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Saunders County communities featured in new Lincoln hotel
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Saunders County communities featured in new Lincoln hotel

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LINCOLN – As The Scarlet Hotel is under construction on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Innovation Campus, Goldenrod Companies is working with communities throughout Nebraska to gather their history as a way to decorate the rooms. 

Each small town community history will be illustrated through images and a short write up explaining the start of the town all the way to where the town is at now, Goldenrod Companies Senior Financial Analyst Will Suter said. 

Several Saunders County communities like Wahoo, Ashland, Mead, Yutan and Ceresco are included in the 151 communities to be featured in the hotel. Suter said the hotel will have 154 rooms with 151 being named after Nebraskan communities. The remaining three rooms will be named after notable Nebraskans. 

Suter expects the hotel to be completed by August 2021, just in time for football season. The hotel will also include amenities like a gym, coffee shop, rooftop lounge called The Red Owl and a restaurant called The Well and Good. 

The idea for the hotel came from the conference center located on Innovation Campus. Before COVID-19, Suter said there were about 30,000 people from throughout the United States and the world who attended conferences annually on Innovation Campus. 

“What we’re trying to do is just give each guest the feeling of what that small town is like and give them a little history about where it is, how it started and where it’s at today,” Suter said. 

Saunders County Historical Society Museum Curator Erin Hauser provided the information about Wahoo including the history, notable people and events and landmarks in the city. “The Wahoo, Nebraska Room” will have Hauser’s history which reviews Wahoo’s evolution over the years up to the present. 

“This century has already seen improvements to the town including: a new county hospital, public library, county judicial and law center, expressway, aquatic center and the Lake Wanahoo Recreation Area,” Hauser wrote.

Ashland Historical Society Board Member Marilyn Wright sent over the history of Ashland for one room, and also included a biography of Bion Arnold, who has been nominated to be featured in one of the three suites as a notable Nebraskan. 

Arnold graduated from both Ashland High School and University of Nebraska. He was a nationally recognized electrical engineer whose designs largely worked with electricity, railways and aeronautics. He is buried in the Ashland Cemetery.

“We are in hopes Ashland’s Bion Arnold will be one of the names selected to represent, historically, a famous Nebraskan in this hotel setting,” Wright said. 

Suter, who is originally from Omaha, said it has been amazing to work with these communities like the towns in Saunders County, and that many are excited to be featured this way. 

“It’s been a real history lesson for me,” Suter said. “It’s just really cool to hear about the way these towns came to be.”

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