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Work has begun on a four-story, 174-room Marriott hotel that is just east of Elk Vale Road off Interstate 90 and in Box Elder city limits.

The hotel will be managed by Liv Hospitality of Rapid City, which operates casinos and hotels in Deadwood and hotels in Rapid City, including the WaTiki Indoor Waterpark adjacent to the new project.

“This will be our largest single hotel in terms of room count,” Caleb Arceneaux, the CEO of Liv Hospitality, said in an email to the Journal. “The corporate and military markets will find this hotel to be especially appealing due to proximity to Ellsworth Air Force Base, the busy I-90 corridor, the airport and convenient access to our national landmarks.”

When completed in 2020, the 109,142-square-foot Courtyard by Marriott will have meeting spaces that can accommodate as many as 500 people, according to Consolidated Construction Co. of Rapid City, the project contractor.

The project is being built at the same time as discussions continue between Liv Hospitality and Box Elder city officials for an event center that would be located near the new Marriott and I-90's exit 61, according to Arceneaux.

“We continue to work closely with the city of Box Elder on the complex process of the public/private partnership to ensure the community gets the facility we all desire,” he said.

The mayor of Box Elder acknowledged that discussion, which was initiated in 2017, is ongoing.

“We are still working on the Box Elder event center and hope to know more by summer,” Larry Larson said Monday.

In April 2017, the Box Elder City Council was presented with a resolution of intent to create a business improvement district that would levy a special assessment tax against hotels managed by Liv Hospitality, including the WaTiki Indoor Water Park, Residence Inn by Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites and LaQuinta Inn & Suites.

Those funds would then have been used to build the event center as well as sidewalks, infrastructure, utilities and parking lots. The proposed cost for the project was estimated at $20 million.

At the time, Arceneaux said the event center would be a multipurpose facility that could host concerts, comedy shows, conventions and other events.

Larson said the city continues to look at how the project will be financed.

"We are still in the process of deciding how the event center will be funded," he said in an email.

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