PITTSBURG — Pittsburg added 72 hotel rooms to its stock Friday, when La Quinta Inn and Suites hosted its soft opening.
Owners Dan and Marisha Bhakta welcomed guests and provided refreshments, as well as giving tours of the different amenities and styles of rooms.
“It has been a long trip, but we made it here,” Marisha Bhakta said.
La Quinta Inn and Suites is located at the intersection of Centennial and Broadway at the former site of Economy Inn and Suites. The plans for La Quinta were approved by the city in March 2015, three years after Economy Inn and Suites was badly damaged by straight-line winds on Leap Day 2012.
The project was delayed by the insurance process and more, but now La Quinta is open for business.
Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Devin Gorman said he is excited to see the 72 new rooms available.
“To use a ‘Field of Dreams’ reference, they built it, and people will be coming,” he said.
While Gorman said the hotel will benefit all of Crawford County, Pittsburg City Manager Daron Hall said it was an exciting day for the city.
“Anytime we can add hotels is good,” Hall said. “Everyone’s played Monopoly — the more hotels and housing you add the more wealth you can bring into a community.”
The city partnered with La Quinta on the project by putting in a sewer line and creating a 10-foot-wide walking trail to the hotel. The city’s share of the cost on the two projects combined was $100,000.
La Quinta also received industrial revenue bonds for the project, which require the city to hold the title to the property until the bond is paid off. No city money is used in this process, it is all between La Quinta and the bank. The city simply holds the title as a show of support for the project.
The city also approved a 10-year tax abatement plan for La Quinta.
Dan and Marisha Bhakta plan to have a ribbon cutting and grand opening in January.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.