More businesses coming?
The new La Quinta will be built on land recently clearer by owner George Holtzman. Land next to the lot is still available, according to Holtzman, who is broker for Coldwell Banker Holtzman, Reatlors.
“We’re hoping to attract a good restaurant there,” Holtzman said.
At roughly two acres, the land is on the market for $675,000 and Holtzman said engineers estimated a 5,000 square foot building can fit.
The new hotel will make for No. 6 for the city of Flemington, roughly only five square miles.
“It’s just a major throughway to Hinesville, coming off I-95,” explained Hitesh Patel, general manager of the Inn at Hinesville.
But even Patel admitted there is not enough demand for all of the county’s 14 hotels.
“Right now, occupancy is there, but not all the hotels are all filled up,” Patel said. “Within the last four years there’s been about five or six hotels that have come in, so overall business has been affected.”
But Flemington’s position near Hinesville and Fort Stewart is probably what makes it so attractive, according to Mayor Sandra Martin.
She said the hotels help boost Flemington’s revenue so it can provide services to its residents.
“So that to us is a source of income without having to levy taxes, at the present,” Martin said. “Right now the hotel/motel tax does provide us an income to our general account.”
Flemington collected just under $200,000 in hotel/motel tax last fiscal year from its five hotels.
But the hotel/motel tax charges are based on the rooms rented, so revenue fluctuates every year.
Flemington has a five percent hotel tax and, by law, municipalities that charge more than three percent, have to send 40 percent of the revenue to tourism.
The estimated three-year budget for the Liberty County Convention and Visitors Bureau accounts for $156,000 annually to come from hotel/motel tax.
The visitors bureau is legally bound to only use the funds for promoting tourism.
Patel says mostly soldiers, their families and military contractors who book hotel rooms.
Occupancy for him has gone up about 50 percent from last year.
“It really does fluctuate,” Patel said. “For the last few years, it’s been up and down.”
But after doing a market study, Nick Patel, partner with the coming La Quinta Inn, is looking forward to coming to the area.
“We thought that was a good market to be in,” Patel said. “Our main thing is to serve the community and Hinesville. We’re going to offer the best accommodations and best service in town.”
The three-story, 80-room hotel is set to open by next summer.