Three firms submit proposals for downtown FoCo hotel

FORT COLLINS – Three firms responded to a request for qualifications sent out by the City of Fort Collins to locate a developer for a downtown hotel.

O’Reilly Hospitality Management, based in Springfield, Mo., Gatehouse Capital, out of Dallas, and Magnolia Hotels of Denver submitted proposals for the project, according to city Purchasing Director Jim O’Neill.

No more details about the proposals can be revealed until after they have been reviewed, which is expected to take place by June 15. At that time, selected firms will be interviewed. Once the interview process is complete, it is expected that a firm will be selected to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Downtown Development Authority.

This is expected to be complete by early August.

The issue of a downtown hotel has been a contentious one, and will likely require a public-private partnership. No commitment has been made by the city or the DDA to provide funding or incentives.

The RFQ required potential developers to submit interest and to discuss their capabilities and experience in hotel and conference center development.

The proposals will be evaluated by a committee made up of O’Neill, Fort Collins Convention and Visitors’ Bureau President and CEO Jim Clark, Economic Health Advisor Josh Birks, DDA Executive Director Matt Robenalt and DDA board members Patty Spencer and Bill Sears.

Gatehouse Capital is a national real estate and development firm that specializes in upscale hotels. Most of the company’s work has been in California, including hotels in Hollywood, San Diego, Silicon Valley and San Diego.

O’Reilly Hospitality Management specializes in hotel and restaurant management with properties in Missouri, Montana and Oklahoma.

Magnolia Hotels is the only Colorado company to submit a proposal. The company has properties in Dallas, Houston and Omaha, Neb., as well the Magnolia Hotel in Denver.

O’Neill could not comment on why no Fort Collins companies submitted a proposal. A meeting held in Fort Collins before proposals were due back was well-attended, he said.

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