City Council Members Review a Hotel Proposal for Downtown

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

HARRISONBURG, Va --- The hotel and conference center project will cost around $40-million. A location for the hotel is still uncertain, but it would be within walking distance from Main St. in Downtown Harrisonburg.

On Wednesday, a WHSV reporter asked people in the area what they thought of the proposal.

Daniel Griffin would not change anything about Harrisonburg's downtown and he said a hotel does not belong there.

"I just wonder of the effect in the acquaintance of the town. It seems like ambiance says that it's small towny kinda feel. Even though it's a big university, I just wonder about that impact," said Griffin.

Dmitriy Shumeyko said the hotel would complement the businesses and restaurants.

“I think it's a great idea just from the fact that this place is really historical. It can be a little more get away from your house," said Shumeyko.

The hotel and conference center is just a proposal right now. Economic Development Coordinator Brian Shull said if it were to happen, it could benefit the city's economy.

"I think it says a lot about the strength of our business community that we would receive a proposal of this magnitude, where they feel it will do great in this economy and this location," said Shull.

Before giving this project an approval, Kai Degner, a city council member, said they need to do some research.

“I think the one thing we want to consider is how this project will impact the businesses that are here now and also the tourism and marketing objectives that we have for the city and the region," said Degner.

City council will accept more proposals until Nov 13. If they like one of the proposals, they will move on to do market research to see if it is a good idea for the area.

Shull said a Maryland company has already said they would spend about $20-million on the hotel, but they want the city to pay for the conference center.

The city has not accepted any of the proposals, yet.

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