The owners of the Weborg 21 Centre are moving forward with their plans to develop a hotel immediately south of that venue.
The Gering City Planning Commission will hold a public hearing next month on the redevelopment plan for the property that formerly held Rich’s Wrecking.
Lisa Weborg tells KNEB News the $7 million redevelopment plan would keep the existing building, a former ice house, to be rehabilitated for a lobby and hotel offices, a ballroom, conference room, a florist and gentlemens’ shop, with the hotel rooms to be constructed on the west side. “The view is probably the best one you can get of any of the businesses here. The trains go through, it’s just a great view no matter what time of the day,” says Weborg. “With the hotel being on the back side of the existing building, approximately 15 of those rooms will be looking out at our monument.”
The remodeled building and the hotel would feature 8 suites for those seeking extended stays with more of a ‘residential’ feel that Weborg says is one area of service a consultant says is somewhat lacking in the area. Weborg says the design will take the existing building and new construction in the direction of a ’boutique hotel’, “making it more of an experience, a destination hotel” for people to come to, especially those with events at the Weborg 21 Centre.
Weborg says it’s a significant undertaking for her and her husband, Troy, that wouldn’t feasible without Tax Increment Financing, which the redevelopment plan says would pay for just over $820,000 in costs for development and improvements at the site. She also tells us the plan would include efforts to improve the look of the site from the street with greenery such as trees, something she notes is somewhat lacking along 10th Street north of the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.
While the Weborgs would develop the hotel, Lisa Weborg says she doesn’t plan on operating it. “My belief is you’re good at what you’re good at, and stay in that category,” says Weborg, “I have no experience with a hotel, I just felt like a hotel would benefit my business here.” Weborg already has someone who would operate the facility who she says has a phenomenal background and history of hotel management.
The Gering Planning Commission is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the redevelopment plan November 5th in the city council chambers.