County to apply for hotel loan

Chris Caskey, The Union Democrat

Tuolumne County and the developer of the privately-operated Evergreen Lodge continue to work together to secure a substantial loan for a new hotel and lodge near Yosemite National Park.

The county Board of Supervisors this week authorized planning staff to apply for $3.01 million through the federal Community Development Block Grant on the project's behalf.

The proposal, which is currently being called Rush Creek Lodge, calls for the construction of a 143-room lodge, conference center, restaurant and more on Highway 120 near the Big Oak Flat entrance to the park.

The CDBG offers business loans for start-ups like Evergreen Lodge, and county supervisors showed interest in Rush Creek in October when selecting projects to include in its annual application to the federal grant program. The company is required to pay back the loan at 3 percent interest.

"This project will enhance what we see in terms of tourism and activity along the Highway 120 corridor," Supervisor Randy Hanvelt said.

The goal for the lodge is to eventually build the lodge and restaurant, bar, event hall, meeting spaces, retail building, pool, hot tub and staff housing on 20 acres.

For the full story see today's Union Democrat.

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