KayLynn Roberts-McMurray
The groundbreaking for the new Holiday Inn Express took place on Friday.

The Ely Times

Jason and Stefanie Woywod held an official ground breaking event last Friday for the Holiday Inn Express.

The Woywod family is thrilled to reach to begin the ground work.  Jason Woywod thanked city council members and the mayor last week during the city council meeting the day before the ground breaking.  They appeared before the council to get approval on their will-serve application for water and sewer services.

This project has had many uphill challenges, and even a recent one. Jason Woywod mentioned at the city council meeting last week that Robert VanCamp, owner of VanCamp Towing had contacted JCR stating that if any type of fencing was put up on Avenue D, he was going to run it over with this truck.

This portion of the road has been a contention between VanCamp, Mike Lemich and the Woywods. But a portion of it was deeded to the Woywods by the City of Ely in a meeting several months ago.

Council members Jolene Gardner, Ernie Flangas, Tony DeFelice and Mayor Melody VanCamp were at the groundbreaking event Friday.

DeFelice was asked his thoughts on the project said,  “I’m excited to have probably the biggest project Ely has ever seen. I think it helps us bring more groups in, and it’s going to set the bar for new business and the current business we have.

“I can’t say enough about someone who is willing to spend $12 million, it’s saying something.”

Basin Engineering has been working on the project for the past six months. “It’s going to be a 12-14 month project before we open.  Were excited to finally start construction after 10 months of pre-construction headaches,” Jason Woywod said.

The Holiday Inn Express will be a 100 room, non-gaming and smoke-free hotel, that will also bring in the opportunity to employ 32-35 people.

Stefanie Woywod added,  “It a big shot of energy to the bloodline of Ely it is the excitement, the connection of the people who live here, and I think it’s really bringing the community together.”

Jason Woywod noted that with Love’s and Shopko, and now the Holiday Inn Express, he thinks new businesses will feel more comfortable coming to Ely.

“It’s something big and something new, this isn’t just for Ely now, it’s for future generations,” Stefanie Woywod said.