With much fanfare, the eagerly-awaited ribbon-cutting took place Tuesday morning at the Hampton Inn and Suites at 2700 N. Hervey in Hope.
Several people were there who were instrumental in the design and the decorating of the hotel as well as the building of the structure. Gary Chambless and Jason Prejean are the owners of the hotel and were on hand and Hugh Brown, of Little Rock, formerly of Hope, was there also. Brown consulted with the interior designers to help decorate the hotel. He previously owned the Holiday Inn Express.
The Rev. John Nations, pastor of White Oak Grove Baptist Church, and the Chambless's pastor gave a prayer of thanks.
Mayor Dennis Ramsey mentioned the late Perry Campbell, the well-known businessman who owned a lot of property in Hope and in Perrytown. Gary Chambless also mentioned that he felt Perry Campbell's spirit there with the crowd and that Campbell, a business mentor and partner to Chambless, was a great businessman.
The official opening of the hotel was March 6. According to General Manager LaVonne Jordan, “our groundbreaking was held December, 2011.”
“We have 70 rooms, with 24 studio king suites, which include a king-sized sofa bed,” she said. “All rooms have microwaves and refrigerators and the suites have a sink for washing dishes.”
There is also an indoor pool, which is heated, and there is a big fitness room with state of the art equipment and weights. A meeting room with a capacity to seat 40 in theater style seats is also on site.
A complimentary breakfast bar, including three hot items, is available for guests, as well as a waffle maker.
“There are 24 people employed at the hotel, including myself,” Jordan said. “I have 19 years of experience running hotels, including managing the Holiday Inn Express here in Hope from 2007-2012. My training began with Hampton in August, and I'm enjoying it.”
Jordan has been in the hospitality business for most of her life, she said, and enjoys people.
“This is the first hotel that has been built in Hope for 16 years, and we're excited about the it,” Jordan said. “We have had nothing but positive comments from our guests. We hope to continue to have positive feedback and we will strive to do the best we can for our customers.”