|By Jannette Pippin, The Daily News,
Jacksonville, N.C.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
July 06, 2010--SWANSBORO -- Officials with the Town of Swansboro and project leaders marked the start of a new hotel this week.
A Hampton Inn & Suites now under construction off Old Hammock Road near the intersection with N.C. 24 is the first hotel for the town in recent history. The last was the old Tarrymoore hotel, which has long been out of operation.
"This is a special day in the history of the Town of Swansboro," said Mayor Scott Chadwick. "As a coincidence, it was 1910 or 1911 thereabout that the Tarrymore hotel began in Swansboro down the street. So 100 years later, we're proud to be here on this site talking about the new hotel for the town."
John Sandlin, a partner on the project, said work on footing for the building's foundation should begin this week; and if construction progresses as planned, the goal is to complete the hotel by March.
"It's been almost two years of work (on this project)," said Sandlin. "It's going to be fun seeing the progress and getting involved in the community."
The four-story hotel will have 98 rooms, including 31 suites.
Barry Eagle of Crown Hotel and Travel Management, a member of the project development group, said their vision is to make the hotel the top Hampton Inn in the country and a project that is an asset to the community.
"From Day 1, we've had the support of the community," he said. "I think it's an incredible project and one you guys are going to be proud to have here."
Eagle said they hope to draw a wide variety of guests to the hotel, which is located within a mile of Swansboro's historic downtown district, down the road from area beaches and close to Camp Lejeune.
"Our vision is to pull in guests from the military in the area, the leisure travelers, the corporate travelers and local families that maybe never really had a place to stay while in town," Eagle said.
And in North Carolina, where tourism is a top industry, the project offers state as well as local benefits.
Annually, tourism spending in North Carolina reaches about $16 billion and the industry directly supports nearly 190,000 jobs.
Visitors stay an average of 3.3 nights, spending $169 a day, according to travel and tourism statistics.
"The thing I've realized about Swansboro is that it is a great place to visit, a great place work, a great place to play, and now it will be a great place to stay," Eagle said.
Eagle said they'll be working within the area the spread the word about the hotel and bring guests to the area and he invites the community help make the hotel a success.
He said the hotel will ultimately have a staff of 25 to 30; and the first step is to hire a general manager, who they hope to have in place five months or so before the hotel opens.
Contact Jannette Pippin at 910-382-2557 or email@example.com.
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