Monday, May 14, 2012

Belleville Pursues Hotel on Illinois Route 15

The Belleville News-Democrat has a story this afternoon about their mayor's desire for a new hotel on the city's west side at Belleville Crossing.

BELLEVILLE -- Mayor Mark Eckert has said for the past several years that the sour economy has kept development at bay, but he thinks the time may be right to tackle new ventures again.

He and The DESCO Group, the developer of Belleville Crossing on Illinois 15, are talking about the possibility of a hotel in that area. He said the two parties agree that, with the economy bouncing back, the area is ripe for opportunity.

"I'm asked all the time: Why aren't we going after a hotel?" Eckert said. "It is time to start to pursue this again."

The story notes a developer backed out after the recession started in 2007 who wanted to build a Hampton Inn.

There's hope yet for Belleville. Marion's two newest hotels, the new Holiday Inn Express & Suites and the Comfort Inn now under construction were both 2007 projects that were sidelined by the recession but have since made a comeback.

The challenge for Belleville is that the location is in the opposite direction of the interstate highways.

Holiday Inn Express Opens in Marion

The new Holiday Inn Express & Suites opened on The Hill in Marion May 6 just in time for the busy SIU-C graduation weekend. Stephen Rickerl has the story in the Southern which focuses on more about the The Hill's growth itself.

The opening of the new hotel adds 101 rooms for Marion. The former Holiday Inn Express off of Exit 53 is now Best Western Plus Marion Hotel. Meanwhile progress continues on a new Comfort Inn which will add 64 rooms.

The new room count should be around 1273 for Marion and 1411 overall for Williamson County, however it's possible another 50 or so rooms will disappear in the next year as developers eye America's Best Inns for new restaurants. Additional rooms may be lost at another older hotel if the owners go through with a renovation to combine rooms and create new suites.

In another name change, the original Ramada Inn and most recently a Days Inn, switched flags and is now an American's Best Value Inn.