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Construction to begin on new airport hotel in Moline

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Holiday Inn Express

Architect's rendering of the new Holiday Inn Express planned for the Quad-City International Airport.

A new Holiday Inn Express to be built at the Quad-City International Airport now will offer 100 guest rooms, which could mean more revenues than earlier anticipated for the airport and other governing bodies, the developer told airport officials Tuesday. 

Dan Huber, the president and a co-owner of Frontier Hospitality Group, unveiled the hotel's preliminary designs and the expected construction schedule during a meeting of the Rock Island County Metropolitan Airport Authority.

"Our lease agreement calls for 80 rooms, but we've expanded that to 100 rooms," Huber said, adding that the added capacity could mean an additional $12,000 a year in land rent for the airport.

According to Huber, under the lease agreement the hotel will pay the airport a minimum rent of $45,750 a year in ground rent or 2.3 percent of its revenues, whichever is higher. "More rooms creates opportunities for more revenue."

"It's good news for everybody," he said. "It's good news for the city and the county because they will get more hotel/motel tax." 

Huber said the project is on target to be 90 percent designed by May 30. "That is a critical phase because then we go back to IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), the parent of Holiday Inn, to get approval of our design." The approval is necessary before it can seek local approvals and put the project out for construction bid.

Developers want go out for bid by mid-June in order to begin construction by Aug. 1. He estimated nine to 10 months of construction to build the hotel, which will be located west of both the airport's old entrance and the Hampton Inn. Huber said an August start is critical to getting the project under roof before winter.

"The best time of year for a hotel is summer and we're trying to get open by May 1, 2014," he said, adding that the airport also will need to get  Federal Aviation Administration approval for the project by then. If developers miss that date, it would be September before the project could go to bid "and then we wouldn't open until June 2015."  

The hotel will be the first Holiday Inn Express for the Davenport-based Frontier Hospitality Group. Frontier, which is owned by Huber and Bart Baker, also owns and operates the Best Western Plus Steeplegate Inn in Davenport and the Best Western Plus Dubuque Hotel & Conference Center and Champps Americana Restaurant & Bar, both in Dubuque. 

Huber said the construction team includes Cities Edge Architecture, a hotel architecture firm based in the Twin Cities; Kirkpatrick & Associates, an Albuquerque, N.M., interior design firm; Quad-City civil engineer Missman Inc.; and Russell Construction, which has been helping determine the construction budget. A contractor has not been determined.


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