GUERNSEY--After two years of planning and construction, the public fnally got a chance to see what can happen when a community has a good mix of a can-do attitude and the vision to look past the past.
After substantial rebuilding and renovation, the building that has been home to a hotel since its origin in 1920 is once again ready to welcome travelers to a comfortable place to eat and stay while in the area. Be it business or pleasure, Twisters Eatery Bed and Breakfast offers a very different option for guests on the main street of town.
With the initial funding from a Downtown Development Grant through the Wyoming Business Council, the Guernsey Economic and Tourism Development Group was the driving force in getting the project completed.
On Tuesday, past Economic Development Administrative Director Bruce Heimbuck welcomed the community into the facility and spoke about the cooperation he has seen develop throughout the term of the project. “It’s important to note that this is truly a local project. After we were approved for the grant, we were lucky enough to get the lowest bid from our local contractor, Bristow Built Construction, and thanks to the sales of lots in the Industrial Park, which Economic Development owns, the additional funds needed came directly from our community. It is great to see a new business on our main street that serves a need, saves one of our oldest buildings and knowing that we used local people to make it all happen. We can all be proud of that.”
Heimbuck also told the crowd gathered how much he appreciated the relationship that was built with Bristow and his crew during the work, saying, “Cory and his people went out of their way to work with us on this project.” Bristow nodded firmly in agreement when Heimbuck noted “things always come up when you’re doing a project of this size. Bristows were so willing to bend with us on some things and it made everything go so much better.”
Bristow also acknowledged how pleased he was with the project and he said he hoped the community would enjoy it and share that pride.
Doug and Lisa Lycan have leased the building and have invested money to furnish the business, including the kitchen. They will operate it in tandem with Twisters Restaurant and the businesses have a shared door and hallway for access between the two. The bed and breakfast does have its own full kitchen facility.
Lisa Lycan also addressed the open house attendees, speaking with great emotion as she thanked the community and all those who had worked so hard to get the business ready. “We are so looking forward to this and we appreciate the interest everyone has expressed. It’s been a lot of hard work but we are proud to be part of this community and we thank you for your support.”
Guernsey Economic and Tourism Development Group President Craig Frederick also shared his appreciation to the community and stressed the importance of having another new business in our downtown area. “It looks much different and that’s a good thing,” said Frederick.
He also thanked Heimbuck for his guidance and work on the project. Heimbuck retired from the administrative position last fall but had agreed to continue working to completion on this particular project. He was instrumental in the initial plans for the project and wrote the funding grant that was submitted to the Wyoming Business Council. He had also worked with a group to improve several other buildings in the downtown area and faciitated many other projects that improved the community, including the drive to build the skate park, disc golf course, swimming pool, renovate Gordon Davis Park, the addition of more housing in the community, improvements to the industrial park and more.
Platte County Chamber President Kit Armour and Lynda Lenz of the Chamber Ambassadors, along with Heather Tupper of the Wyoming Business Council, led a ribbon-cutting ceremony in front of the business to make the community welcome official.
A brief history of the project was included on a program handed out. In part, it read:
The current project undertaken by the Guernsey Economic and Tourism Development Corporation was started in the fall of 2015 with conversation about downtown restoration. The Wyoming Business Council had a grant program at that time for downtown development. The Town of Guernsey, as the fiscal agent, applied for a grant for the project. The required matching funds were supplied by the GE&TDC with no funds coming from the town. The grant was approved in the spring of 2016 for $750,000 with GE&TDCputting in an initial match of $112,500. They added an additional $80,000 for the costs of the fire sprinklers not originally planned for the buidling but required during the plan review. The total cost of the project was $942,500 with the project coming in $436.72 under budget.