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Frontier Hospitality Group, headquartered in Davenport, announced Wednesday that it is continuing its expansion with a new Holiday Inn Express & Suites in East Peoria, Ill.

Dan Huber, the company's CEO and co-owner, said Frontier purchased a city-owned parcel, located adjacent to the Bass Pro Shop, to build a $9 million Holiday Inn Express & Suites. The deal and a development agreement were approved Tuesday night by the East Peoria City Council.

"This project fits right into our strategic growth plans for our company," Huber said. "We are celebrating our 60th year in the hospitality industry and we believe this project represents the future for us."

The 93-room, four-story hotel will feature a new prototype design by Intercontinental Hotels Group, or IHG, which awarded Frontier the operating license earlier this month. In June, Frontier opened a 100-room Holiday Inn Express at the Quad-City International Airport.

Huber said IHG's new prototypical design "actually has a great deal of similarities to the hotel we custom-designed for Moline." 

Construction is expected to begin this summer with an opening in spring of 2016. The hotel will be designed by Cities Edge Architects, a hotel architect in the Twin Cities, and built by Russell Construction, Davenport.

Frontier also owns and operates the Moline hotel as well as Best Western Plus Dubuque Hotel & Conference Center; Champps Americana Restaurant & Bar, Dubuque; and the Best Western Plus SteepleGate Inn in Davenport. Co-owned by Bart Baker and Huber, the company employs more than 250 people in eastern Iowa and western Illinois.

Huber, who joined the company in 2007, said Frontier plans to continue growing across the Midwest, but added "you never know where opportunity may lead you."

He said they were attracted to East Peoria because of its high design standard. "They want quality development and they are selective about the developers they engage. Doing things that are going to have a lasting effect on the community is important to them. Those things are important to us."

The announcement comes on the heels of Caterpillar's announcement that it plans to remain in Peoria and build a new company headquarters over the next several years.

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