Dillon owner likes plan
Not all the 18-some small-motel owners in “No Man's Land” are for the impending urban renewal plan working its way through the process in Manitou Springs. But
not all are against it, either.
One in favor is George James, owner of the Dillon Motel, 134 Manitou Ave. Unlike some who fear that an urban renewal authority could make it easier for big developers to use eminent domain to change the area's unique character, James sees nothing but upside.
For his own motel, upgrades would be more affordable through an authority's tax increment financing (TIF), he believes. “If I needed a new sign, and I went to the urban renewal board, theyd give me money for a new sign, and I wouldn't have to pay it back,” said James, whose grandparents started the Dillon in 1947.
TIF could also help him obtain better financing for building a new motel, possibly aligned with a national chain, like the Alpine Motel has done in rebuilding as a Comfort Inn at Manitou Avenue and Crystal Hills Boulevard, he observed.
Even if urban renewal spurs major changes along the avenue, that's OK with James. Public improvements - such as sidewalks and curb and gutter - are badly needed, plus “I think the older motels need to be redeveloped,” he said. “They're becoming a thing of the past. The big motels have reservation systems, indoor pools, continental breakfasts. Maybe we're underdemolished with old ones… You've got to plan for the future. You can't just sit back and do nothing.”
Westside Pioneer article