Almost a year after a downtown Durango hotel dropped the Holiday Inn name and went independent, the company is building a new hotel in town.
The four-story, 116-room Holiday Inn will be located on the south side of U.S. Highway 160 near Tech Center Drive at the former Cottonwood Camper Park site.
South Dakota-based Quest Development and Construction will be in charge of the project, which should be completed by summer 2012, said Larry Barnett, a project manager with the company.
The Durango Downtown Inn located at Ninth Street and Camino del Rio, left the Holiday Inn franchise in December 2010 because the owners were looking in a different direction, a hotel manager said.
The Holiday Inn is the first to be built in Durango in more than a decade, said Nicole Killian, a planner with the city. Durangos newest hotel, Comfort Inn & Suites in Bodo Industrial Park, was built in 1997.
So far, the city has issued a foundation permit for the Holiday Inn construction. The company applied for, and was approved for, a height variance in 2009 that will allow it to build 17 feet higher than the 40-foot height limit the city allows for commercial buildings outside downtown, Killian said.
Quest Development is now in the process of getting a building permit, Barnett said. The company will pour the concrete foundation and installing underground plumbing over the next month or so, he said.
Despite the economic recession, the extra beds are a good investment for Durangos tourism economy, said John Cohen, executive director of the Durango Area Tourism Office.
Durangos hotels had the highest occupancy rates in the state last summer, Cohen said. From June through September, 84 to 95 percent of hotel rooms were in use.
It will be great to have those rooms, especially in the summer, Cohen said.
Hotel franchises also bring the huge distribution and marketing capabilities of their parent companies, which are familiar to customers and make booking easy, he said.