Hampton plans Harmony hotel

FORT COLLINS – A South Dakota hotel-development company has set its sights on southeast Fort Collins, with the intention of constructing a 75-room Hampton Inn.

Plans for the project, at the southeast corner of East Harmony Road and McMurray Drive in the OakRidge business park, have not yet formally been submitted to the city.

“We like the business environment in Fort Collins,´ said Blake Hoffman, a partner in The Summit Group Inc. of Sioux Falls. “It’s growing, and we like the economic trend going on there.

“We’re kind of establishing a new lodging area in a new part of town,” he said.

Indeed, accommodations are slim on East Harmony Road. That is beginning to change, though. A Courtyard by Marriott already is under construction near Harmony and Lemay Avenue in the same business park. It’s being developed by Sitzman-Mitchell & Co. and the Everitt Cos.

Hoffman, who is under contract to buy land for the Hampton Inn from Everitt Cos., said he sees the two lodging choices appealing to somewhat different clientele.

“We hope to target business travelers and families,” he said. “The Courtyard is a little more upscale and priced a little higher.”

Average room rates at the Hampton Inn likely would run $50. The developers need to maintain a 65 percent occupancy to make the project profitable.

“We’re projecting a higher occupancy than that,” Hoffman said.

If plans progress smoothly through the city process, the $2.5 million hotel could open by mid-summer 1996.

Hoffman and his partner, Jerry Boekelheide, will “bring a lot of cash to the deal” through a limited partnership. Still, further financing is on hold until the team advances its project through the city.

While this is The Summit Group’s first foray into Fort Collins, the company owns 24 properties in Western states, including a Comfort Suites and Fairfield Inn in Lakewood.

Additionally, it now is building the first lodging at Denver International Airport – a Fairfield Inn. That will open by the end of the year.

The Summit Group intends to serve as the developer, general contractor and manager of the Fort Collins project.