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March 18--CARLSBAD -- Construction on three new hotels and a popular deli are still on track for openings this year in Carlsbad, according to local officials.

McAlister's Deli, a national restaurant chain, should open its doors first -- good news for local residents who are craving the chain's sandwiches and sweet tea. The restaurant is currently set to open some time in May, said John Waters, director of the Carlsbad Department of Development.

"As far as we've been told and from what we've seen, everything is still on schedule for a May opening," Waters said. "We are really excited about that."

The deli is not the only buzz going around town for construction. Three new hotels are in the first stages of construction. All three hotels are scheduled to be open before the holiday season later in the year, Waters said.

The hotels include La Quinta, Comfort Suites and Marriott Suites.

Marriott Suites, located at the old Furr's restaurant site, was the last new hotel to be announced and start construction. According to county records, the property, which is now split into two lots, was sold in June 2013.

While the construction at the Marriott Suites has been moving swiftly, La Quinta, which would be located on National Parks Highway, seems to be the project with the most progress, Waters said. Comfort Suites' 87-room hotel would be on Pierce Street by Carlsbad Medical Center.

Other communities in Eddy County are also seeing hotel growth. A construction firm recently announced ground breaking for a Hampton Inn and Suites in Artesia. The hotel would consist of 82 rooms, according to a news release. Construction on the project should begin in the next couple of weeks, said Malini Perumla, spokeswoman for Total Management Systems, Inc., the management operator for the site.

Perumla said completion on the four-story hotel, which would be located at 304 North 26th St., is expected to be completed in summer 2015.

Jonathan Smith can be reached at 575-628-5516.

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