Slinger investigates hotel possibilities | Washington County Business News

SLINGER — The village is looking into possibly acquiring a hotel — what sort of hotel or where is unknown as of yet, but the community is investigating whether it could support a hotel and what benefits that might bring.

The village commissioned the hotel study with Core Distinction Group in December; this week, staff reported progress in the project during the Redevelopment Authority meeting.

“It was a very good discussion. We think the report will be positive,” Village Administrator Margaret Wilber said. The decision was made to have the study done following discussions at the village level about what benefits could be gained through such a development.

“Recently (Village President) Scott Stortz and village staff have had some initial discussions with representatives from the hotel industry regarding the possibility of attracting a hotel development to the Village. Each of these parties has indicated some level of interest, but each has also asked if a recent feasibility study is available,” according to a report from Wilber to the Village Board in December.

In its original proposal for the study, Core estimated the potential revenue a new hotel could bring to the Slinger community, based on a 50-room, upper midscale hotel development. Direct revenue estimates were up to $1.14 million for the hotel itself, $64,350 in sales tax, $35,100 in lodging taxes and $75,000 in property tax revenue.

Core further estimated indirect revenue potential, which included the revenues that a hotel could create throughout the community. Estimating 65% capacity for such a hotel once complete, Core projected up to $540,000 additional revenue in the Slinger community for food and dining revenue, potential revenue increases of the same amount in entertainment and activities and up to $252,000 in alcohol sales.

Now, information is beginning to come in for the feasibility study on whether such a hotel is sustainable in Slinger.

Survey on demand

As part of the study, the village undertook a survey on hotel demand. Wilber said about 150 local business owners and civic organizations received it, and about 40% returned the survey, providing information about whether their businesses or groups had lodging needs and how often, where such needs are currently met, what amenities they would like to see in Slinger and other information.

“One of our concerns is that, while we have plenty of demand generators for weekend visitors such as the ski hill, race track and sports tournaments, there may not yet be enough business-related travel that is needed to fill rooms during the week. We made every effort to reach out with the hotel survey to as many businesses as we could to make sure we uncovered as much weekday demand as we could,” Wilber said.

She said the village could not yet share specific information from the survey, as the contract with Core required the study be finalized first.

“We did get a preliminary draft, but we’re still reviewing it,” Wilber said.

The study was commissioned with a total cost of $9,000. Wilber said $4,500 of that is already paid, and the remainder will be paid upon the feasibility report being finalized, which is expected next week.

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