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Cobblestone Hotel nears opening in Victor, has eyes on Payette and Weiser.

Byline: Teya Vitu

Neenah, Wisconsin,-based Cobblestone Hotels will open its second Idaho hotel in mid-August in Victor, near the Wyoming state line.

The first Cobblestone Hotel & Suites in the Gem State opened in November in Soda Springs. A Cobblestone official acknowledges early talks are taking place in Payette and Weiser with more talks underway in other undisclosed cities in Idaho.

"In another year or two, I'd love to see another four to six (hotels) in Idaho," said Tim J. Shefchik, vice president of BriMark Builders, which is Cobblestone's in-house construction firm. "It was never our intention to go to Idaho but we were pulled into Idaho."

Mick McCullough, who heads up the franchise ownership group in Soda Springs and Victor, saw a Cobblestone in Colorado and contacted the company to bring one to Soda Springs and then Victor followed. Payette officials drove across the state to the Soda Springs grand opening and commissioned a feasibility study to build a hotel in their western Idaho city.

Weiser is planning on starting a hotel feasibility study soon.

"That is the tool to officially kick off the project," Shefchik said. "I had my first initial meeting with Weiser (in mid-July). I think the conversations went extremely well in both communities."

Construction start dates are based on local investor groups stepping forward.

"It's not a decision on our part," Shefchik said. "Whenever local investors are ready, we are ready."

Cobblestone launched in 2008 and specializes in modeling itself on larger limited-service franchise hotels off the beaten track. Cobblestone has 86 mid-scale hotels open in 19 states with another eight under construction in three brands: Cobblestone Hotels & Suites, Cobblestone Inn & Suites and Boarders Inn & Suites.

With 56 rooms at the Cobblestone Hotel in Victor and 53 rooms at the Cobblestone Inn & Suites in Soda Springs, Cobblestone is the largest hotel in both those cities. Nightly room rates are about $130 in Soda Springs and $150 in Victor.

"It's going to be quite a game changer for Victor," Josh Wilson, Victor's planning and zoning administrator, said. "We see a lot of tourists on the way to the national parks (Yellowstone and Grand Teton). Victor will become a destination instead of a pass-through town."

The Victor hotel started construction in October. A grand opening is set for Aug. 20 but the hotel will open some days before that.

Shefchik said the Soda Springs hotel is performing "extremely well," better than expected.

He said the Victor hotel can capitalized on the Teton Valley in Idaho and the national parks in Wyoming. Victor is about a half-hour drive from Jackson.

"It's a perfect location," he said. "Victor offers great opportunities just in the community. And it's within an arm's length of Jackson."

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Publication:Idaho Business Review
Geographic Code:1U8ID
Date:Aug 9, 2018
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