New businesses beginning to gain ground in Cortez
Courtesy of Paul McPherson
A new hotel, dental clinic, gas station and auto-parts store are coming to Cortez in the new year. Very few new businesses have come to town over the last few years. In 2012, the city issued four new commercial building permits and in 2011, just one.
“We’re just still painfully coming out of this economy, this slump,” said City Manager Shane Hale.
City officials are excited by renewed interest in building after receiving more inquiries for information than they have in the past two years.
“Looks like we’re going to have a great year, this year,” said Sam Proffer, a building official with the city of Cortez.
The Hampton Inn, Cortez’s first new hotel in about 20 years, will be built on Hawkins Street.
“Currently our study shows that a lot of guests are bypassing Cortez as there are not enough quality lodging choices that meet their needs,” said Avik Amin, a management partner with AAA Hotel Developers.
Amin said construction on the 74-room hotel will begin in the spring and should be finished by the end of the year.
The hotel will be using an open-bidding process to hire local contractors if they meet the company’s budget.
Sundance Dental Clinic plans to open an eight-chair clinic in June or July on Sligo Street, said Michael Tornow the founder and managing partner.
It will be the seventh office in the Sundance Dental chain and the first in Colorado. Tornow said the company plans to expand into Southern Colorado in the next several years with offices in Durango, Montrose and Pueblo.
“We decided to open in Cortez because we have several families that currently travel to Farmington, and after researching Cortez, we decided that the need for our services is definitely there,” he said.
In addition to general dentistry the clinic offers sedation, dental implants and orthodontics.
The new 6,800-square-foot O’Reilly’s Auto Parts store should be open on Main Street by the early summer, said Mark Merz a spokesman for the company.
The company looked at the number of registered vehicles, the number of mechanics and traffic patterns in the area before opening the Cortez location.
“It met all of our qualifications as a great market,” said Merz.
This store is part of the company’s nationwide push to open 200 stores in 2014.
Another Maverik gas station is also going to be built on the corner of highways 145 and 160. Construction is scheduled to start in late spring, and the building will be completed in 135 days, Todd Meyers, a company representative said. It will be about twice the size of the existing Maverik location in Cortez.
The city cut building permit fees and use taxes in half on new commercial buildings that will be 10,000 square feet or less through the end of 2014 to encourage economic development.
The city manager would not attribute the new projects directly to the incentives but was encouraged by the investment.