Courtway Park.

City Administrator Scott Flory presented a proposal from Grey Hospitality to the Council at the conclusion of its last regular meeting Monday, Jan. 6.  Following their general consensus about the idea, the Council authorized Flory to move forward with the study.  The Council will be asked to take formal action on the item at their Jan. 20 meeting.

The Hotel Event Facility Economic Impact Analysis and Schematic Design study will cost the city $8,500.

“We’re not running that facility obviously, but we certainly have a vested interest in its success,” Flory told the Council.

Last fall the Council approved a development agreement with WillowStream LLC for a $16 million hotel, conference center and restaurant on 5.8 acres in the Courtway Park Subdivision east of Interstate 35.  The development includes the construction of a GrandStay Hotels & Suites, an 8,500-square-foot conference/meeting/event center and a Jethro’s BBQ restaurant.

According to Flory, the developer approached the city about completing the analysis and schematic design for the development.  He recommended the city fund the study and compared it to a similar study done in conjunction with the location of McKesson in Clear Lake a few years ago.

The hotel event facilities impact analysis and schematic design review is expected to be completed within 60 days of hiring. Upon completion of the study, Grey Hospitality will provide the city a written report and personal presentation of its findings.

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