New convention center and hotel coming to Oakhurst

The Madera County board of supervisors agreed to a deal that could bring a new hotel and conference center to Oakhurst.

"I think it's a big boom for Eastern Madera Co. for all of Madera County," said Madera County Supervisor Tom Wheeler.

Wheeler says the developer, named Yosemite Resort LLC, is estimating about $16 million in Transient Occupancy Tax over a 25-year time span.

In return for the more than $20 million investment, the developer would eventually get half the TOT returned once the project is finished. the rest will stay in the county.

"We got $8.5 million that we can use, and we need to use any way we want to. We can use it for fire, use it for Sheriff," said Wheeler.

The developer says the pictures aren't an exact representation of what the project will look like, but mainly a concept design.

The conference center will be able to hold about 500 people.

"The developer, Mr. Patel, is hoping to not only attract local businesses but also bay area businesses to the Sierra Nevadas in Madera Co. and enjoy this type of environment," said Madera County Supervisor Rob Poythress.

Since the hotel will have a little more than 100 rooms, county officials believe this will also benefit businesses during the slower season.

"There will be spill out to out other hotels that will also pick up people that are coming in the area for our conferences," said Julie Herd with the Madera County EDC.

"All the hotels are going to benefit from food, gas, trinkets. You name it. We're going to benefit. Our small businesses in the winter will really benefit from it," said Wheeler.

Wheeler says the project will hopefully break ground next year.

Wheeler says the project still is in the very early stages. They still have to work with the roads department, and get permits.

However, he says the process is moving pretty quickly, and again, expects construction to start sometime next year.
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