Hotel Garber

Hotel Garber

Red Cloud, Neb

First published: September 20, 2020 * UPDATE: March 31, 2021

Plans are underway to restore and adaptively reuse a downtown building for the creation of a twenty-six room boutique hotel in Red Cloud. Located in the historic Potter-Wright building next door to the Willa Cather Foundation’s Farmers and Merchants Bank, the hotel will be called Hotel Garber. Its namesake, Silas Garber, was a founder of Red Cloud and the prototype for Captain Forrester in Cather’s A Lost Lady. As of this writing, over $2.3 million has been raised, both in donations and in investor dollars. Should remaining funds come together quickly, the project could begin construction as early as August and be open for busines as early as October 2022. Right now, almost half of the money needed has been raised. 

The hotel will increase the supply of overnight accommodations available in Red Cloud, enabling visitors and event attendees to spend extended time exploring local attractions. The Hotel Garber will be pivotal to the continued transformation of downtown Red Cloud and it is fair to say that the advent of this project and the previous work completed on The National Willa Cather Center have spurred an uptick in retail and building development in downtown Red Cloud. The hotel will help small businesses located nearby to thrive and help Red Cloud become more than a pass through community for tourists but a destination.  

The design features a spacious lounge area on the first floor, which will add life and vibrancy to downtown Red Cloud. A stairwell descending from the sidewalk will be restored for direct entry into a modern meeting space accommodating up to sixty-four guests. Memorable guest rooms will spotlight artwork featuring Red Cloud from days gone by, while the lobby area will also exhibit historic fixtures from the town's rich history.

Data compiled by the University of Nebraska Extension illustrates that Webster County receives, on average, an annual $1.3 million in local economic impact from tourists. A recent economic impact study concluded that with expansion of Red Cloud’s lodging options and other customized services and experiential opportunities, some 3,500 visitor couples from outside the local area might spend multiple days in Red Cloud, spending an average of $1,000 per couple per trip. This could mean $3.5 million of total visitor spending annually because of the hotel – which could lead to a total economic impact of nearly $6 million per year. The project will continue to diversify the local economy, creating an estimated ten new jobs and generating over $365,000 in local sales and lodging taxes during the first decade in operation. 

Hotel Garber is planned as part of a collaborative agreement for heritage tourism development between the Red Cloud Community Fund of the Nebraska Community Foundation, the City of Red Cloud, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Willa Cather Foundation. Financing is being sought through both charitable donations and equity investments. To learn more or to help support the project, please contact Executive Director, Ashley Olson, at (402) 746-2653 or, or Red Cloud's Tourism Director, Jarrod McCartney, at To donate online, please click here.

Naming and Recognition Opportunities for Charitable Gifts

Gifts of any and all sizes are welcome through charitable contributions made to the Willa Cather Foundation as part of their Campaign for the Future. Gifts to the campaign are tax-deductible, and all gifts designated for the hotel will support its development through the Foundation's equity investment in the project. Pledges to the campaign are payable over a 5-year period. We greatly appreciate your support and are happy to offer you the following special recognition of your gift:


Hotel Lounge/Dining


Hotel Lobby and Check-in


Hotel Rooms (26 available)


Hotel Conference Room
Hotel Bar & Breakfast Nook
Hotel Vestibule
Bookshelves in Hotel Lobby


Hotel Manager's Office
Hotel Elevator
Hotel Check-in Desk
Hotel Catering Kitchen
Hotel Street-level Entrance to Conference Room