More Growth and Development Emerging in Cambridge
For communities like Kearney or Grand Island the addition of a gas station or hotel doesn't usually make headlines, but for smaller towns, that kind of growth can say a lot about what's going on in the community. With a population sitting around 1,100 Cambridge may not be the biggest community in its area, but it continues to make progress. Ground is broken and plans are in place for two new additions to the community. Cobblestone Hotel and Suites and a brand new Casey's General Store are both set to open sometime in the spring. "It took a little while to get everything finalized but now that it's finally happening, I think people are really excited to see it," said Ashley Ric-Gerlach, executive director of economic development for Cambridge. The 31-bedroom hotel is being built in the Harvest Meadows subdivision just east of town, while the new bigger and better Casey's is set to be built behind its current location "I had the chance to stay at a Cobblestone and it's just going to be a great addition to the community. And with Casey's it's really exciting that we're getting a new store. I think it'll be really nice on the corner of town," said Gerlach. And at a time when many rural areas are seeing a decline in population, many communities along Highway 6 like McCook, Cambridge and Arapahoe are seeing more growth and development. "There's an opportunity here for business, whether they're new or existing, to really prosper and do well here. It's really exciting for all of the communities along the Republican River that are attracting new businesses and people to come and live here," she said. And while this new development helps to attract more business and new people, officials also hope it keeps youth coming back to the area. "I think that it is a really positive thing for our youth to see the progress that's been made, especially for those that have gone away and they have come back to see all of this new development. And it shows that we are being progressive, positive and proactive and trying to make it better for the next generations, and so that our community continues to thrive and our population continues to grow,” said Gerlach. Officials say they are constantly thinking outside the box for ways to expand, and that more housing for renters is something they hope to be able to develop into the future.