Assemblywoman Donna Simon is building bipartisan support among local and state officials throughout the state for her plan to qualify certain small, historic hotels for liquor licenses to reopen the landmark Union Hotel that has been called the “critical component” to revitalize Flemington’s downtown. Simon’s legislation, A-3198, would allow smaller historic inns to qualify for special liquor licenses already offered to larger hotels. The measure has recently gained support from bipartisan Assemblymen Jason O’Donnell, D-Hudson, Erik Peterson, R-Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren, and Peter Barnes, D-Middlesex. “The Union Hotel has been an important part of Flemington’s economy, culture and our state’s history. It remains a ‘critical component’ of Flemington’s economic future,” Simon, R-Hunterdon, Somerset, Mercer and Middlesex, said. “This plan has been supported by local officials and business leaders and we’re thrilled that other leaders throughout the state have realized how the role of Main Streets to create jobs and grow the economy in Flemington and other small New Jersey towns.” It also earned an endorsement from the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, which said, “it can benefit other historic districts and ‘Main Streets’ across the State. This type of economic development can assist municipalities stabilize their tax bases and attract additional economic development activity.” “Nothing can be accomplished without bipartisan support and bringing jobs back to Main Streets is a priority we all can agree on,” Simon said. “This plan will be a model on using creative solutions to bring back New Jersey’s downtowns, which will create jobs, grow the economy and help reduce the burden on property taxpayers.” Simon first proposed the legislation this summer, surrounded by local officials and business leaders, on the steps of the landmark hotel that started as a stagecoach stop and became famous for its role in the famous Lindbergh Trial. The bill would apply to hotels that were built before 1880, listed on the state and national registers of historic places and have at least 24 rooms. The hotel was recently sold to two local businessmen who have plans to re-open it with 50 rooms, a banquet hall, elegant steakhouse and a casual pub. ####
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