In a long-anticipated announcement, the City of Fairfield Bay announced Wednesday, Jan. 24, that it had signed an agreement bringing a hotel to the city. The agreement, with Cobblestone Hotels, is for a 63-room four-story hotel to be built on Lost Creek Parkway, next to the city's conference center. The project is tentatively valued at over $6 mil.

The city had courted, and been courted by, several organizations in planning for a hotel for the city before reaching an agreement with Cobblestone. The conference center, which had been unused for a period of time, was donated to the city in 2011, then reopened in 2013. Since then the city has been aggressive in selling the conference center as a destination, with monthly reports given to the city council about center activity and plans. The city council would hear repeatedly, however, that various conferences were not being booked into the center due to the lack of a hotel.

Fairfield Bay had various condominium rentals available, but these were not alway desirable for those considering the conference center.

“The hotel is a game changer,” Fairfield Bay Community Club Manager Rocky Nickles said, “this gives our visitors another choices in overnight accommodations.”

City of Fairfield Bay Mayor Paul Wellenberger said the next phase of the project was the engineering planning, including drawing up blueprints. Based on previous Cobblestone projects, construction, once begun, is estimated to take six to eight months. The hope is to have the hotel ready for guests by late Fall 2018, Wellenberger said.

Cobblestone Hotels presents as a upper-midscale brand, with its corporate headquarters in Neenah, Wis. The Fairfield Bay hotels is expected to closely mirror the Cobblestone hotel in Chippewa Falls, Wis.