Hotel owners seek investors in restaurant
Terry Jessen challenges GIC stockholders at annual meeting.
Ready the site and they will come say the owners of Comfort Suites Hotel about their efforts to bring a restaurant/sports bar to town.
But first, they need investors.
The couple’s vision, told to Gothenburg Improvement Company stockholders, is to have the community invest in the construction of a restaurant/sports bar on a two-acre site north of the hotel.
Terry Jessen and Diana Unterseher spoke during GIC’s annual meeting on Nov. 15 at the Monsanto Learning Center.
In addition to the restaurant with a patio for outside dining, Jessen said they envision a gift store and area for outside events such as volleyball and street dances.
Jessen said the couple has talked to a restaurant prospect, noting that an architect is drawing up plans.
“It will happen,” he said.
Unterseher said the couple wants to attract sales representatives and others to Gothenburg.
Already, workers have bulldozed trees, installed a septic tank and added seven feet of dirt to remove the area from the flood plain.
at $1.25 million
The couple addressed GIC because they want the estimated $1.25 million project to be a community effort, financed through equity, not on borrowed funds.
Jessen and Unterseher approached GIC members about investing in a restaurant during their annual meeting a year ago.
Anyone interested in learning more about the project can contact Jessen at 308-631-0178 or the Comfort Suites Hotel at 537-4468.
Dayton Phoenix on menu
Carl Skiles, an executive from a Dayton-Phoenix Group facility in Gothenburg, told how the plant rebuilds radiator cooling fans, dynamic braking grid fans and blower assemblies for the railroad industry.
Skiles, who will retire this month, said the company plans to add a rewind line after the first of year which will add up to six more employees.
Now, motors are sent to company headquarters in Dayton, OH, to be rewound.
He noted that a winding technician from Dayton, OH, and family will relocate to Gothenburg.
In the past nine months, he said the plant has grown from three to 20 employees and has made 1,100 repairs compared to the 900 projected annually.
Employees start at $13 an hour, with a full benefit package, and can earn up to $20, Skiles said.
“We were surprised, pleasantly, about the base we found here,” he said about a workforce with electrical and mechanical backgrounds.
When soliciting business, Skiles said Dayton-Phoenix doesn’t bid entire fleets.
For example, Union Pacific Railroad owns 10,000 locomotives with Dayton Phoenix servicing 1,500.
In the future, he said the company will have the opportunity to bid on more contracts.
Michael Griffith of Cozad, who was employed at Tenneco, is the new manager of the plant.
GIC in review
Mike Bacon, GIC president, said the organization is trying to get a younger generation involved in leadership and recruitment.
Recently, Bacon said some of the younger members took the lead in showing a potential investor property in the industrial tract.
“It’s a $5 - $10 million investment if it pays off,” he said.
Members are marketing land the organization owns east of Frito-Lay which was going to be the site of an ethanol plant.
Bacon said it would cost $1.3 million to bring streets, sewer and water to the site, which would make it more marketable.
“It’s one of the few sites in Nebraska with access off the main railroad line because of Frito-Lay,” he said. “That makes it a premier site.”
GIC is also trying to recruit business to a former greenhouse site on south Highway 47.