WEDC investment to help fund construction of three-story downtown hotel

PRAIRIE DU CHIEN, WI. MARCH. 7, 2019 – The City of Prairie du Chien is receiving a $250,000 state grant to fund the construction of a new downtown hotel—a $3.8 million project expected to be completed in August.

The Community Development Investment (CDI) Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) will support the development of the Waterfront Hotel, a three-story hotel which will have 57 rooms. The newly constructed hotel will sit on the riverfront of the Mississippi River, and will also be adjacent to the highway.

“A vibrant downtown is vital to a community’s economic growth, and the Waterfront Hotel will play a key role in bringing more visitors to downtown Prairie du Chien to enjoy the many amenities the city has to offer,” said Tricia Braun, chief operating officer of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “WEDC is committed to working with local communities through its grant programs to foster economic health, quality of life and a sense of community.”

“The City of Prairie du Chien is excited about the Waterfront Hotel project,” said Dave Hemmer, Mayor of Prairie du Chien. “This is another component in the City’s ongoing community and economic development efforts to strengthen and enhance the resources and qualities that make Prairie du Chien a great place in which to live, work, and visit. The City greatly appreciates the investment that Sheckler Development and WEDC are making in the community.”

Sheckler Development LLC is undertaking the project and consists of husband-and-wife team Brian and Brittany Nichols, who were both born and raised in Prairie du Chien.

“As young entrepreneurs, Brittany and I want to execute a quality project that adds to the beauty and amenities of Prairie du Chien’s historic downtown,” said Brian Nichols. “We also want to connect residents and visitors alike to the community’s wonderful riverfront. These opportunities were brought to life in part by the support of WEDC and the City of Prairie du Chien, who continue to show passion for bringing new life to our communities to be able to create and grow new businesses.”

The 30,000-square-foot hotel is expected to create 12 new jobs and will serve to fill a gap in lodging in downtown Prairie du Chien. City officials believe this project will not only bring new jobs and enhance the tax base but will also encourage tourism and additional development.

“Prairie Du Chien has long identified the need for additional lodging in the downtown area,” said State Senator Jennifer Shilling. “I am pleased to see the community partner with WEDC in receiving a CDI Grant so the vision that many in the community have talked about can become a reality. This investment in Prairie du Chien is another example of the benefits of economic development, with new construction and more jobs in the community.”

“The development of this new riverfront hotel is great for tourism,” said State Representative Loren Oldenburg. “Tourism is great for the city of Prairie du Chien and provides economic growth to the area.”

WEDC’s CDI Grant Program supports community development and redevelopment efforts, primarily in downtown areas. The matching grants are awarded based on the ability of applicants to demonstrate the economic impact of the proposed project, including public and private partnership development, financial need, and use of sustainable downtown development practices.

In 2017, WEDC awarded a $33,750 CDI Grant to Prairie du Chien to redevelop a former clothing store into Café Hope and Unity Adult Daycare, a project overseen by the Crawford County Opportunity Center.

Since the program’s inception in 2013, WEDC has awarded more than $20 million in CDI Grants to 79 communities for projects expected to generate more than $280 million in capital investments statewide.