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According to the developer, a proposed hotel at the southern entrance to Ketchum would be 63 feet tall at its highest point above the ground and 48 feet tall at its River Street façade.

The developing firm PEG Cos. took four hours Tuesday evening to answer questions from the public on its proposed Marriott-brand Ketchum Tribute hotel, slated for the southern entry to town.

As people milled about in the Limelight Hotel’s Silver Creek Room, sampling cheese and prosciutto from an hors d’oeuvres bar and checking out a series of architectural renderings, representatives from the Provo, Utah,-based firm were on standby to engage in dialogue and clear up misconceptions.

One representative in attendance, PEG Senior Development Manager Nick Blayden, said in emails with the Idaho Mountain Express on Thursday that face-to-face communication at the open house—the second of its kind—helped open minds Tuesday.

“We have found that the majority of attendees who oppose the project when they arrive end up leaving with a different opinion, after they see the project firsthand and understand the facts,” Blayden said.

A frequent concern expressed Tuesday was how the proposed hotel would impact surrounding traffic, he said.

“In order to learn what areas could use some extra attention, we conducted a traffic impact study. The outcomes have provided us with several insights that we are now implementing to make improvements to our design,” he said. “For example, we are working with the Idaho Transportation Department to add a left-hand turn lane at the intersection of Highway 75 and River Street, and we anticipate that the addition will help alleviate some of the rush-hour gridlock that currently exists.”

Another top concern was the building’s height. Several people thought the building was going to stand 72 feet off the ground on River Street, Blayden said, when in fact it is 48 feet there.

“Because the hotel is being built on a hill where ground level gradually changes, the structure technically gets taller as the hill recedes, but it will appear flush with the 48-foot height on River Street,” he said. “At the structure’s highest point on the hill, it will stand 63 feet off the ground with a 9-foot parking structure underground.”

The open house came after a Tuesday morning media release from PEG Cos. stressing the importance of open community dialogue. The release also commented on Ketchum resident Nick Harman’s “MarriNOT?” Halloween mock-up, something that—despite its catchiness—did not accurately represent the project, the press release stated.

“In contrast to how the “MarriNOT” may have looked, this boutique hotel is actually not going to look like a typical mainstream Marriott property,” Blayden said in the statement. “By definition, the Tribute Portfolio is a brand of one-of-a-kind hotels with individualized character and charm. Each has a different story, a unique design and even a custom aroma.”

The next open house will likely occur sometime in January, according to PEG PR and Marketing Director Ali Monsen. For those with questions, Monsen can be reached at 801-655-1998.

Email the writer: ejones@mtexpress.com

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