CLINTON — A former hotel-turned-Ashford University dormitory complex now currently sitting vacant on Lincoln Way is about to get new life.
It was confirmed Friday by Clinton Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Mary Seely that the property, at 2300 Lincoln Way, is set to be transformed into an Econo Lodge hotel, after being unused since 2014.
Before its closure, the property served as housing for Ashford University students. Prior to that, it was the Best Western Frontier Motor Inn.
Preparation is now underway for the newest lodging option in Clinton.
"There are crews really going in there as we speak, cleaning up all the rooms," Seely said last week. "They will have about 60 rooms available come their goal, which is April of this year...the pool was filled in at some point, so eventually that will be opened back up again. That is their goal."
Tentative plans are also in the works to reopen a restaurant that once resided in the hotel complex.
Seely said nearly everything has been taken out of the rooms as the cleaning process continues, as she reiterated that the goal is to have those rooms "open by April." The target of 60 rooms could be just a starting goal, the CVB director said, with the full complex actually able to offer 116 to 132 individual rooms.
Should all 132 rooms eventually be offered, the Econo Lodge would become the largest lodging option in the city of Clinton, Seely said.
Calling the initiative "a work in progress," Seely said the facade and some other aspects of the hotel complex need to be brought up to "Econo Lodge standards" before the facility is opened back up to the public.
Seely suggested that developers check out the amenities and facility quality of other Clinton options, such as the Hampton Inn, 2781 Wild Rose Drive, and the Holiday Inn Express, 2800 S. 25th St., to formulate a good plan on what constitutes as a "quality hotel" in the Gateway area.
"Those are what we expect, and those are the conditions that we want in Clinton," Seely said last week. "We had a very long discussion, and I got some positive feedback showing that is what the developers want as well."