Something old in Concord to turn into something blue 

  • Designs for a Tru Hotel by Hilton that will be replacing the Days Inn motel on South Main Street. Courtesy of Opechee Construction Corp.

  • Designs for a Tru Hotel by Hilton that will be replace the Days Inn motel on South Main Street in Concord are shown. Courtesy of Opechee Construction Corp.

Monitor staff
Published: 12/18/2018 3:15:30 PM

Here’s a riddle for you: My word play has entertained motorists for years. Now, my days are numbered, but fear not, I’ll be born again. What am I?

Answer: The Days Inn motel on South Main Street.

Steve Duprey, developer of the Smile building and various other properties, including four other hotels in Concord, is planning to tear down the 1960s-era motel and rebuild it into a Tru Hilton hotel.

The project is meant to be more attractive to younger people and families traveling on a budget, Duprey said, with features that are trending in the hospitality market, like a big communal space and a place to get a bite to eat.

But whether the location’s prominent sign visible on Interstate 93 will still display the riddles that have entertained – or aggravated, depending on who you are – is still up in the air.

“We haven’t come into a sign deal yet, and we’ll have to split it (the sign) between the hotel and the restaurant,” Duprey said, noting the current sign is nonconforming with current zoning regulations and will require resurfacing. “We hope to keep the riddles.”

Staff members were responsible for coming up with the riddles, Duprey said. All of those who worked at the Days Inn, which ceased operations last month, have been offered other jobs at Duprey properties.

The riddles changed periodically. A question was offered to motorists heading north on I-93; on their way south, they could see the answer.

Duprey bought the property in 2015 to the tune of $3.1 million, according to the city assessor’s database. Records show that the building is currently assessed at $2.3 million.

Duprey said he’s always planned to renovate or replace the building, which was built in 1965. The decision to replace was determined by cost; Duprey said it would have been just as expensive to build a new structure as to replace it, and the original building would need extensive asbestos removal.

The new structure will be four stories high and include 85 rooms.

Duprey said a deal to bring a restaurant to the hotel is in the works.

The project design was approved by the Architectural Design Review Committee last week. It heads to the Planning Board for a public hearing and major site plan approval Wednesday.

Duprey said construction will start in January, should his project be approved.

(Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, candrews@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)



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