The space that was once occupied by Chuck E. Cheese in Midtown Fort Collins will officially become an auto retail store - not a hotel.

105 W. Prospect Road, which formerly housed the ultimate party place for kids was supposed to be redeveloped into a Marriott hotel.

However, due to unforeseeable complications and changes from the COVID-19 pandemic, those plans have seemingly been scratched.

According to the Coloradoan, national auto-retailer, AutoZone filed a building permit application with the city of Fort Collins last week to renovate the former Chuck E. Cheese space, which sits just south of College Avenue and Prospect Road.

Les Kaplan, the owner of the building has signed a long-term lease for the entire site, including space that's currently occupied by a furniture store, the Coloradoan said.

The COVID-19 pandemic completely shook up travel and tourism as we once knew it, and our Northern Colorado community hasn't been left unscathed.

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According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), many travelers are choosing to cancel their trips - without any plans to postpone - due to rising COVID-19 cases.

In fact, the AHLA says that 69% of travelers are now likely to take fewer trips, 55% are likely to postpone their travel plans and 42% are likely to flat out cancel their travel plans with no intent to reschedule.

While the hotel market is still down, Kaplan and partners Saunders Development and Fort Collins developer Stu MacMillan put their plans of developing a six-story Marriott-branded hotel on the vacant site on a halt; this occurred shortly after the group received approval from the city's planning and zoning commission to move forward with the project.

Although the plans were essentially stopped, the Coloradan says Kaplan still considers the hotel to be the best use for the Midtown property.

Located across from CSU's campus and within walking distance to downtown or Canvas Stadium, the hotel was expected to be a goldmine for those visiting the university.

The Chuck E. Cheese in Midtown Fort Collins said its final goodbye in April 2020 and has been vacant since then.

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