A lodging study of Gage County has been completed, and officials are hoping the results will entice groups to build hotels in the area.

The NGage economic development group discussed the lodging study, and also the ongoing market retail study, during its monthly meeting Thursday.

“It’s done, it shows demand,” said NGage Director Walker Zulkoski. “There is demand for 55 rooms and they did some feasibility analysis for some chains, saying 'here’s the demand for your hotel, here’s what you could probably charge for a room, here’s what it would cost exactly to build your hotel on this site.'”

The hotel lodging study includes a variety of factors, including the current occupancy limits of hotels, and determining if there is a need for more lodging.

Zulkoski said it also includes recommended amenities, such as pools, hotel bars, meeting spaces and breakfast areas that would help hotels succeed.

It’s been previously stated that at least three groups have recently been interested in building hotels in Beatrice.

The city has made strides to increase tourism and grow attractions, though officials have said the lodging industry has been lacking, forcing some visitors to look toward Lincoln for a place to stay when Beatrice hotels fill up.

While there have been inquiries, Zulkoski said it’s been a slow process.

“I feel like the responses have been slower than I thought that they would be,” he said. “There’s still interest, but nobody has jumped and said, ‘Yes, give me a site, I’ll build something.’ They’re going to probably try and squeeze us for things. They’re probably going to want to negotiate on land costs and ask for incentives and all that.”

A market retail study is still being conducted, and Zulkoski hopes it will be completed in the near future.

Main Street Beatrice, the Beatrice Area Chamber of Commerce and NGage economic development group are working with Barman Development Strategies to look at Beatrice’s current and potential market position, data and trends.

These efforts will culminate in transformation and development strategies to assist with small business development in downtown Beatrice and throughout the entire Beatrice community.

Reach Scott Koperski at scott.koperski@beatricedailysun.com. Follow him on Twitter @ScottKoperski.

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