Hotel to be built near Sonnentag Center

“It will be a great hub for the community,” said council member Terry Weld on Tuesday.

Anna Smith

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Julia Johnson speaks on behalf of Pablo Properties at the April 6 press conference. (photo courtesy of Bill Hoepner)

On Wednesday, April 6, the Pablo Group hosted a press conference outlining the future plans for the 128-bedroom hotel scheduled to be built near the Sonnentag Complex. This would be a Springhill Suites Hotel, which is a branch of Marriott Hotels. 

Pablo Properties partner, Julia Johnson, spoke at UW-Eau Claire and broke down a timeline for the hotel project and detailed hotel conveniences that will be provided to its guests. 

“The hotel will be located between the County Materials Complex and the Chippewa River State Trail along Menomonie Street,” Johnson said. “It will attract concertgoers, sports teams and additional travelers.”

Johnson said the space downtown would provide more accessibility to visitors and provide pedestrian access to what the town has to offer. 

In terms of new development and hotel management, “Pablo Properties has experience developing downtown Eau Claire hotels, by renovating and reopening The Lismore and The Oxbow hotels,” Johnson said.

Other Sonnentag partners spoke at the conference on April 6 and detailed their thoughts on the hotel as well. Kimera Way, president of the UW-Eau Claire Foundation said that Eau Claire would thrive from a hotel

“The entire community and even alumni will benefit from the construction of this event center and hotel,” Way said.

Eau Claire’s City Council President Terry Weld also explained the project and the influence they had behind adding the hotel near the Sonnentag Complex.

“We are excited for the Pablo Group’s investment, as it will create more marketability,” Weld said. 

From an economic and investment standpoint, Weld weighed in from a city council perspective.

“It will also create more economic growth for that area, for our city in general and create more jobs as well,” Weld said.

The Complex itself will include a fieldhouse, a sports medicine center as well as a Mayo Clinic-partnered diagnostic imaging sector.

“There was much to look forward to with this project, especially as a resident of the Eau Claire community,” Weld said. 

According to Weld, the project is a great opportunity to bring more people to our community and more easily enjoy whatever venue they’re hoping to attend.

Jennifer Fesenmaier, Pablo Group’s director of research and development also spoke on the accessibility of the hotel to Eau Claire visitors and residents.

“The introduction of a hotel to this area of downtown will give visitors and residents access to some of the city’s most scenic views and will improve walkability to nearby nature trails,” Fesenmaier said.

Both Johnson and Weld said they had projected opening dates for the hotel.

“From what I understand, the hotel should be completed by May or June of 2024,” Weld said.

Construction on the hotel and complex themselves are slated to begin summer of 2022, according to WEAU News sources.

“We’re excited, proud and honored to partner with the university, as well as local contributors such as The Mayo Clinic and Pablo Groups,” Weld said. “We look forward to getting this complex opened and our community getting to enjoy its various amenities.”

Smith can be reached at [email protected]