PRESTON – Preston, Idaho Mayor Mark Beckstead and city council members signed a letter of intent Monday night pledging to “grant incentives to new and expanding businesses.”
Specifically, city leaders are in the market for a developer interested in building a hotel and increasing the number of rooms within the city.
The Plaza Motel on Highway 91 is the only overnight option in town with 30 available rooms.
The city recently commissioned a hotel feasibility study which concluded the community of 5,300 residents could support an additional 54 rooms.
“We have quite a few people that have expressed some interest,” according to Economic Development Specialist Shawn Oliverson.
City leaders would like to see “either the expansion of an existing facility, or the creation of a new facility,” and “would grant incentives to the first hotel project to qualify within the next twelve months,” the letter stated.
Part of the incentive package includes awarding city utilities and building fees that could be worth $100,690 to a developer over a five year period, depending on the level of investment and number of jobs created.
The Northwest Band of the Shoshone are in the process of raising money to erect an interpretive center at the site of the Bear River Massacre, a few miles north of Preston. “We think that’s going to bring quite a few people to our area,” said Oliverson. “It would be nice to capitalize on that tourism and have some more hotel rooms in the city.”