TUPELO – It will be about a year later than planned, but the opening of the Hampton Inn & Suites behind Lowe’s is planned for next summer.
Alpesh Patel, owner of Knoxville-based Kana Hotel Group, said that work has resumed on the site, 18 months after it was stopped.
“It all depends on the weather, but it could be May or it could be June,” he said.
The hotel is being built in Tupelo Commons, the retail development that’s home to retailers and restaurants including Best Buy, Ashley Home Furnishings, Lowe’s, Spectacular Specs Kea Eye Center, Olive Garden and Abner’s.
The Hampton is one of four hotels originally planned for the site behind Lowe’s, but is the only project still in the works.
Patel broke ground on the hotel in November 2008, but work ground to a halt in early 2009 as construction loan financing dried up. He had hoped to resume work in mid- to late 2009 and open the hotel in the summer, but wasn’t able to get the project going again until now.
“We talked to hundreds of banks, but the banks weren’t loaning,” he said.
But the four-story, 88-room Hampton Inn is back on track with financing secured.
The hotel will feature a “very cutting-edge design” with about a third of the rooms available in suites, Patel said.
“We’ll have a free hot breakfast, wired and wireless free Internet and an indoor pool,” he added.
It’s the Kana Hotel Group’s first hotel in Northeast Mississippi, but not the first in the state. The company has an Embassy Suites in Ridgeland.
KHG has 20 properties, with brands including Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Staybridge Suites and Holiday Inn Express.
Patel said Tupelo’s growth attracted him to the market, but also said that didn’t necessarily mean it needed more hotel rooms.
“But there is a need for a hotel like Hampton Inn & Suites,” he said. “It’s like a McDonald’s and Burger King – every town needs one.”
The hotel will employ about 25 people.
Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal