This is an artist’s rendering of a potential Boulders Inn & Suites in Manning.
This is an artist’s rendering of a potential Boulders Inn & Suites in Manning.

December 1, 2015

Manning

Local backers of a Manning hotel Monday night formally launched an investment drive aimed at raising $900,000 toward an expected $2.25 million Boulders Inn & Suites for the southern Carroll County city.

The goal is ambitious: attract $900,000 in the next two weeks and begin planning for an April 1 construction start and fall 2016 opening of what would be a 32-room hotel on the east side of Manning connected to the Hausbarn-Heritage Park events center.

About 40 people, the majority from the Manning area, attended a meeting of prospective investors following a day of snow at Manning’s Timmerman Shelter House where Tim Stuart, a co-owner of Boulders, and Ron Reischl, Manning Main Street board president and a local hotel advocate, presented information.

Advocates see the hotel turning a profit for investors. But there’s more to it. They view the hotel as essential to 1,500-resident Manning’s population-defying growth spurt, an amenity that will serve local organizations like Puck Custom Enterprises, Manning Regional Healthcare Center, Ag Processing Co., Plastico, Struve Labs, Spies Fur Co. and Char-Mac Assisted Living facilities.

“We’re not reliant on one sector to get these rooms filled,” said Manning City Administrator Dawn Rohe.

The “bread-and-butter” clientele will be business travelers, Reischl said.

“That’s the feedback we receive,” he said.

Denison-based Boulders Inn & Suites, which opened its first hotel in 2008 in the Crawford County seat, now has 10 hotels in Iowa, stretching from Holstein (which just opened this month) to Fort Madison in far southeast Iowa. The hotel group plans to start construction in Maryville, Missouri, in April 2016.

Boulders would invest in the Manning hotel and manage it. On the local end, Boulders Inn Manning LLC is soliciting investments in a minimum amount of $25,000. Each share is $5,000, so investors could take, say $30,000 or $55,000 stakes in the hotel. The LLC will elect a board to govern the local investment side of the operation.

All of Boulders’ hotels operate as separate entities with local boards controlled by investors, Stuart said.

Manning Boulders is considering a $1 million no-interest loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to assist with financing.

So what will the Manning Boulders Inn & Suites look like?

The second Denison Boulders, near the hospital in that city, is a guide, Stuart said. There will be a spacious lobby and fireplace, rooms with microwaves, refrigerators and high-definition televisions as well as business and fitness centers. Four to five suites will be available.

An Iowa State University Extension Service study analyzed hotel potential for Manning at 15 to 25 rooms. Boulders builds hotels with 32 to 44 rooms, and Stuart and Reischl said they believe Manning can draw the additional lodging traffic.

According to the study, the Hausbarn-Heritage Park is not only a noteworthy historical feature, but also provides a venue for weddings and other celebrations.

What’s more, the ISU study says Templeton supports growth in Manning by way of events and projects at Templeton Rye and the new Templeton Community Center.

Reischl suggests that a strong business relationship can develop between the Templeton Community Center and Manning Boulders, particularly with weddings.

The hotel in Manning would employ seven to eight full-time equivalents.