Hotel developers shying away from Los Alamos

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County > High costs, recent occupancy downturns inhibit investors

By Arin McKenna

The development of a full-service hotel with meeting space in the downtown area remains a high priority for economic development in Los Alamos County.
Although the county is willing to contribute Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) funds to such a project, other factors are causing hotel developers to step back.
Site options remain the major stumbling block, with only two suitable options in the downtown area.
“The cost of demolition and reconstruction on the Hilltop House site is prohibitive for such a small site. It’s only 1.8 acres,” said Los Alamos County Economic Vitality Administrator Greg Fisher. “The only other plausible site is the Los Alamos Inn property, and that is quite expensive.”
“The land economics in downtown Los Alamos doesn’t yet match up with market demand except in a few cases, such as high quality office space.”
Los Alamos National Bank owns the Hilltop House property. According to LANB President Steve Wells, there has been quite a bit of interest in the property, some from investors who want to continue operating a hotel on the site and from others who would use it for other purposes.

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