Dan Zimmerman
Dan Zimmerman

   All along, the logic stood firm: Build the National Republican History Museum first, and it would create customers for a new hotel.

   This week, it appears the group driving the hotel project is turning that logic on its head.

   Feeding off the optimism generated by potential projects by Tom Rogers and David Knuth downtown, the museum group now appears to be ready to build a hotel first — without the draw of a museum to back it up.

   Or, at least, they plan to build a scaled-down version of the hotel, with the ability to expand later.

   “If we build the hotel project, it’s a bit of a risk because we don’t have a draw, but we’re fairly comfortable with what they’re doing downtown that we can support a partial hotel,” said Ripon’s Dan Zimmerman, who has been the public face of the museum effort. “You can’t dispute the fact that a good deal of what’s happened in this town over the years is becuse of Tom Rogers ... I want to be connected with those kind of guys.”

   In fact, Zimmerman explained, “It was Tom who introduced me to Harp & Eagle,” which is the company that is expected to operate the hotel.

Read the full story in the March 1, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.