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June 29, 2013--NATCHEZ -- The employees of the newly built Holiday Inn Express are putting the final touches on the hotel in preparation for its opening Tuesday.

Desai Hotel Group Director of Operations Chintan Desai said the $5.5 million hotel will open Tuesday afternoon, and its first guests will arrive Wednesday.

In the meantime, the staff is cleaning rooms and polishing up the finishing touches to ensure the hotel is ready for guests.

The hotel has four floors, 81 rooms, 19 suites, a 24-hour fitness center and an outdoor swimming pool.

The hotel, Desai said, has hired approximately 15 people. When the hotel is fully operational, he said, the hotel would have 15-20 employees.

The hiring process is currently closed until the hotel opens, Desai said, but information about hotel jobs will be available through the WIN Job Center after the opening.

Desai will be serving as general manager of the hotel for six months until a manager is hired.

Desai said the hotel is very appreciative of the positive response it has received from the community.

"We talked to people, and they're glad for us to be in town, and we're just as excited as they are about being here," he said.

A public grand opening celebration, Desai said, will soon be coordinated through the Natchez-Adams County Chamber of Commerce.

Desai Hotel Group President Sunny Desai first purchased the land for the hotel in 2010.

Issues with getting permits and site plan approval from the city delayed initial construction plans. Those delays included the city's planning department-sending plans for the hotel to a third-party firm in Chicago for review to ensure the plans met the International Building Code.

Once construction began, crews were hit with a series of rainy days throughout the project that slowed things down.

The Holiday Inn Express and Suites is the fourth new hotel constructed in Natchez since 2007.

The city and the county both approved tax increment-financing plans in 2011 to pay a portion of the ad valorem taxes generated by the hotel toward infrastructure improvements near the hotel's site.

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