by LIZZY BLACKMON
DULUTH, Minn. - Park Point will be getting a new hotel despite neighbors' hesitation.
The controversial hotel, planned to be built on the bay side of Park Point, is now a scaled down version of what it was originally proposed to be. According to Marina owner Joel Johnson the first version of the hotel was a 116-room, three-story, nautical-themed hotel with a pool that was to operate in conjunction with the marina. The hotel will have 50 rooms with a convenience store and town homes on the rest of the property.
Local residents of Park Point have argued that the hotel will bring more traffic and visitor population than the "little strip of sand sticking out of a great big lake" can handle, said Dick Gould, president of the Park Point Community Club.
Johnson said, "We heard what they wanted and are going to build a hotel to meet their request," of the change in size of the hotel from 116 rooms to 50 rooms.
Some argue that the Canal Park and Park point area have enough hotels already with six in the area. "If it's someone who is already in the market than there are too many hotels already, and it's someone who wants a piece of the 'pie' and they're not in the market then there is always opportunity," said Jim Paquette, general manager of the Canal Park Lodge. The Canal Park Lodge is currently the most recent addition to the Canal Park area, opening in the summer of 2007.
The new hotel is anticipating the majority of guests will be boat owners who dock at the marina. However, it is not exclusively for boat owners. Johnson is hoping the hotel catches on and many others will stay there as well.
In 2009, the hotel was proposed to be titled the Harbor Cove Marina Hotel. At this time however Johnson's hotel does not have a solid name, but it will be coming out soon.
There will be a convenience store with the hotel. "Park Point has approximately 2,800 residents with no store to shop at," Johnson said. The location of the hotel has been moved back toward the existing marina since the original proposal. "We don't expect as high a volume of what the original would have done. But it will still do good with the hotel and boaters plus the neighbors once they get used to it," Johnson said.