Leaders say new hotel needed to attract corporate travelers, groups

by Marianne Gasaway

A new hotel project backed by the City of Clear Lake and other North Iowa development leaders will hopefully help the community draw greater numbers of corporate travelers and group events.

“We are not competing well in terms of group room rentals and we’re not at all competing in terms of the corporate traveler,” City Administrator Scott Flory said Monday, basing his comments on a market study of the area.  “I think given this project and given its location, we stand to be in the market on that.”

Currently Clear Lake has 10 hotel/motel properties with 448 guest rooms, Flory told the City Council Monday night.  Six properties are described as economy, three are mid-scale, and one, the Lakeside Inn on South Shore Drive, is considered upper mid-scale. That property has just 16 rooms.

The Microtel Inn, built in 1999, is Clear Lake’s newest hotel.  The Best Western Holiday Lodge is the community’s largest hotel with 136 rooms reported in 2018.  That hotel, built in the early 1960s, has been renovated numerous times and includes a restaurant as well as conference rooms.

Other Clear Lake hotels include the AmericInn, built in 1995, Super 8 Motel in 1997, and Rumorz, built in 1972 but substantially remodeled in 2015.  Dates were not available for Lake Country Inn, Hilltop Motel, Lighthouse Court (formerly Swan Motel) and America’s Best Value Inn (formerly Budget Inn).

Eleven properties in Mason City have 542 rooms.  Like Clear Lake, there is just one property considered upscale, that being the Park Inn.

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