Investors in Augusta have been trying to add a hotel with a national brand name to the city for years.
None of those efforts have ever worked out financially, but the latest effort has the best chance yet.
Dalton Patterson is heading up a group of investors called Augusta Hotel Investors LLC. The group is trying to raise a portion of the capital to support a $4 million, three-story hotel to be located on the lot at 511 W 7th St - in the large empty paved lot in the old Parks Motors location.
The local investors need to raise $1.25 million to get the project off the ground. Augusta Progress Inc. verbally committed $100,000 to the project earlier. Patterson was asking the city council to consider concessions similar to those surrounding communities have allowed to get a major hotel chain located in their cities.
He said the city would be asked to give tax abatements and a few other items before the developer, Rasu Sheth – who has recently built several successful hotels in the region – would agree to come to Augusta.
The letter to the governing body asked for five items to be considered.
• Improved infrastructure for water and sewer service.
• Guest tax rebate for 22 years or as long as the hotel remains a national franchise.
• A 10-year tax abatement for improvements to the property through Industrial Revenue Bonds.
• The creation of a Community Improvement District to allow for the hotel property to allow a two percent sales tax on hotel activity which would be rebated to the hotel for its own use for 22 years.
• Waiver of permit and tapping fees during hotel construction.
Patterson said the requests were similar to those Derby issued for a similar project.
He said the main reason the city needs a project such as the new hotel is the amount of money the city is losing because it is not home to a suitable hotel for many corporate and other clients.
Patterson said the local event centers have agreements with hotels in Andover, El Dorado and Wichita to house overnight guests in other cities rather than in Augusta. This hotel would stop some of this money from leaving town.
“We have a lot of leakage in this area,” said Mayor Kristey Williams. “If those guests are staying overnight in other cities, they are probably also eating and shopping there as well.”
Patterson said the project to build a hotel on this property would also probably bring in two