• 21°

‘They’ll look forward to staying here’

Roughly 15 months after breaking ground, Cobblestone Hotel in Austin is officially open for business.

Hotel staff and ambassadors of the Austin Area Chamber of Commerce held a grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday to officially welcome the new hotel, located behind Marshalls and next to Prairie Sky Apartments.

“We’re certainly excited to have a wonderful corporate citizen in Cobblestone Hotels,” said Austin Area Chamber of Commerce President Elaine Hansen. “What they bring to the community is huge.”

Visitors staying at the 66-room, three-story hotel are greeted in the front lobby with the soft blue glow of the wall unit fireplace. The first floor features a dining lounge, fitness center, pool, guest laundry room, a small marketplace for snacks and drinks, and a conference room.

Basic guest rooms offer amenities such as a microwave and small refrigerator, while suites include a separate seating area. Extended stay rooms feature a kitchen and living room area with a separate bedroom.

“They have everything you need, whether you’re traveling for leisure or business,” Hansen said. “It’s a wonderful facility and we’re really excited to have them be a part of our community.”

Austin’s Cobblestone location is the fifth location in Minnesota for the Neenah, Wisconsin-based company.

According to Cobblestone Hotels President and CEO Brian Wogernese, the Austin location has been several years in the making.

“We looked at Austin about four or five years ago with a group that was working on something downtown,” he said. “For whatever reason, that didn’t come together.”

Despite the setback, Wogernese still wanted to build in Austin.

“We looked at some of the market numbers and then worked with the City, found this piece of land and thought it was great,” he said.

Groundbreaking was held on April 18, 2019, marking the beginning of construction. The project was funded through Home Federal Savings Bank in Austin.

Despite the pandemic, construction was kept on schedule and Wogernese is optimistic about the hotel’s ability to thrive in Austin.

“We were hoping to get to summer and see a little more traffic,” he said. “Some areas you’re seeing that, some you’re not. We’ve been getting some traction and I think we’re doing well for the market. It’s just a little slower than we would like.”

While some Cobblestone locations are franchised, Wogernese said the Austin location is corporate owned.

“We’re excited to be here and I think once people get out and travel, they’ll look forward to staying here,” he said.