By: Kayla Bremer
If you look at the downtown skyline near the Haymarket, you've probably noticed some big changes recently.
Anyone who's been in the area can say the Pinnacle Bank Arena and surrounding buildings are making a lot of progress. What used to be an old rail yard is becoming a hot spot for entertainment, apartments and shopping.
New hotels are also in the process of being built. The Courtyard Marriott, which opened in October, has seen a lot of business already...especially because of the state basketball tournaments.
"We're really excited that it's moving over to even a closer venue," Bill Michael of Scottsbluff said. "I think it will gather more people around here and be just easier access for a lot of people."
The hotel has sold out all 155 rooms both last weekend and this weekend. Assistant manager Boe Lindvall says watching the transition of the Haymarket has been remarkable.
"The excitement and the energy that's in the Haymarket area right now is amazing," Lindvall said.
The skeletons of multiple buildings are popping up in the west Haymarket. In the background, the Pinnacle Bank Arena, where the state tournament will be held next year is completely enclosed.
Just south of the arena will be "The Yard," an outdoor plaza that will have shops, restaurants, a hotel and residences.
This whole area is expected to bring millions of dollars to the economy and has people excited for future places to eat, live and shop.
"The downtown area, the Haymarket with that stuff going on in the new arena is going to be booming," Lindvall said. "You know restaurants, all those things are going to have so many more people down there."
The 16,000 seat arena is expected to open this coming fall. Right in time for the Husker's basketball season and will also host next year's state tournaments.