A little more than two years ago, Hopkinsville Investment Partners LLC announced the building of a new hotel next to the James E. Bruce Convention Center.

Today, the Holiday Inn & Suites is nearing completion after 11 months of construction at 100 Tilley Way.

Gary Dennis, general manager, said officials are predicting a Feb. 20 opening.

"We have a lot of work to do," he said.

Dennis said inclement weather has caused some construction delays.

"We've had a fairly wet fall and winter so far. A lot of rain," he said. "When the temperature drops too cold, you can't put the plaster on the outside of the building. So, the rain and the cold temperatures have slowed down the outside, but when that happens we continue to progress on the inside."

Dennis said work is continuing on both the interior and exterior of the full-service hotel.

"We have paint up on fourth, third and second (floors) tile and grout in the bathrooms on fourth and third and starting on second," he said, "Carpet, I believe, is supposed to start this week."

Dennis said the 104-room facility with 16 junior suites will be "a very fancy Holiday Inn" to include a large fitness center, spacious indoor pool and small meeting room.

"What's going to be somewhat unique is we're going to build a beautiful patio-courtyard outside that will have a permanent wet bar for events, special functions, meet-and-greet," he said. "We'll usually have that open and available when they have groups here at the Convention Center. That patio will have a waterfall, firepit, grill. It's going to be beautiful out there."

The onsite restaurant, Toast to Toast, will provide full meals and catering. The restaurant will be open to the public.

"It's what they call fast casual," he said. "You'll go up to the counter and order. You'll be given table number so it will be served to you. It's going to be an elevated menu. It's a global menu that has to work around the world, so it will have food options that are not as typical for Kentucky.

"We're going to be the first to open Toast to Toast with a buffet also, which is a new concept for Holiday Inn."

For staffing, the Holiday Inn is holding a job fair from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Kentucky Career Center Career Development office, 110 Riverfront Drive.

"We are excited to begin developing our award-winning team," he said. "We are looking for very excited, highly motivated staff people that would like to come on and help us to reach that torch-bearer status."

Dennis said they will be hiring every staff position except general manager and assistant general manager. Positions include front desk staff, restaurant staff, executive housekeeper, room attendants, chief engineer, facilityattendants and front desk and sales.

"We hope to bring our staff on the last week of January, first week of February," he said.

Dennis said the restaurant staff will be cross-trained in all aspects of the restaurant.

"They'll take orders, make coffee, bring out the dishes to the guests as servers. They will also be trained to cook, and the ones that work the evening shift will also be cross-trained as bartenders," he said.

Dennis called this hotel "a one-stop-shop with a flair" to serve families and businesses for staycations, vacations, weddings, military events, conferences and more.

"The construction of this hotel is somewhat in response to the need for this market to be able to cater to the business market and to pull in workshops, trainings, conferences," he said. "Holiday Inn really does want to focus on families and business. I think it bridges that gap. It's a very well-rounded brand."

The ownership group has experience with the national hotel chain, as it has operated the Holiday Inn Express in Oak Grove for more than 21 years.

In a 2017 press release, managing partner Jeff Anderson commented on Hopkinsville Investment Partners LLC's desire to build a hotel.

"The area has provided a great footprint for success over the years at our Holiday Inn Express location, and we look forward to growing that footprint at the new Holiday Inn in conjunction with the Convention Center and Sportsplex," Anderson said.

Dennis said he looks forward to serving the Hopkinsville community.

"We are excited to join the market," he said. "Both my assistant general manager Tonya (Greenwell) and myself are new to Hopkinsville. I've really enjoyed the city so far. I've been here for about five months. I love it and I'm glad to be here."

Reach Michele Vowell at 270-887-3242 or mvowell@kentuckynewera.com.

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