Developers planning hotels cannot find lots for apartments |

Developers planning hotels cannot find lots for apartments

Collin Smith

— Developers and local officials are aware that although Craig may have room to grow, the housing and lodging shortage is an obstacle.

Developers and local officials are addressing that obstacle.

Craig likely will see two new hotels erected in the next 18 months, said Dave Costa, Craig community development director. Both are planned for land plots on the west side of town, in the area of the Holiday Inn and Best Western.

One is a Candlewood Suites franchise. Developer Rick Hill, 50, of Parker, purchased land at Colorado Highway 13 and First Street about two years ago and hopes to start building by January 2008.

Costa expects to see a site plan for Candlewood Suites at the Nov. 19 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, he said.

Hill, who worked as a general contractor for 30 years and entered the hotel business about five years ago, thinks his project will immediately benefit the area, which is hurting for places for workers to stay.

Craig “has a lot of people who want to come in for work and have nowhere to stay. The room demand is there,” Hill said. “My hotel is designed for extended stays.”

Candlewood Suites offers studios and one-bedrooms at lower per night rates than most conventional hotels but does not have some of the amenities commonly associated with hotels, such as room service or a pool.

A new hotel designed for those wishing to stay for a week or longer would be perfect for the area, Hill said.

Hill and some of his business contacts looked at the possibility of developing an apartment complex but could not find a suitable location. While many lots were large enough, none had the necessary infrastructure.

“There aren’t any lots with utilities (like plumbing and electricity) around them,” Hill said. “I have some guys that would like to do apartments around there, but there’s nowhere to build them.”

Hill owns three other hotels in Colorado – two in Grand Junction and one in Limon – and another hotel in Vernal, Utah. He said the Western Slope is a prime location for hotels because of the energy boom.

“There is an abundance of oil and gas and coal,” Hill said, adding businesses want to come here and bring workers, “but they run into the problem of where they want to stay.”

Hill sees no reason to doubt the area’s future economy.

“This oil and gas thing is not going to get any less; it’s going to grow,” he said. “Roan Plateau is right there. They may not put 150 wells up there, but they will drill and they will want workers to drill for them.”

Hill first attempted to get a Hampton Inn Hotels & Suites franchise but learned another developer out of Cheyenne, Wyo., already had the rights, which is the second hotel Costa referred to.

Costa talked with that developer about site plan requirements two to three months ago, he said. Since then, he has not had any other contact.

The developer, for whom Costa did not have a name or contact on file, owns land by the cul-de-sac at the end of First Street, west of the Holiday Inn.

Collin Smith can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 209, or

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