Hotel Development

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

The stateline's hotel district continues to expand with the addition of a Days Inn and a proposal to bring a Hilton hotel to the area. But some are skeptical of so much lodging development with the area's sluggish tourism industry.

Just west of I-90, hotels, motels and inns line East State Street and fan out onto Bell School Road. With the cut of the ribbon, you can add a new Loves Park Days Inn to the list. Occupancy rates in Winnebago County hover at just 55 percent for these hotels, but that isn't discouraging development.

"There's obviously business here but it's just a matter of capturing it," says Ketan Patel.

The city offers many of these lodging facilities financial incentives to build and will consider doing the same for a new development proposed here, expanding the city's hotel corridor a little farther.

"The waiving of the fee for a project we've already built seems to be a fairly small price to be able to bring in something of this magnitude," says Mayor Doug Scott.

Local tourism experts say there's always room to give visitors more options and the development indicates that the tourism industry could be turning around

"That's very exciting and shows that people who do the research, who are looking into investing into our community," says John Groh of the Rockford area Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Wednesday evening, a city board will hear the proposal to bring the Hilton Gardens to Rockford. The city will decide whether to waive a fee for an already complete sewer system. There's expected to be opposition from many of these local hotels who say they're already dealing with enough competition.


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