Developers Emmitt Mitchell and Julian Branker have broken ground on a four-story, 124-room, extended-stay hotel just south of the Colorado Springs World Arena.

Mitchell expected construction to be complete on Value Place by May, but said the project has been pushed back and should be finished by December or January.

Mitchell and Branker are spending about $6 million on the project, and the pair plan four other openings in Colorado during the next few years.

Mitchell said he chose the location, 3250 Value Drive (formerly Bob Johnson Drive), because it was near Interstate 25 and Fort Carson.

“Because Value Place is a value-oriented property, it’s a new product offering for the area,” Mitchell said. “It covers the World Arena area and has good visibility and accessibility.”

Mitchell and Branker also will manage the hotel, much like the Value Place they developed near Airport Road and Powers Boulevard during December 2006.

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The new hotel is the third property the pair have developed during the past two years. They also co-own and manage a Value Place in Springfield, Mo.

Both partners come from the finance and automotive sectors. Mitchell owned three car dealerships in the Kansas City area, but exited that business 10 years ago.

“We’re excited with the value-priced extended-stay concept,” Mitchell said. “We’re able to be at the bottom end of the price scale. At a rate of $25 a day, the room rate is quite attractive to many parts of the marketplace. People in a situation where they need to stay and keep more of their per diem or travel reimbursement and still have an excellent stay.”

While falling occupancy rates continue to hamper Colorado Springs hotels, Mitchell and Branker aren’t worried about their investment strategy.

“Our occupancy (at the Powers and Airport location) has been up on a month-to-month basis over last year,” Mitchell said. “I think this new project shows our confidence. Our product is better configured to go through leaner times, and as people become more concerned with dollars spent, a value product like ours becomes even more attractive.”

Situated less than two miles from Fort Carson, the new Value Place is poised to capture military customers.

“Soldiers and their families often find that Value Place is ideal for them while they locate housing,” Mitchell said. “Right now, we do have quite a few military folks visiting our airport location.”