Conference Center-Hotel Complex Maybe Close To Happening
A proposed conference center and hotel complex is on the verge of happening in Casper, a member of the Natrona County Travel and Tourism Council said Tuesday.
"We'll definitely be throwing some dirt by March," said Millette Desormeaux, who also works for the hotel company proposing the project.
Last month, the Travel and Tourism Council approved a statement of support for the project by the Casper Events Center to be overseen by hotelier Narander Taneja of the JJM Group, according to its Oct. 13 minutes.
Until March, Taneja's company was negotiating a private-public proposal on a conference center and hotel complex on the Platte River Commons. The other partners included the City of Casper with leased land on the Commons from the Amoco Reuse Agreement Joint Powers Board, and a $6 million guarantee from the McMurry Foundation, according to the minutes.
However, the proposal collapsed after Mick McMurry died in March.
Last month, Taneja told the Travel and Tourism Council that he would like to return to a previous plan to locate the hotel and conference center by the Events Center.
The project would cost between $45 million and $50 million, plus land leased from the city, according to the minutes. Taneja's company would commit $30 million for a 225-suite hotel. The public would fund $18 million to $19 million for the convention center. Another $7 million to $10 million would be needed for naming rights, according to the minutes.
Taneja said the project needs the total support of the city. It would take six months from the start of the project to ground-breaking, and 24 months to complete, according to the minutes. "Taneja would like a group of positive contributors to assist with planning and how to put everything together."
Desormeaux, who oversees hotels in Casper and Douglas, told the council Taneja was meeting with City of Casper officials today.
The Natrona County Travel and Tourism Council is composed of representatives from Natrona County, Casper, Bar Nunn, Edgerton, Evansville, Midwest and Mills. It is funded by a 4 percent lodging tax levied at lodging facilities in the county. It oversees the operations of its marketing arm, the Casper Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
While not related to the conference center-hotel complex, the CACVB's director of meetings and conventions Daniel Fulton said the PBS television show Antiques Roadshow is considering coming to Casper in 2017.