Rivercane hotel closing Monday

Published 1:57 pm Monday, November 19, 2007

By By Adam Prestridge
The countdown has started for Atmore Industrial Board members and officials with the City of Atmore.
In less than 36 hours, Vision Hospitality southeastern regional director John Tampa will ink his name on the contract for one of two parcels of land in Rivercane to build one of two hotels. The closing is set for 11 a.m. tomorrow at Atmore City Hall.
There have been several delays in the project since Tampa first committed to the project in May 2006. He has remained committed to Rivercane from day one and is still excited about his company's future in Atmore.
"Every project has its own problems, especially one of this magnitude, it's normal," Tampa said via cell phone last month. "In Atmore, there are good people and I want to be over there."
According to Tampa, his plans have not altered much since his announcement 17 months ago.
The first hotel to be constructed by Tampa will be a three-story, 80-unit Comfort Suites, which will include suite rooms, an outdoor swimming pool and Jacuzzi suites. The mid-scale property will cost approximately $4.5 million to construct and is slated to begin construction later this month, according to Tampa. Tampa said construction of the Comfort Suites should be completed in seven to eight months, weather permitting.
"We are excited," Tampa said. "It's going to be the newest hotel in Atmore and we are looking to break ground the end of this month and open sometime in the summer 2008."
Tampa plans to move quickly. He said equipment should be onsite two weeks after signing the contract.
Tampa will also be building an 80-room Hampton Inn &Suites by Hilton adjacent to the Comfort Suites property. Construction of it will cost a little more than $5 million.
It is unsure when Tampa will close on the property the Hampton Inn &Suites will occupy.
Both hotels will employee between 15-20 people.
Until Monday's closing is final, those that have worked diligently on the project will continue to keep their fingers crossed.