By Jeff Fox

Work is getting underway on the Stoney Creek Inn next to Bass Pro Shops in Independence.

“We’re on track for fall of 2014” to open the 167-room hotel, said spokesperson LaVonne Hamilton.

The four-story hotel will include a courtyard, pool and bar. It won’t have a restaurant but will have a kitchen for its catering service. Bass Pro Shops, which anchors the Falls as Crackerneck Creek development, has a popular restaurant, and officials have spoken of the the store and hotel being a good fit.

The catering option will be important for the hotel’s 15,000-square-foot conference center, including a 7,000-square-foot ballroom that could seat up to 700 for a banquet. By comparison, the largest meeting room at the nearby Hilton Garden Inn is listed at 11,322 square feet.

Stoney Creek Hospitality, based in Mason City, Iowa, has 13 hotels, most under the Stoney Creek Inn name, in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Wisconsin. The two in Missouri are in St. Joseph and Columbia, and Hamilton said given those locations it made sense to look at a site in this area.

The conference center will be largest in the company, and the hotel will actively market itself to such events.

“It’ll be an extremely big part of our business in Independence,” she said.