WINTERS - A new hotel could be coming to Winters in the near future with local investors and business leaders solidly behind the project.

WINTERS - A new hotel could be coming to Winters in the near future with local investors and business leaders solidly behind the project.

Over 70 investors, potential investors, business and local leaders attended a special dinner meeting at the Winters Country Club on June 11 to meet Brian Wogernese and Gabrielle McMillan of Cobblestone Hotels. The two were in town to answer questions regarding the placement of a Cobblestone Hotel in Winters.

The event was sponsored by the Winters Area Business and Industrial Corporation, the Winters Chamber of Commerce and the Winters Country Club. Cobblestone Hotels locates in small, agricultural communities. In Texas there are Cobblestone hotels in Big Lake and Pecos.

Laura Day, economic development director for the WABIC said the need for a hotel in Winters has reached a critical point especially after the closure of the Aby Inn more than a year ago.

“Local businesses and municipal entities are unable to host auditors, regional managers, or other constituents,” Day said. “Winters is unable to host UIL events, tournaments, hunting, or festivals that last over one day, because of the lack of lodging. These visitors have to drive 20 miles, and usually 40 miles to find a place to stay. In most cases, where people stay will be where they shop, eat, and get gas. This puts money directly into communities other than ours. Our inability to lodge people directly affects our economic development. Each and every event held in Winters would benefit our local economy and help to keep our local merchants in business.”

Day said Winters needs lodging for the benefit of the community as well, during reunions, holidays, weddings and funerals.

“Without a hotel, we do a great disservice to our residents,” Day said.

The quest for new hotel options for started about six years ago by Randall Conner, who retired last year after heading up the WABIC for more than 20 years.

“We started on a hotel project about six years ago with not much luck,” Conner explained. “We saw the Cobblestone in Big Lake three or so years ago and were impressed. Last year we saw another one and then stayed in one in Harrington, Nebraska. We made contact and have been working with them since September.”

The proposed hotel will be a two-story, 35-room hotel, to be located at the intersection of Highway 83 and 153 in the vacant lot on the corner. The mid-price hotel will have a center load entrance facing Highway 153. The hotel include a small conference area, workout and laundry facilities, an elevator, a snack bar, and a continental breakfast. Investors decided to opt out of the pool option.

“With the increased travel on Highway 83 and 153, we are at an excellent location to catch road traffic for the night as well,’ Day said.

Day stressed that the project is not a municipal project funded by the city, but rather this is an endeavor started by local investors to benefit the community.

“It is an ongoing effort that requires our local population to provide backing,” she said.

Conner called the project a “big one,” and said he is assisting Day with the planning phase.

“We still need a few more investors in order to get started,” Conner said. “It all depends on getting the funding as to when it will happen.”

Construction is expected to take about nine months, Conner said.

“It is a franchise with mostly local investment,” Conner said. “It took several years to lay the groundwork to get something like this going.”

Based in Neenah, WI Cobblestone Hotels, LLC is a leading upper midscale hotel brand with over 135 hotels open, under construction, or in development in 18 states. The company continues to pride itself in filling the lodging needs of communities through its upper midscale new build brand. Signature amenities include high speed Internet access, complimentary hot breakfast, convenience store, fitness centers and business centers.. Cobblestone Inn & Suites is part of Cobblestone Hotels, LLC, which also includes Cobblestone Hotel & Suites and Boarders Inn and Suites by Cobblestone Hotels

“We would like to thank everyone who participated in this dinner and spread the word about this new opportunity,” Day said.