Boosted by growing tourism and a federal tax credit investment program, Polson is gaining a new large hotel and restaurant.
Red Lion Inn & Suites has announced its plans to develop a three-story, 80-room hotel with an attached MacKenzie River Pub and Grill. The site will include 3,000 square feet of meeting space for conventions and special events, as well as community gatherings.
The announcement is the latest major development news to surface on the south end of Flathead Lake. In November, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes unveiled plans to invest $4 million into renovating the KwaTaqNuk Resort and Casino in the heart of Polson.
The redevelopment was paired with a proposal to build a $27 million resort and casino in Evaro, replacing the Gray Wolf Peak Casino and Hotel with a 40,000 square foot facility aimed at being a regional destination similar to Northern Quest Resort & Casino near Spokane. CSKT officials said construction is slated to begin in 2015, although the CSKT Tribal Council is currently debating the merits of the resort and casino in Evaro.
The prominent developments are poised to further raise Polson’s profile as a scenic resort community tucked along the shores of Flathead Lake.
“There’s some great momentum and a lot of stuff happening right now,” said Mayor Heather Knutson. “Hopefully that will continue to open doors and provide new jobs for our community as well as additional service and entertainment options.”
Knutson said the city is focused on supporting business growth in Polson, including continuing to support the downtown area.
Recent development has centered on the Ridgewater Development on the south end of town. Super Walmart opened in a new 120,000-square-foot store at 36318 Memory Lane in the fall of 2013.
The new hotel and restaurant will open nearby in the Ridgewater Development near the Mission Valley Aquatics Center.
Both the hotel and aquatic center benefitted from new market tax credit financing through the Montana Community Development Corporation. The CDC provided $11.4 million in tax credit allocation to the Red Lion project, while the U.S. Bank Community Development Corporation provided a tax equity investment.
New market tax credits are part of a federal program designed to encourage private investment for projects that deliver community benefits in low-income communities.
“Polson’s new hotel will create jobs, promote tourism around Flathead Lake and boost Lake County’s economy for years to come,” stated Montana U.S. Sen. Jon Tester.
U.S. Sen. Steve Daines added, “This new hotel will serve as a key component in the continued growth of Polson, creating jobs and providing new economic opportunities for folks in Lake County. I’m excited to see this important project underway.”