Cheyenne Mayor Rick Kaysen says a decision Thursday by the State Land and Investment Board approving state money for an elevated walkway paves the way for construction of a new hotel in the downtown area.

The SLIB board on Thursday unanimously voted to approve a $ 567, 000 grant and a $187, 000 loan to build the skywalk  between the Jack R.Spiker parking facility and a Hilton Hotel planned for 17th and Pioneer in downtown Cheyenne.

Under terms of the proposal the hotel will lease the walkway from the city until the loan portion of the state money is paid off. Kaysen says that although "there is still a lot of work to be done", he is hoping work on the new hotel can start by late this summer.

He says if that happens he is hoping the hilton could open before the end of 2015.