WINTERSET, Iowa -- A new 39 bedroom Cobblestone Inn Motel will be built in Winterset on the town's northwest edge by the Highway 92 bypass. City leaders have been working with a builder's group for a year to land the project.
Winterset has also seen development by Iowa's larger chains including Caseys, Kum and Go, and for the first time Hy-Vee is building a store.
Mayor Jim Olson says tourism is a factor. "We aim to capture some of the people that come to our John Wayne Birthplace, and soon the new John Wayne Museum," said Olson. "That's gonna be a very big deal and we want to capture some of these people to stay overnight, and see what a great town we have."
Mayor Olson said being a rural area so close to Des Moines metro is another draw for people. "We're only 25 minutes from the shopping center of Iowa, 35 minutes from downtown Des Moines, the cultural hub of Iowa," said Olson. "So you can live in rural Winterset, and still enjoy all the things Des Moines offers."
The motel developer BiMark Builders of Wisconsin. Jeremy Griesbach of that company was on hand for the groundbreaking. "Winterset was underserved and they feel live they are losing a lot of people to Des Moines when they were looking for overnight lodging."
Tom Leners of Madison County Development spent a year working with the developers to get the motel project off the ground. "The City is backing the project with tax increment financing, so this is kind a small town project, we also have a local lender involved," said Leners.
Mayor Olson said that the new development should not take away from Winterset's small town appeal. "One of the things that's charming about Winterset is the downtown area," said Olson. "The storefronts are full, and people shop local."
The new motel is set to open Memorial Day of 2015.