Hayden Hayden developer Stefanus Nijsten is hunting for answers to a question floating around town: Does Hayden need a hotel, and where should it go?
Nijsten and his brother, Louis, are developing the Creek View project in western Hayden and have proposed a commerce park near Yampa Valley Regional Airport with partner Bob Zibell. The Hayden Town Council threw its support Thursday behind Stefanus Nijsten's grant request for a study of lodging needs and options.
He's applying for a U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development grant for the study. Nijsten is looking at two possible hotel locations: one at Creek View and one near YVRA.
"If I don't act on it or I don't use it, the information will be there so someone else can," he told the council.
Mayor Lorraine Johnson said she supported the idea of a study.
"Everybody keeps saying we need a hotel, but do we really?" she said. "And this would tell us."
Nijsten said Friday that he'd shipped the grant application to a local USDA representative, who will mail it to the federal group early next week. He's requesting $10,000 for the study, and the town agreed to contribute $500 of that.
Nijsten said he had gotten letters of support from groups including the Hayden School District, Galaxy Aviation at YVRA, the Hayden Chamber of Commerce and the Hayden Economic Development Commission. The economic group recommended that the town offer the $500. Nijsten said he didn't ask for that contribution.
Nijsten submitted the request on behalf of the Hayden Town Council through his company, Rural Development Colorado Corp.
"That's why the format is the way it is," Town Manager Russ Martin told the council. "You're basically approving yourself applying for a grant but with a very easy and direct partner to get the information to be successful in that grant."
If Nijsten receives the grant, his company would choose a firm to conduct the study. He hopes to have information in hand by the end of the year so he could move on plans next spring. He's suggesting either a three-story, 37-room motel at Creek View or a three-story, 80-room hotel near the airport.
The town's only lodging is the Redstone Motel, most of which is rented on a long-term basis.
"I think everybody realizes in Hayden that a hotel would be very good, but how to get there is the second question, and this is a good starting point," Nijsten said.