A Southeast Kansas community celebrates the groundbreaking for its newest hotel. But city leaders say this is just one part of a much bigger plan.
The new Holiday Inn Express is being built on the southeast corner of the intersection of Highways 59 and 400. And the developers responsible for its construction say they only had to look to the past to see what the future would hold for them in Parsons.
“Back 12 years ago, we owned the Canterbury Inn up on 160 East,” says Robert Patel.
And Leisure Hospitality Management CEO Robert Patel says that prior relationship made it an easy decision to build in parsons.
“We were very excited. We knew that it needed a new hotel in Parsons, it needed a conference center for the needs of the city here,” says Robert Patel.
And by fall of 2019, the 80 bed Holiday Inn Express and the eight thousand square foot conference center will both be finished. Parsons mayor Kevin Cruse says this may be just the beginning.
“It’s a catalyst for our 59/400 corridor access,” says Kevin Cruse.
Parsons economic development director Jim Zaleski says to that end, they’re already looking forward to the next phase of work.
“Our next step is to try and get a full service restaurant in here and some retail that will not only support the hotel but be supported by those staying in the hotel,” says Jim Zaleski.
Cruse says at the same time that’s happening, Parsons is experiencing a bit of an economic rebirth.
“We have this, of course, getting off the ground, we have Taco Bell we’ve added to our community, soon to open and now being built is the Dollar Tree/Domino’s, so we’re growing,” says Kevin Cruse.
But will the growth continue around the hotel? Patel says if the past is any indication, the answer is yes.
“We’ve been all over in the Tulsa metro, and we notice when you get a hotel come in, then you’re going to have restaurants follow, you’re going to have other industries look at the hotel and say, ‘well, we do have a place for our vendors to stay,’” says Robert Patel.
Even though there’s still more than a year’s worth of work to be done, Zaleski says they’ll most likely be taking reservations for the new convention center by the end of the month.