WINAMAC — Builders from a Wisconsin hotel group are looking to build a two-story, 36-room hotel in Winamac.
BriMark Builders LLC, a sister company of hotel chain Cobblestone Hotels LLC, met with potential investors Wednesday to lay out plans for the $2.5 to $3 million business-leisure hotel that Pulaski County leaders say should be a good fit for the small town.
Cobblestone Hotels aims to build small-scale hotels in under-served markets, according to information distributed at the investors meeting. It operates 32 hotels in 15 states, with eight more under construction, according to a BriMark development representative.
“We look for the Winamacs of the world,” said John Seibert, vice president of development for BriMark, Cobblestone’s general contractor. “That’s really what we go for.”
Seibert sees “pent-up demand” in Winamac, between the local industrial businesses, the hospital and the town being the seat of government for Pulaski County.
Winamac does not currently have a hotel. Town manager James Conner said the idea of getting one in Winamac has been discussed off and on in the 15 years he’s worked for the town.
“People all the time are calling up the office, coming to visit family on the weekend,” said Conner. “And people always ask, ‘Well, where can we stay?’ We’re pretty limited here in town.”
There are a couple of bed-and-breakfast establishments in Winamac, he explained, but the closest hotel is nearly half an hour away.
“We’re not big enough for one of the bigger chains that want to put in an 80, 90-bed unit, something along that line,” said Conner. At last census, the town had just over 2,789 residents. Conner suspects a smaller hotel, such as the ones that Cobblestone Hotels specializes in, “would be a much better fit.”
“I think they’d have a much better chance of success than, I think, a great big one would,” Conner said.