Downtown Marriott receives loan to train new employees for jobs with benefits

The new Marriott hotel set to open this week in downtown Missoula will receive a $780,000 loan to train workers for jobs plush with benefits and to complete the project’s construction, a community lender said Wednesday.

MoFi, a non-bank lender based in Missoula, received funding from the federal Office of Community Services and will award it as a below-market loan to Mercantile Investors LLC.

“It leverages federal funds to provide long-lasting, high-quality jobs with benefits and retirement plans,” said Dave Glaser, president of MoFi. “With that comes the opportunity for these individuals to increase wealth, gain self-sufficiency and improve the livelihood of their families and our community.”

The hotel’s Bozeman-based developer broke ground on the Residence Inn by Marriott in 2017 and is now completing the $41 million project. A soft opening is set for Thursday followed by a public opening this weekend.

Project developer Andy Holloran said the Marriott will employ around 40 people.

“The tourist economy is growing in Montana, and we’re very excited to link arms with local employment and job training organizations, and invest in a project that promotes quality, sustainable jobs for Montana workers,” Holloran said.

Under the loan, the hotel is expected to fill the majority of its new jobs with those who need them most. The positions will offer comprehensive benefits including health, paid time off and retirement.

Glaser said his organization will work with the Missoula Job Service and other organizations to fill the jobs. It will also partner with Homeword in Missoula to provide financial literacy, budgeting, credit and savings plans for hotel employees.

Stockman Bank is helping finance the hotel’s construction.

“This grant is the final piece of the financing package,” said Bob Burns, the bank’s Missoula market president. “It will help with job creation that truly benefits the Missoula community.”