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GODFREY - Godfrey trustees voted last night to approve and fund a $9,000 study to gauge the feasibility of building a hotel in the village.
Economic Development Director Jim Mager first asked the board to consider approving and funding the study at their Sept. 6, 2023 meeting. At that time, he presented two options for the study at different price points - a basic study for $4,000 or a more in-depth, in-person study for $9,000. According to meeting documents, Mager spoke with the conductor of the 2017 survey, who recommended the $9,000 option for Godfrey.
Mager said if the results of the new study come back positive, the village will take an “aggressive” approach to try and recruit hotels.
“It’s my personal feeling, for whatever that’s worth, that this is probably something we ought to consider doing,” Mager said. “If you elect to approve this expenditure to do this study, should it come back positive - which it probably will - just be thinking ahead that we’re going to be aggressive in trying to go after a hotel.”
The potential hotel site is located at the intersection of Illinois 255 and Montclair Avenue. At the Sept. 6, 2023 meeting, Mager said the site’s realtor asked about an updated hotel study so they could submit the results to Cobblestone Hotels, a smaller regional hotel chain. However, Mager said it would be best for Godfrey to try recruiting a national hotel brand to compete with Alton. He also cited Cobblestone’s requirement of $2 million in local equity and financing from a local bank to begin construction, but said no local banks expressed any interest at the time.
Trustee Jeff Weber said that although he would support an updated hotel study, he doesn’t “put much faith in it” due to recent and ongoing hotel development in Alton.
“In my opinion, a hotel that was thinking about coming would’ve already looked at Godfrey and they would’ve looked at Alton - like the Hampton Inn … I assume they looked at Godfrey and they looked at Alton, and for some reason, they decided to go to Alton,” Weber said. “I don’t believe Alton did any study like this to get it, and then we have a Holiday Inn Express being built in Alton, and I assume they did the same thing. I’m willing to go along with this, but I don’t put much faith in it myself.”
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