New hotel in Monticello focus of ongoing discussion
by Joe Boyle
Discussions revolving around the possible new hotel dominated the February 13 Monticello City Council meeting.
The Monticello City Council continued their discussion started at the prior meeting concerning a new hotel proposed by county resident Jared Berrett. It was purely a discussion and no official votes regarding the issue were taken over the course of the meeting.
Berrett, who built the Bluff Dwellings Resort and Spa, did not attend in person, but requested that the city review issues in his absence, including confirming a four-story building is in city code, requesting the city assist in utility costs, sign a letter of support, update a liquor license, discuss a cart path between the golf course and hotel, the ability to use the Hideout name, and if the city would be willing to implement a Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).
Despite having a fire truck that can access only two-story buildings, there is no city code to restrict a permit for a four-story building as long as there is a full fire suppression system in the lobby. Under the tentative project plans, no problems exist with a four-story building.
The council was against assisting with utility costs for the hotel. The council expressed concern that if they assisted the hotel, they would have to do this for a multitude of businesses.
Mayor Bayley Hedglin plainly put it, “That’s not necessarily something we can do.”
The project also asked for financial help to connect to the water and sewer systems. The council again voiced concern about offering the aid, but expressed confidence that a tentative cost of less than $15,000 would not be too heavy of a financial burden for the project.
The council had no issue offering a letter of support for the project.
City liquor licenses are handled at the state level, with the number of city liquor licenses dictated by the city population. Even the official decision of delegating licenses is done by the state. While a city can voice support, all the council could offer was hope that a license is available when the project is complete in 2026.
The council is in full support of a golf cart path between the hotel and the Hideout Golf Course. There was a brief concern by Hedglin with this proposed plan regarding the storage of carts. However, all Berrett was requesting was a path and the council approved that.
The council voiced disinterest in allowing the hotel to use the Hideout name for the name of the hotel and advertising.
Similar to the issue of helping with utility costs, the council is concerned this would open the door to other businesses using the name. Mayor Hedlgin said, “What we do for one, we have to do for all.”
The council was unsure if the city even has a trademark over the name Hideout, but as of now, they seemed uninterested in allowing the hotel to use the name.
Berrett also requested the city consider implementing a CRA for the business that would essentially limit certain taxes for several years until they would eventually pay the sum back.
Councilman Nathan Chamberlain said that he recalled the city having a CRA-type system that offered financial compensation to businesses that invest a certain dollar amount into the community.
Chamberlain could not recall the specifics, but said there were potentially other options.
The official council stance on the matter is they are willing to potentially implement a CRA, but would rather explore other options.
The Council also had a brief discussion about access to the hotel from Highway 191.
Councilmember George Rice said he has been in contact with the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) regarding a potential turning lane, but with the project being so far down the line and not officially in motion, the council will discuss the issue at a later date.
Other updates given to the council surrounding the project were that the project had yet to enter a partnership with a franchise hotel brand. It would likely be done in 2026.
The council will continue to discuss the project in the future.
During the meeting, Melissa Gill, Kaeden Kulow, and Megan Gallegos each made an oath to office and received official appointments to their positions.
Gill is the City Recorder, Kulow is the City Manager/Treasurer, and Gallegos is the Deputy Recorder.