Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

December 3, 2012

Newton council could make luxury lodge possible this week

Jackson Adams
Effingham Daily News

NEWTON — Jasper County could have a new hotel by next summer if city council  members approve a subdivision for two cooperative groups.

    The council will decide during its meeting Tuesday if the Newton Hotel Group, in partnership with Cobblestone Development, can subdivide a plot of land into three sections as the Cobblestone Subdivision. If approved, the council also will decide Tuesday if the partners can build a new hotel on one of those lots.

    If approved and built, the 36-room luxury lodge would be Newton’s first new hotel in decades, said Newton Mayor Mark Bolander.

    “Prior to 1990, we had two small hotels, that were mostly fishing and hunting lodges, but then one of them was taken out in the tornado,” he said. “We always knew there was a need for this.”

    The new hotel, which would be called the Cobblestone Hotel and Suites in line with the development company’s hotel branding, would have an indoor pool, meeting room, business suite, small beer and wine bar and a hot breakfast station.

    Bolander said the council had been discussing a new hotel in the area for several months and had sought the interest of the community.

    “We did a market review a couple months ago. It came back great, really great,” Bolander said. “ Then we did a feasibility study seeing how the community would respond and it was good, too. Both of the studies came back great.”

    Bolander said depending on how quickly replatting of the Cobblestone Subdivision can occur, construction on the hotel could begin soon.

    “(Cobblestone is) hoping to break ground this year,” he said. “They’ve got some paperwork this week but that’s all we’re really waiting on. They’re thinking it could be done in six months so that’s May or June maybe.”

    Bolander said the partnership with Cobblestone, which has been building hotels in the Midwest since it opened its first branded hotel in 2008, is an exciting proposition for Newton.

    “They seem to have a really good model for building in rural communities like this,” he said. “We’re very optimistic, and we’re very excited about this.”

    Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or jackson.adams@effinghamdailynews.com.