October 06, 2016 - 5:40 AM
DEADWOOD, S.D. - A popular tourist destination in Deadwood is planning a $35 million condominium-hotel expansion, but some residents oppose the project.
The Chalets at Deadwood Mountain Grand proposal calls for 103 one- and two-bedroom units on a steep hillside known as McGovern Hill. Condo owners would be entitled to three weeks of occupancy during the year, with the units rented out the other weeks.
The condos could attract a high-profile clientele not currently seen in the Old West gambling town, said officials with the Deadwood Mountain Grand resort and entertainment centre.
"There is a certain calibre of people who wish to have a little piece of Deadwood in their life," Managing Partner Marc Oswald said. "These are international people who can bring a lot of energy to this town."
Some residents think the project will mar the hillside view, and that absentee condo-owners won't contribute anything to the community.
"There are so many aspects to this that people object to," said longtime resident Lynn Namminga, who serves on the city's Historic Preservation Commission. "This would be a community of millionaires who would buy these places, people with enormous amounts of money. It will completely destroy the character of that hill and, as far as I'm concerned, of Deadwood."
Deadwood was born in a gold rush in the 1800s and is now known as a destination for 2 million gamblers and other tourists each year.
The Deadwood Mountain Grand proposal will need approval of the Historic Preservation Commission, Deadwood's Planning and Zoning Board and the City Commission, according to Mayor Chuck Turbiville.
News from © The Associated Press, 2016