Hotel to be built near future Sonnentag Center Site

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – A new hotel will be built next to the future home of an Eau Claire events center.

The Pablo Group announced Wednesday it’s building a SpringHill Suites by Marriott at 1111 Menomonie Street in Eau Claire.

The 128-room hotel will be located next to the County Materials Event and Recreation Complex, which includes the John and Caroline Sonnentag Fieldhouse. Mayo Clinic Health System also plans to build a diagnostic imaging and sports medicine center on the site.

The hotel’s expected to open in 2024. Construction is slated to begin this summer.

The Pablo Group said plans are also in development to build and operate a restaurant on the banks of the Chippewa River.

“It’s an opportunity for change,” City of Eau Claire Economic Development Director Aaron White said.

He said the area has long been industrial. Once completed, these projects, and the traffic a 5,000-seat arena brings, will lead to more potential restaurants, bars, hotels or other commercial developments.

“It becomes a little more inviting to retail and restaurants and amenities type of businesses that will provide services to the folks that will be coming to the community to attend events at the Sonnentag,” White said.

Eau Claire City Council President Terry Weld agrees. These projects are just the first steps for the area.

“That will only continue to add to the attraction and bring more people to Eau Claire, providing jobs, providing economic benefits,” he said.

White said visitors coming in for events boost the economy with hotel stays and other spending that supports local jobs.

Looking forward, he said one of the greatest barriers to redeveloping an area is being the first private group to invest. This is what makes the Pablo Foundation’s investment so important.

“Development draws development,” he said. “It’s hard to find the person to come in and build but once that first project comes in and builds, everybody starts saying ‘Yeah, there’s some real potential there,’ and you’ll see additional interest pop up and it will tend to grow sometimes very rapidly.”

The Sonnentag Center is also expected to open in 2024.

Copyright 2022 WEAU. All rights reserved.