Ricky Collins came before Farmington Selectmen Tuesday evening, Dec. 13, to seek financial help with his project to build a Best Western Premier Hotel next to HealthQuest Chiropractic on Wilton Road. Google maps screen capture

FARMINGTON — Ricky Collins came before Selectmen Tuesday, Dec. 13, to seek help with financing for a hotel he is planning to build in Farmington.

Collins is in the process of selling two motels he owns, Mt. Blue Motel and Colonial Valley Motel to Western Maine Community Action which plans to renovate them into affordable housing and shelter units.

“If you had friends coming, where would you put them up,” Collins asked the board. The consensus was at Comfort Inn in Wilton if space wasn’t available at their homes.

“I think we need a hotel in Farmington,” Collins said. “I have owned two, I have put money down on a piece of property.” He is looking at a $15 to $20 Million bill for the project and is seeking help from the town through the Tax Increment Financing District [TIF]. He said he needed to get by the hump to make the payments, estimated at $83,000 per month on the property.

The 95-unit Best Western Premier Hotel would be across from Palmer Realty Group next to HealthQuest Chiropractic on the Wilton Road. There could be a restaurant at the hotel and conference center, he noted.

Collins said he had obtained funding needed for a similar project a couple of years ago, which fell through when COVID-19 hit. He has retained a New York company for the project but said he “wanted help from the town before I jumped into this.”


“What we have done in the past is enhancement credits,” Selectman Joshua Bell said. “It’s a credit enhancement agreement where tax dollars are given back, a percentage or whole amount. Part of that is based on the initial bill, what it cost to build the building – that’s how they calculated the amount. I have no idea how much that would be.”

Bell thought it was a great idea and strongly encouraged Collins to move forward

Town Manager Christian Waller said the board would have to see the business plan, projected financials and loans so the financial position of the project could be assessed.

Collins has retained about 20 staff members from the two motels he had owned, is looking for another 20 to work at the new hotel. He has not gone before the Planning Board, “tonight is the first time I have talked with anyone,” he noted.

Requiring a specific number of staff come from Farmington was an option proposed by Bell. Collins suggested it be from Franklin County, given the current hiring situation. His labor pool is from New Sharon, Jay, Livermore Falls, Farmington and Wilton, he added.

Waller asked to have a summary of the proposal submitted for the board to review.

“I am excited about the concept,” Selectman Stephan Bunker said.


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