TAZEWELL, Va. — A deal to build a hotel and parking garage in downtown Tazewell is “null and void at this point.”
Town Manager Todd Day said the investor, Greg Mulkey, backed out “for a multitude of reasons … and decided it was not his best interest” to move forward.
The 65-room hotel was to be constructed on Main Street in a vacant lot across from the Painted Peak Brewery and between the offices of the commonwealth’s attorney and Thompson & Litton Inc.
A parking garage on the lower levels of the building was to be built by the town.
Day said the core drilling and geotechnical work was completed last year at the site in preparation for the hotel, and it is a suitable site.
Despite the setback, It’s also a project the town will keep pushing.
“We are in the process now (of looking for a developer),” Day said. “It’s just a matter of time when another hotel will step up to the plate and be interested in it.”
In fact, inquiries are already coming in.
“We have the great fortune to have hotel developers looking at this,” he said. “The way we are growing, with the Back of the Dragon, there’s no question it’s just a matter of time.”
Day was referring to the Rt. 16 motorcycle/sports car trail that runs from Tazewell to Marion and is attracting tens of thousands or visitors every year to the county, a number that continues to grow.
The Back of the Dragon headquarters is in Tazewell and a new facility will soon open that is used to host visitors and sell products.
Day used a baseball analogy about economic development.
“We were on third base, but didn’t get in,” he said. “We are going to keep swinging at every opportunity. You can sit in the dugout and watch the dust fly up when you kick your feet. But we are not about that. We get up and keep swinging.”
When one opportunity falls through the cracks another one will come along if you keep pursuing them, he added.
“If you don’t have any opportunities that have fallen through, it simply means you are not doing anything,” he said.
— Contact Charles Boothe at email@example.com