A local economic development group has pledged to invest $50,000 to help build a new hotel and conference center in west Powell.
Powell, Inc. indicated its willingness to invest in the 75-room Clocktower Inn of Powell being built by Steve Wahrlich of Billings, in conjunction with a conference center that will be owned by the City of Powell.
The amount of $50,000 is the minimum investment being accepted in the hotel project. A letter from the Powell, Inc. board of directors was delivered to a meeting of potential investors Dec. 19.
The Clocktower Inn hotel and the City of Powell conference center together comprise a $7.1 million project. The city has been granted a $2.6 million grant from the State of Wyoming to build the conference center.
Powell, Inc. has been largely idle in recent years, but since coming into existence in the 1960s, it’s helped a number of Powell businesses construct buildings.
“We have been waiting for a project to come along that would benefit the community,” said Kelly Spiering, president of Powell, Inc. “We’re glad to get behind the new hotel.”
The endorsement was welcomed by Wahrlich.
“I’m ecstatic,” he said. “I’ve always said since day one that this is a community property. The community has to be supportive for it to go. The Powell, Inc. support speaks volumes.”
Wahrlich said the project still needs roughly $1.6 million from investors to augment bank financing. He is optimistic that the financial package will come together.
Wahrlich added that he would prefer to have local investors than investment from the outside.
“If the hotel is financed by people in Florida, for instance, that takes money out of the community,” he said.
Wahrlich hopes to be ready to start construction in the spring. He has applied to have the Clocktower Inn of Powell affiliated with the Best Western chain of lodging facilities.