|By Marty Roney, Montgomery Advertiser,
Ala.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
March 12, 2013--PRATTVILLE -- The hotel that replaces a Prattville landmark held its grand opening Tuesday.
Hampton Inn and Suites offers 101 rooms, and marks a total investment of about $7 million by brothers Roscoe and Richard Williams, who own the business. The new hotel sits on the lot where the Holiday Inn once stood, also owned by the Williams brothers. Built in March of 1974, the Holiday Inn once sat by itself atop the hill overlooking I-65, surrounded by cotton fields and pastures.
"Back then from downtown, the interstate may as well have been the dark side of the moon, it seemed so far out," said Harold Jackson, of Prattville. "There was the Holiday Inn out that way, and a whole bunch of cows. Whenever you gave people directions to Prattville, you always told them 'Get off at the Holiday Inn exit.' Now look at how we have grown."
Prattville has seen its share of growth the past four decades, and the Williams brothers plan on that trend continuing. After all, $7 million is a lot of money to spend in tough economic times.
"It's a big investment, but we saw signs in '09 that our business was coming back," Richard Williams said. "We had a two-year trend once we started talking to the banks. We showed them the financials that business was coming back. So there is a risk, but there's always a reward for investments like this."
From start to finish, razing the Holiday Inn and building the new hotel took about a year. The hotel had a soft opening Jan. 31.
"Business has been surprisingly good," Rocoe Williams said. "We were planning on opening in January because that was a slow time. That would give us some time to get all the kinks out. Business has really been picking up in the month of February."
Hampton offers double rooms and king-sized beds in the suites. Services include a business center, fitness room and breakfast bar. From the get-go, there were no plans for a restaurant.
"We have enough room on this lot to build another hotel and a free standing restaurant," Roscoe Williams said. "So we have room to expand."
The Williams also own and operate the old Hampton Inn, located right across Cobbs Ford Road from the new location. When Hampton Inn and Suites opened, the old location was re-flagged as a Howard Johnsons.
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