Construction of the dual-brand project is expected to resume in the spring
The long-dormant dual-brand hotel project on East Second Avenue between Fourth and Fifth Streets – which left a huge chunk of land across from Gazpacho Restaurant – still lives on.
After more than a year without work at the site, Jeff Lamont, CEO of Aberdeen, South Dakota-based Lamont Cos., Said work is expected to resume with the construction of a two-level parking structure. over the next three months.
The company recently obtained a foundation permit of $ 158,834 to begin work.
“We have permanently suspended the project with COVID,” said Lamont. “It worked for us. We had already done the site work, and we decided to wait before starting the construction of the parking ramp.
The timeline for the renewed construction of the structure – which will house a 102-room AC Hotel by Marriott and a 100-room Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton – still depends on declining threats from the novel coronavirus, Lamont said. And a certain date to resume construction has not yet been set.
In the spring, when construction resumes, a technique new to Durango, modular construction, will be used to reduce disruption in the neighborhood.
The parking garage pillars will be pre-cast and shipped. When construction of the actual hotel begins, the rooms will be modularly constructed off-site and transported by truck.
“The full hall will be ready to go. You can make the bed and put the towels. All you have to do is hook up the plumbing and electricity, ”Lamont said.
Each semi-truck brought in with modular built units will contain two rooms and the part of the hallway that serves the room, and they will be built in Lego style, Lamont said.
About 80 modular units will be combined to build each of the hotels, he said.
“We believe this will dampen some of the noise the neighborhood would hear from a normal construction site,” he said.
Nicol Killian, deputy director of community development for the city of Durango, said modular construction moves quickly once it reaches the stage where pieces can be stacked and placed on the structure, and that is one of the reasons for which modular construction was chosen for the project.
The project required approval from the state’s Office of Regulatory Oversight, which oversees modular construction in the state.
“This is a unique development for Durango,” she said. “When they get started, it will be quick once they get their planning permission.”
The hotels will serve the upper and mid-range of the market and will include a small bar and grill, Lamont said. A few small retail stores could also be included in the development, but this has yet to be finalized, he said.
“What we liked the most about this project was the location. It is within walking distance to the train and downtown Durango, ”he said.
Marriott and Hilton searched for Lamont Cos. to develop hotels, but Lamont Cos. also looked at the accommodation market in Durango before agreeing to continue development, Lamont said.
“Durango has posted high occupancy rates,” he said. “It was definitely down during the COVID-19 pandemic, but it wasn’t as low as in other markets.”
Remote rural attractions like Yellowstone National Park outperformed other tourist destinations during the pandemic, and Lamont said Durango has followed that trend.
“Across the country you have seen recreational leisure markets outperforming,” he said.
The two hotels, which will share common spaces, will hire between 70 and 100 employees, Lamont said.
He declined to donate a dollar amount for the project, instead calling it a “multi-million dollar” investment.
The project is one of three hotel developments on which Lamont Cos. currently working across the country, he said.
Lamont Cos. was founded by Lamont in 1998 and develops franchise hotels, convention centers, restaurants, shopping centers, apartment complexes and casinos.