FULTON, Ill. — As activation of the Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson, Illinois, continues to gain momentum, local communities are preparing for the influx of residents and visitors they have been promised for more than 12 years.
One way the city of Fulton is doing that is by supporting necessary upgrades and improvements to their one and only lodging facility, the Comfort Inn and Suites.
That support came in the form of a $75,000 loan extension to the hotel’s management company, Swift Hospitality Group, and two local investors that the council approved on Monday.
Approval on the loan extension was the product of City Administrator Ed Cannon and Second Ward Alderman Dan Nederhoff’s recommendation that the city do something to aid in the hotel’s improvement because of the benefits it will present to the city when people start to arrive at the Thomson prison.
“The Bureau of Prisons’ recommendations as far as room occupancy once the prison is up and running (is) 250 overnight visitors a day related to that prison,” Cannon said. “And, Swift Hospitality feels that Comfort Inn and Suites would be the first hotel fit based on its location, its name brand and the access of where people like to go to get to the prison, until other hotels are in place.”
Before issuing the recommendation however, Nederhoff wanted to ensure Swift Hospitality, Fulton Comfort Inn and Suites management company, and two local investors were willing to commit to the city a guarantee of repayment.
To do so, he, and Cannon met last week with three members of Swift Hospitality along with the two local investors to discuss the details of the request.
What they finalized includes the $75,000 addition to two other loans the city has provided to the hotel in its 10-year existence, bringing the total loan amount to $248,692; a reduction in the interest rate of the loan to one percent for three years; and a balloon payment of $25,000 that Fulton Lodging LLC will pay at the end of three years.