Hermiston Seeking Entrepreneurs to Consider Downtown
The City of Hermiston is looking for regional entrepreneurs to help continue the momentum of the city’s downtown revitalization by starting a business in the heart of Eastern Oregon’s largest city. The downtown revitalization received a major boost when a $5.3 million, 93-room hotel broke ground on December 15, 2015 on a previously vacant parcel in the center of the Hermiston Urban Renewal Area. Now many opportunities exist for entrepreneurs interested in opening businesses which complement an upper-midscale hotel.
“The City constantly gets comments from people in the community about, ‘what downtown needs,’ and they’re generally recommendations like coffee shops, wine tasting rooms, or restaurants,” said Dr. David Drotzmann, Mayor. “The problem is that none of those are catalyst type developments; well now is the time for an entrepreneur to take advantage of a game-changing opportunity.”
Mayor Drotzmann formed a Hotel Task Force in the summer of 2013 with the purpose of attracting additional hotels to the area to ensure that visitor spending tied to the new Eastern Oregon Trade & Event Center stays in Hermiston. City staff then spent nearly two years making Hermiston’s case and soliciting hotels to come to the area. Finally, thanks to City-funded assistance and incentive packages totaling nearly $90,000, there will be a 93-room hotel located in the heart of downtown. This hotel is expected to bring between 50 and 100 out of town visitors to downtown every night.
The City of Hermiston also formed the Hermiston Urban Renewal District in 2013, with a conservative budget of $2.5 million for planned improvements to revitalize the downtown core. The URD has already committed nearly $50,000 in façade grant funding to various projects in the downtown, and has $450,000 still budgeted for this purpose. With the ground-breaking of the new hotel, work will soon begin in order to finance construction of the $1 million “Festival Street” near City Hall, which is designed to host events and gatherings to bring people in to the downtown core without disrupting Main Street businesses. Learn more about the Hermiston Urban Renewal District.