A Hampton Inn under construction in front of the Baymont Inn on U.S. 160 is planned to be completed in March 2015.
Questions about the project arose in January 2013 when it was reported that the developers would pay about $160,000 to connect to the city’s sewer system.
In January 2014, developer Avik Amin said the hotel would be built even though the sanitation fees were the highest the company has paid. Amin is a management partner with AAA Hotel Developers.
As of Friday, the sanitation district had received the plans for the project, but the district hadn’t received the $159,840 fee, said district manager Tim Krebs.
The work to level the lot started in mid-May, said project manager Patrick McGavick.
He said he hopes to start pouring the foundations for the 74-room hotel next week and connect to utilities soon. The three-story building will be 48,000 square feet.
The project was delayed a bit after construction workers hit sandstone shelving that had to be removed with an excavator.
The completion date depends on the winter, said McGavick, who hopes to work as much as possible during the cold season.
McGavick is a contractor working for TeePee Corp., a development company from Pueblo that specializes in hotels and motels.
McGavick has hired two subcontractors from Durango and plans to hire more as the project progresses.
The Hampton Inn is the city’s first new hotel in about 20 years. In January, Amin said research showed a demand for the hotel.
“Currently our study shows that a lot of guests are bypassing Cortez as there are not enough quality lodging choices that meet their needs,” Amin said.
The Hampton Inn is within the city limits, and it is subject to a 4.05 percent sales tax on its construction materials.
The city assesses the value of the materials up front and collects the tax before the building starts, said Kathi Moss the city’s finance director.
Many contractors bring materials from out of town and the tax ensures the town still receives revenue from the project. When the hotel is complete it will also be subject to city lodgers’ tax.