New hotel expected to add to downtown tourism draw

Steve Reimer, co-owner of the Springhill Suites by Marriott, leads a tour through the lobby of the five-floor hotel under construction in downtown Grand Junction. The first floor will feature a full-service bar, modern decor and flat-screen televisions. Reimer expects the hotel to open by late June. (Business Times photo by Mike Moran)

While many business owners hesitate to expand during a period of high unemployment and tight lending regulations, Steve and Kevin Reimer move ahead in downtown Grand Junction.

The owners of the Main Street Suites and Hampton Inn expect to open a third hotel in the same block by late June.

The new, five-floor hotel at the intersection of Third and Main streets offers another sign that tourism is alive and well in Grand Junction and that people seek downtown lodging to tap into the amenities along Main Street and Colorado Avenue.

The Springhill Suites by Marriott will feature about 100 suites with one or two bedrooms. Each suite will include a wrap-around couch, office space, refrigerator and microwave. On the main floor, such amenities as a full-service bar, kitchen, exercise room, pool and hot tub will offer guests treatment that will rival most hotels in the Grand Valley.

While Marriott provides templates for hotel design, the Reimers took a more active role in their project. “We designed it from scratch,” Steve Reimer said during a recent tour of the Springhill Suites he conducted for the Business Times.

While it didn’t derail the project, the economic downturn caused the Reimers to alter their original design, which called for a full line of retail stores on the first floor. That’s been scaled back to only retail food and drink. The bar and dining area is spacious, with plans for state-of-the-art design and decor and several flat screen televisions on the first floor.

The Reimers also abandoned their initial plans to offer office space on the second floor. Banks and other lending institutions have become leery of financing such plans, Steve Reimer said. “The appetite for financing dried up.”

The Reimers have added parking for the hotel, creating space to the west. The hotel replaced a city parking lot at the northwest corner of Third and Main Streets. A downtown parking garage is located a block away on Rood Avenue.

The new hotel could lure more business to the nearby Two Rivers Convention Center at Second and Main streets. The convention center faces competition from a new center at Mesa State College that features a second-floor ballroom that’s hosted numerous events since it opened last year.

The new hotel will open at about the same time construction is completed on a renovation project along Main Street between Fourth and Seventh streets. The weekly downtown farmer’s market is also scheduled to resume in June.

Prices for the suites will vary, Steve Reimer said, depending on seasonal demand.

The Reimers’ other two hotels on Main Street have enjoyed brisk business, even during the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009, Steve Reimer said. Still, there were periods when the hotels didn’t fill. “We’ve not been immune to the downturn,” he said.