In a letter submitted with the RCG bid package, Riley wrote: “A critical component in our interest is having the visibility and frontage afforded by being located at the corner of Washington and Dodge streets. ...
“Further, the contemplated construction of on-site garage parking ... that would be adjacent to our desired hotel is another reason we are very interested in developing a hotel at this location.”
Riley has visited downtown Salem and has taken a close look at RCG’s most recent development where Tavern in the Square opened.
“That’s a great ... for that whole area,” he said of the restaurant. “We think we could be another anchor in that area.”
Riley is aware there are two hotels in downtown Salem, the 86-room Salem Waterfront Hotel and the 93-room (including a four-room guest house) Hawthorne Hotel, but thinks there is room for more.
“Typically what happens is everybody just raises their game. ... The customer has a better experience and more people come and talk about Salem,” he said. “... We were one of the first hotels in Freeport, and now there are seven or eight.”
Tom Dalton can be reached at email@example.com.