The deals that will create the proposed conference center are coming together, but the final word from the hotel builder has yet to be uttered to commence construction, said the chairman of the board overseeing the development of the former Amoco refinery property.

"Since our last time we discussed, the updates aren't that severe by any means, but we are a lot further along in our understanding in how we make sure it happens," Bryce Row said Wednesday.

The board has been waiting for a final report since October.

Much of the major contractual work is done.


In June, Casper City Council approved a pass-through lease of agreement of 17 acres of the former refinery property, now known as the Platte River Commons, for a conference center. The city will spend almost $5.1 million to lease the land, and then sublease the same property to a private developer.
Public funds will be used for the infrastructure and the conference center. Row has been conferring with attorneys to make sure the public maintains control of the center, he said.
The hotel itself is a private development, but critical to the project.
Row remains confident that everything will come together in January.
"I know that we are planning on the developer being with us," Row said. "We should hear some statements of absolute certainty here in the next month. But from my understanding, he's in.
"I haven't heard anything to the contrary, anyway."
The hotel will have about 220 rooms, and the entire complex will occupy 17 acres of the Platte River Commons along the river.
Row expects construction to begin next spring.

The ARAJPB was created in 1998 when Amoco — now BP — signed an agreement with the city of Casper and Natrona County to oversee the development of the property. The Casper City Council and the Natrona County Commission appoint the board members.

BP pledged more than $25 million toward the goal of replacing the number of jobs lost when the refinery shut down in 1991. The board receives no money from the city or the county.

The Platte River Commons is the home to the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission building, the Casper Area Innovation Center, the Platte River Business Plaza, the Three Crowns Golf Course, and the new Wyoming Otolaryngology Clinic.