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Scaffolding surrounds the dome of the Wyoming Capitol on Jan. 28 in Cheyenne as a multi-year renovation of the building continues. Plans are underway to build a $55 million hotel and convention center south of the city.

A private developer is planning to build, own and operate a $55 million hotel and convention center south of Cheyenne.

The developer — 307 Land Development LLC — made the announcement Friday during the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce’s luncheon, according to a press release from the company.

“We look forward to working with the City of Cheyenne and Laramie County to develop the state’s largest hotel and convention center,” Tate Bauman, the company’s CEO, states in the release. “The convention and event hotel will fulfill the growing demand to accommodate guests and provide much needed space to host trade shows and events. Wonderful things are happening, and 307 Land Development is excited to play a role in economic development and bringing jobs to our community.”

The project is located adjacent to Laramie County Community College. Bauman said he plans to work with college leadership to offer hospitality career training and employment for students.

The 70,000-plus square-foot facility is slated to open in 2021 and will include an events center, restaurant and entertainment complex.

Jill Pope, the director of operations for Visit Cheyenne, said Friday that the new center will be a welcome addition.

“There is a need for more full-service properties,” she said. “… A lot of our other hotels have great rooms and nice continental breakfasts and some meeting rooms for smaller groups, but when you are checking in larger groups or conventions, they need more space.”

Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr agreed. Cheyenne is seeing an increased interest in groups from Colorado, she said.

“We don’t have the traffic that the Denver venues do,” she said. “It’s just a nicer pace for some folks.”

In 2017, the possibly of developing a hotel and conference center in Casper was much discussed by city leaders and community members. After three city-owned buildings in downtown Casper went out to bid, a conference center consortium asked the City Council to reject the bids from local entrepreneurs and hold onto the properties.

A study had revealed the land in question was the best spot to potentially develop a large-scale hotel and conference center, according to the consortium, which was comprised of representatives from the Downtown Development Authority, Casper Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Amoco Reuse Agreement Joint Powers Board and the Economic Development Joint Powers Board/Forward Casper.

After struggling with the decision for a few weeks, the Council held a three-hour public hearing in December 2017. Most residents who attended voiced strong support for selling the properties to local business developers.

The Council ultimately agreed, and two of the three properties, including the former Ka-Lark’s gymnastics studio and the former Milo’s Toyota body shop, have since been sold.

Casper’s Parkway Plaza, often used as a conference center, closed for renovations Oct. 31 and was sold in December.

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Follow city reporter Katie King on twitter @KatieKingCST

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Local Government Reporter

Katie King joined the Star-Tribune in 2017 and primarily covers issues related to local government. She previously worked as a crime reporter in the British Virgin Islands. Originally from Virginia, Katie is a graduate of James Madison University.

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