The Payson Event Center is located across the Beeline from Mazatzal Casino. For the past two years, the town has been working with developer Hospitality Support Group on a project to redevelop the event center and locate a hotel/conference center at this 36-acre site. The process started with the town issuing a request for proposals, which HSG answered. The company proposed a project to lease the site for the hotel/conference center and reconfigure the event center.
At the council's special meeting of July 20, a milestone in the process was reached when the council directed town staff to proceed with the project as follows:
- Negotiate a lease for the 10-acre hotel/conference center site on the side of the hill, in accordance with the approved concept plan. The hotel would have 150 rooms and a 500-seat conference center. The town's consultants from Nielsen Fackler Planning and Development, which also prepared the conceptual master plan in cooperation with a citizens committee and staff, prepared a draft lease as the starting point for negotiations with the developer. Once there is an agreement between staff and HSG, it will be brought back to the council for consideration. This part of the project is expected to require a couple months for completion.
Upon council approval, HSG would be able to obtain development approvals and proceed with construction, which from start to finish will require approximately 18 months;
- Proceed with planning to relocate and upgrade the event center as shown on the plan. The current location has some key drawbacks -- it sits in the middle of a major drainage way and would hamper extension of Green Valley Parkway for the hotel/conference center. Upgrading the event center will include a cover, new parking and stock facilities, lighting and landscaping. The project would be funded through a type of bond funding known as certificates of participation, with repayment coming from sales and bed tax generated by the hotel/conference center. The current schedule would see construction begin in the fall of 2007 and be complete in time for the 2008 spring rodeo.