If you build it, they will come.

That was the saying in Field of Dreams, a baseball movie set at a baseball field in the middle of a corn field.

But it could have been the slogan for the Leisure Hotels and Resorts, the owners and operators of Guymon Petro Restaurant, Fort Dodge RV Resort and the Holiday Inn Express, which opened on Monday.

"It’s taken a little bit, but we opened Monday and it’s great," said Steve Olson, the CEO of Leisure Hotels and Resorts. "We wish they could have all opened at the same time, but we’re glad we’ve got them all open now."

The new hotel in Dodge City, located in the Heritage District next to Long Branch Lagoon and across the street from Guymon Petro, is a prototype for Holiday Inn Express Blue.

"The rooms and suites are all minimalistic with clean lines," Olson said. "There’s some blue lighting outside.

"Due to the Heritage District, we had to have some brick on the outside, but we tried to put in some Western decor, but it wasn’t happening."

The hotel is already helping the restaurant according to Olson.

"We used to be closed on Monday night, but now we’re going to be open for the guests of the hotel," he said. "We will see more guests at the restaurant because of the motel."

The Holiday Inn Express isn’t new for Olson in Dodge City.

"I built the first one in Dodge City back in 1984," he said. "When we started talking about new, they didn’t want to refurbish the existing hotel, they wanted new, so we suggested the Heritage District."

Osborn said there were some challenges in building the hotel. The owner of a concrete company passed away, slowing things down, and a bricklayer was deported.

"Those things happen in construction," he said. "All in all, we were behind a month or so. Not bad considering we were 2 months getting started."

The new hotel has 84 rooms, a breakfast eating area, an exercise area, a business area and a pool.

"The indoor pool is small," Olson said. "You know, 90 percent of people who visit hotels want a pool, but about 10 percent actually use them. So, I had to have a pool."

According to local management, the pool will be ready in about 2 weeks.

"I’m happy we finally got everything open," Olson said. "We’ll have a grand opening for the hotel in a few weeks.

"We have some last-minute things to finish up, some landscaping outside and some inside things, but it’s open and it’s great."


To contact the writer email rbluhm@dodgeglobe.com.