MISSOULA – The developer of the new Marriott Hotel in Missoula says the project remains on track for an opening later this year with what he calls an “awesome” response to the new hotel’s available retail space,
It was just a year ago crews were in full demolition of the old Missoula Mercantile lot, clearing away the once grand building, but also saving many of its historical features.
The hotel is quickly taking shape having been completely framed in. HomeBase Montana developer Andy Holloran says the company has four restaurants — three of them from Missoula or Bozeman — along with two retailers that have signed letters of intent to occupy the ground floor commercial space…
“It’s a great variety. We’ve got Mexican food, we’ve got Thai food, a steak and fish place, and a couple of retailers. If there’s any more interest we’ll want to talk to them. But right now the interest has been awesome," Holloran said.
He told downtown business leaders Wednesday that he remains very positive on Missoula’s future.
“In Missoula, we have found to be an excellent place to do business. I think people are supportive. I think the downtown, you’ve all been supportive. I think the biggest thing is the upside. We see downtown Missoula having significantly more upside than Bozeman," Holloran said.
The contract calls for the hotel to be finished in December but Holloran says they’ll have to work out the exact timing because of the holidays that may be a difficult time to open and hire employees.
“So our goal is to open up around December 10 th to the 15 th. If we go beyond that it becomes really difficult to open up a hotel right in the middle of the holidays, for occupancy but also hiring people," Holloran explained.
"We’ll be hiring over 50-people and so most of them will interview. And it’s just tough to interview people during the holidays. But our goal is still the first half of December," he added.
?Holloran believes people will be very happy to see the way designers are planning to use many of the historic materials that were salvaged from the Merc as part of the new hotel.