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Bolivar is one step closer to having a new hotel in the heart of its retail district.

Pinecone Holdings announced Tuesday it will break ground on the Best Western Plus Vineyard Hotel and Suites at the northeast intersection of South Boston Avenue and East San Martin Street, possibly in early June.

The hotel's opening date is scheduled for early 2018.

According to a news release from Pinecone Holdings, the 61-room hotel will feature "a variety of accommodation options," including suites for extended stay.

Reflecting "cutting-edge trends in hospitality," the release said the hotel will have an open lobby floor plan and common areas with a lounge, breakfast area and back patio. It will also include an indoor pool, exercise area and meeting room space.

The hotel will be managed by Springfield-based O'Reilly Hospitality Management, which manages 15 hotels across multiple states, the release said.

Government support  

In a special session Monday, May 1, the Bolivar Board of Aldermen voted 7-0-1 to approve a sales tax recapture agreement between the city and Pinecone Holdings.

Aldermen Ethel Mae Tennis, Steve Skopec, Justin Ballard, John Credille, Steve Sagaser, Alexis Neal and Vicky Routh voted for the agreement with Alderman Thane Kifer, founder and CEO of Pinecone Holdings, abstaining.    

According to City Administrator Darin Chappell, the agreement provides incentives to Vineyard Hospitality, a subsidiary of Pinecone Holdings, for developing essential infrastructure that benefits both the city and the company.  

Chappell said when the company “puts in infrastructure that benefits the city and the public good and will eventually be owned by the city, then (the company’s) sales taxes from the hotel can be recaptured to reimburse (it) for those specific expenditures.”

He said the city will “reap the benefit of those streets forever,” while the company will eventually get reimbursed for its expenses.

“It’s a way for (the) project to pay for (the) needed infrastructure that the city then takes title of,” Chappell said. “And it doesn’t cost the city or the taxpayers anything whatsoever.”

In the release, Kifer said he would have had to choose between investing in infrastructure or investing in the hotel if the recapture agreement was not in place.

Kifer credits the "business-friendly philosophy of the county and city administration for helping seal the decision to build the hotel."

"The Best Western Plus is a major addition to The Vineyard, but our plans for the broader development don’t stop with the hotel,” Kifer said in the release. “With the recapture, we will be able to reinvest the tax revenue from the hotel into bringing more undeveloped land online and ready for even more businesses to come to Bolivar.”

Ideal location

The release said the Best Western project is expected "to be a boon to the local economy."

"Over the first fifteen years, the cumulative impact of the out-of-town guests staying at the new hotel is estimated at around $30 million, which includes direct room revenue as well as indirect spending like dining, fuel, merchandise and entertainment expenditures," the release said.

In addition to creating jobs, developers believe the hotel will close an "amenity gap" in the community.

"This is a tremendous project for the city, especially being that close to and that useable by the university," Chappell said.

Chappell said the hotel will also benefit those traveling to Bolivar for sports events and tournaments.

"When we did our research, we learned that many local businesses were sending overnight guests out of town, and that the community was missing out on quite a bit of revenue,” Kifer said in the release. “Given the growth we’ve seen in Bolivar and the community’s potential to continue growing, we are thrilled to help foster that development by providing new upscale accommodations for our out of town guests and put Bolivar’s best foot forward.”

As reported in a BH-FP article from April 20, 2016, Growth Services Group identified the site at “the Vineyard Square development near the intersection of Boston Avenue and Aldrich Road as the optimal location due to its convenient proximity to local restaurants and entertainment.”

The site study also showed the occupancy rate for Bolivar area hotels steadily increasing over the past five years, with demand increasing by nearly 25 percent, the article said.

Kifer owns 50 acres around the Vineyard Square development and told the BH-FP in 2006 he plans to develop the area with a mix of commercial, office and residential space.

The first tenant in the Vineyard Square development moved into the location in 2006. Since its start with room for 14 occupants in the building behind Mid-Missouri Bank, the development has grown to include the Sterling Investment Advisors building in 2006 and the Aldi store in 2008.

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