Sunset Hills considers CID for Holiday Inn

Staff Report

A petition to establish a community improvement district, or CID, at the Holiday Inn Southwest-Viking Conference Center was set to be considered this week by the Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen.

The board was scheduled to conduct a public hearing and consider the first reading of an ordinance approving the petition at its regular meeting Tuesday — after the Call went to press.

As outlined in the petition, submitted by Viking Lodge and Restaurant Inc. President Christopher Kreutz, the CID would be used to fund roughly $1.2 million in improvements to the Viking, located at 10709 Watson Road on 6.6 acres.

Up to a 1-percent additional sales tax would be levied on eligible purchases within the CID to pay for the estimated $1,241,500 in renovations, which, according to a five-year CID plan included with the petition, include:

• $165,000 in parking improvements.

• $275,000 for roof replacement.

• $175,000 for portico demolition/improvement.

• $90,000 for building infrastructure/utility improvements.

• $325,000 for building facade/exterior improvements.

• $130,000 for professional fees.

• $81,500 for general conditions, overhead and a 7-percent contingency.

The proposed improvements would be completed two years from the date the ordinance is adopted, and the CID would be eliminated once they are paid for, according to the five-year plan.

Mayor Bill Nolan said the Viking is pursuing the renovations at the behest of Holiday Inn.

“The Holiday Inn is requiring that the Viking, in order to maintain their franchise as the Holiday Inn, do certain things to the property. And the amount of money involved in that process is pretty excessive,” Nolan told the Call. “A number of the changes are exterior, and as such they came to us and asked what could be done.

“The easiest thing for us to do would be to establish a community improvement district to fund the exterior modifications to the Holiday Inn and expedite the new restaurant.”

Aldermen voted unanimously in June to approve a conditional-use permit for Mile 277 Tap & Grill at the Viking. The restaurant is scheduled to open in the spring.

Nolan said the CID and additional sales tax would not extend beyond the Viking.

“This is purely their property …,” Nolan said, adding that the petitioners didn’t believe a larger CID was necessary. “They’re going to collect an additional sales tax on their sales. They and the restaurant are the only people affected by it, and it’s something they needed to do to upgrade the hotel. We couldn’t see any reason in the world why it was problematic to us to have the hotel look better. We don’t want to lose that franchise.”