New ho­tel an­nounced

The Covington News - - BUSINESS - BRYAN FAZIO bfazio@cov­news.com

Navin Shah, the city of Cov­ing­ton and the New­ton County Of­fice of Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment an­nounced Thurs­day a new Hol­i­day Inn Ex­press and Suites will be com­ing to Cov­ing­ton.

The new six-story ho­tel will be lo­cated on 14450 Paras Drive be­hind Shah’s other ho­tel prop­erty, Hamp­ton Inn. The new­est pro­to­type of Hol­i­day Inn Ex­press and Suites will fea­ture 110 rooms, of which 40 will be king and 30 king suite; 1,110 square feet of meet­ing room space; 750 square feet of out­door pa­tio and an ex­tra-large fit­ness cen­ter.

Shah said the ex­tra king beds and fit­ness space will help ac­com­mo­date the busi­ness com­mu­nity that has been com­ing through Cov­ing­ton look­ing for per­spec­tive lo­ca­tions, work­ing for Bax­ter, or vis­it­ing cur­rent lo­cal busi­nesses. The project will cost an es­ti­mated $10.5 mil­lion.

The new ho­tel will also re­quire 35 new hires and more than 100 em­ploy­ees dur­ing the con­struc­tion phase.

“Ev­ery job counts right now,” Cov­ing­ton Mayor Ron­nie John­ston said.

The Hol­i­day Inn Ex­press and Suites is sched­uled to break ground in by July 4 at the lat­est, and open Jan. 2, 2017.

The project has been in the plans for about a year, with Shah try­ing to find the right lo- cation and the per­fect fit of ho­tel for the clien­tele his re­search says is in need. Shah and direc­tor of Com­mer­cial Devel­op­ment for the Cov­ing­ton-New­ton County Cham­ber of Com­merce Serra Hall said the search went all over New­ton County, and even out­side of it.

The right deal was able to be worked out, and a po­ten­tial park­ing spot prob­lem was fixed to keep the new ho­tel near Shah’s ex­ist­ing Hamp­ton Inn.

We were able to squeeze in 10 or 12 more park­ing spa­ces on that lot and that was the dif­fer­ence,” Vice Pres­i­dent of Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Dave Bernd said.

Bryan Fazio/The Cov­ing­ton News

Cov­ing­ton Mayor Ron­nie John­ston, Hol­i­day Inn Ex­press and Suites and Hamp­ton Inn owner Navin Shah and Direc­tor of Com­mer­cial Devel­op­ment Serra Hall.

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