Historic hotel renovation approved for Park Falls


February 15, 2020

MADISON, Wis. — The City of Park Falls is receiving a $250,000 state grant to help finance the renovation and expansion of an existing lodging facility into a rebranded hotel.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation announced Thursday that it will support the remodeling of a historic facility into a 50-room Cobblestone Hotel & Suites with a $250,000 Community Development Investment Grant. The funds are aimed primarily in downtown areas.

The $3.6 million hotel project is projected to create 14 jobs and is expected to be completed at the end of the year.

“The new Cobblestone Hotel & Suites will not only address a gap in lodging services in Price County but will also create jobs and encourage future economic growth in Park Falls,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of Economic Development Corporation, with a mission of advancing and maximizing opportunities for a globally competitive environment. “WEDC is committed to working with communities throughout Wisconsin as they invest in high-quality infrastructure and services to enhance their business districts.”

Based in Neenah, Wisconsin, the Cobblestone Hotels LLC builds, owns, operates and franchises a chain of hotels for business and leisure travelers. The Park Falls project of its new “upper mid-scale” brand that is designed for smaller communities.

A study commissioned by the Park Falls Area Community Development Corporation determined that the northern Wisconsin has a deficit of quality lodging options. As tourism represents a significant portion of the Park Falls economy, city officials believe this project has potential to build capacity in the area in tourism, business, climate and job creation, along with improving the community reputation.

“I am pleased that our efforts to secure this grant have been successful,” said Park Falls Mayor Michael Bablick. “We will continue to try and advance the project. The city has been aggressively moving forward since April 2019 to spur new investment and improve the business climate.”

Park Falls area manufacturers include Phillips and Prentice. Price County attracts domestic and international clients travel to tour operations and for business meetings.

The study found a lack of quality hotels has been a consistent concern for these manufacturers and businesses. Flambeau Hospital in Park Falls also employs traveling professionals.

The project is designed to stimulate private investment that will attract more people to stay in Park Falls. Projections are for a 1% increase to the Park Falls tax base and an increase in revenues to all tax jurisdictions by $94,500 annually.

This project is remodeling a historic facility and expanding from 30 to 50 rooms. The project location at the south end of the city is accessible to bike races, ATV and snowmobiling activities, seaplane festivals and promotion of the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest.

“I applaud the efforts of everyone in Park Falls who advocates for new ways to improve the community, as well as the State of Wisconsin for this much-needed investment,” said state Rep. Beth Meyers. “This project has significant potential to grow tourism, outdoor activities and business development for the already dynamic Park Falls area.”

The Economic Development Corporation matching grants are awarded based on the ability of applicants to demonstrate the economic impact along with public and private partnerships, financial need and sustainable development practices. The program has awarded more than $30 million in grants to over 100 communities since 2013, for projects expected to generate more than $500 million in capital investments statewide.

Daily Globe staff


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