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Holiday Inn Express opens on bypass after year of construction

The new Holiday Inn Express on Danville’s U.S. 150 opened its doors to the public for the first time today.

Ben Kleppinger/ben.kleppinger@amnews.com The 76-room hotel was estimated to cost $6.6 million to build and could employ as many as 30 people.

Ben Kleppinger/ben.kleppinger@amnews.com
The 76-room hotel was estimated to cost $6.6 million to build and could employ as many as 30 people.

The hotel has been under construction since November 2015. While a grand opening won’t be held until January or February, owner Manish Patel said today is the soft opening for the 76-room hotel on the southeastern edge of the city.

Patel, who also manages the Hampton Inn next door, said there are currently 15 people employed by the Holiday Inn. That number could rise once the hotel gets through the winter, a traditionally slow time for the industry.

Patel said talks about opening a new hotel in Danville began about two years ago. After a year of construction, the business is now open pretty much on schedule, he said.

Today’s revenues will be given to a charity, Patel said, but which charity has not been decided.

The hotel includes a conference center and is expected to help fill a need for rooms in Danville, where economic development officials have said occupancy rates are regularly over 90 percent and it’s not uncommon for people seeking a room to be turned away.

The shortage of rooms has been noted by local officials ever since the Country Hearth Inn, which had more than 100 rooms, closed three years ago.

Myrna Miller, director of sales for the Danville Holiday Inn Express and Hampton Inn, said many years ago, the Country Hearth Inn was a Holiday Inn. Danville’s Quality Inn also used to be a Holiday Inn, meaning this is the third time Danville has had a hotel associated with the Holiday Inn chain, she said.

Ben Kleppinger/ben.kleppinger@amnews.com Myrna Miller, left, and Melissa Fightmaster set up a Christmas tree in the lobby of Danville's new Holiday Inn Express Thursday afternoon. Miller is director of sales for the hotel and Fightmaster is the general manager.

Ben Kleppinger/ben.kleppinger@amnews.com
Myrna Miller, left, and Melissa Fightmaster set up a Christmas tree in the lobby of Danville’s new Holiday Inn Express Thursday afternoon. Miller is director of sales for the hotel and Fightmaster is the general manager.

The hotel cost an estimated $6.6 million to build and was expected to eventually employ up to 30 people, with an annual payroll of $425,000, according to news archives. Boyle County, the City of Danville and the state of Kentucky all provided tax incentives totaling about $50,000 for the project.

Danville and Boyle County’s incentives are based on payroll taxes. As long as the hotel maintains certain levels of employment over the next three years, Boyle County will give the business an $8,250 payroll tax break and Danville will give it approximately $16,000. State incentives total around $25,000, according to news archives.