Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 15, 2012

Bluefield, Va., officials: Market primed for lodging opportunity in town limits

KATE COIL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD, Va. — A need for lodging has spurred town officials in Bluefield, Va., to seek parties interested in opening up a hotel franchise in the town limits.

Steve Danko, member of the Bluefield, Va., Town Council, said discussion between town officials as well as requests from residents and visitors prompted the town to take a closer look at if a hotel was viable for the area.

“There was internal discussion on the town council, but a lot of people also brought this as a concern before the board,” Danko said. “A lot of people have expressed a need for a hotel in this area. Everyone is talking about it, and we have been looking into this for a good year.”

Danko said a study conducted by an outside firm found there is enough of a market for a hotel in the Bluefield, Va. area.

“There is land available for motels,” Danko said. “A survey has been made and a marketing study has been completed to justify a 60-room motel within the Bluefield, Va. town limits. The town had the survey done to see if there was a market for a hotel in the area. We are just trying to get one hotel at this point, but any more we could get would be welcome. They felt the area next to the Walmart shopping center would be a prime location for a new hotel. There are a couple of sites in that area we think would be a great location for a hotel.”

The Comfort Inn on U.S. 460/19 is not within the town limits, and Danko said the only other hotels in the area are a considerable distance from the town.

“We have no places in this area for people to say,” Danko said. “Everyone stays up in Princeton where the hotels are at Exit 9. There are some hotels in Tazewell, but they aren’t exactly chain hotels either. Princeton is the closest location with hotels, and so the majority of people go there to stay. We want to accommodate the people who are coming into the town of Bluefield, Va.”

Many people are coming into the Bluefield area for events, Danko said

“People come in for the football games and to see the sports teams,” Danko said. “Events like the coal show and Blue Gray Horse Show bring people in to the area. The ATV trails are also bringing people in to this area. People are coming, but we have no place to put them when they come in. Business people have no place to stay when they come in. ”

Danko said the town council has reached out to the owners of hotel franchises already located in the nearby area to see if they would be interested.

“We want people to know we have a need for a hotel,” he said. “We are looking for investors and potential owners who are interested in expanding their business and chains into the Bluefield, Va. area. We would really like a major hotel chain. We have made contact with about five or six major hotel chains. We are still talking with some of these chains about the area. I have talked to people who have access to the different chains and hotel owners who have multiple hotel franchises.”

Danko said anyone who is interested in investing in or opening up a hotel in the area can contact him at 304-320-3565 or Bluefield, Va. Town Manager Mike Watson at 276-322-2646.

— Contact Kate Coil at kcoil@bdtonline.com