December 04, 2012
After months of converstion and compromise, the Aiken City Council approved the plan for two new hotels. The projected economic impact of that project is $30 million.
“It’s almost impossible to believe, but there is a strong market for hotels in Aiken,” says Councilman Dick Dewar. “Apparently two or three nights a week you can’t find a room,” he says.
But, it’s not just about filling the rooms in the inn, it’s about the economic impact on Aiken.
“$30 million dollars is a significant investment,” says Will Williams, of the Economic Development Partnership.
So, how will they show you the money? Economic impact extends to the businesses touched by the business a hotel brings in.
“They have to have eat somewhere,” Williams says. “They go to a local restaurant, they leave a tip, they pick up something they didn’t bring, and they probably like the area so much that they take a souvenir home..”
So, even though the hotels are on Aiken’s outskirts, dollars should be going downtown.
“There are people in the community who can walk in and ring the cash register,” says Williams.
And, Williams says, business begets bigger business.
“When companies come they look at rooms, when events are planned and they’re considering different locations, they look at rooms,” he says.
And there’s a smaller number, that to many people means just as much: Developers say the hotels on their own will create 100 jobs.
“In this economy, even 10 jobs are important,” Dewar says, “100 jobs, even more so.”
All of this adds up to what Aiken leaders hope will be a jump start to the city’s economy.
Developer will first build the Holiday Inn Express, then the Staybridge Suites, so the jobs should come in several waves.