Gothenburg’s progressiveness gets noticed
Motel developer tells GIC what attracted him to town.
Gothenburg’s reputation as a progressive community preceded Terry Jessen’s decision to build a motel at the edge of the city.
“Since 1990, that doesn’t go unnoticed,” he said in reference to the recruitment of Baldwin Filters that year followed by other business and industry.
Jessen, who along with Diana Unterscher is building a Comfort Suites motel at 315 Platte River Drive, spoke to Gothenburg Improvement Company stockholders at their annual meeting on Nov. 18.
Jessen said he learned in the spring of 2009 that GIC officials wanted a new motel.
He and Unterscher looked at the site on the Internet before traveling to Gothenburg where he said they received a presentation, a tour of the community and were told of the city’s active volunteer spirit.
The two then selected the city for the motel they wanted to build.
Jessen said they consider themselves a small part of what’s good for Gothenburg.
“The project is not ours—it’s Gothenburg’s project and needs your support,” he said. “The only way you’re successful is when you feel a tie to a business and then the whole community benefits.”
He said he and Unterscher, who are from Scottsbluff, intend to live in Gothenburg and be part of the community.
Jessen and Unterscher bought three houses in Gothenburg, for themselves and employees who are helping to develop the property.
Jessen said he plans to expand his tax and accounting business in Scottsbluff to Gothenburg.
The developer also owns four other motels in Nebraska but this is the first he’s built.
In choosing the kind of motel to construct, Jessen said his favorite was Comfort Suites although they considered Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn.
Work at the site was overwhelming at first, Unterscher said, when they removed three structures from the site, burned rubble and downed trees and moved in “tons of dirt.”
Four lots were subdivided in the subdivision known as Terry’s Business Park with one for the motel and three others for expansion.
The remaining acres of the park will be for recreation for motel guests and the public, Jessen said.
“I’d like to think the future is here with Interstate 80 located here,” he said.
Paulsen Inc. was hired as the general contractor of the project.
Since then, a metal construction office, where Jessen will eventually located his tax business, has been built with a large room for events.
This week, workers are putting in the street, water and sewer and on Monday were pouring footings for the motel.
Jessen said they hope to open Comfort Suites on May 1.
He added that Gothenburg is on the map because of the efforts of GIC members.