Mt. Vernon Hotel Industry Expanding


By Matthew Searcy
By Randy Livingston

MT. VERNON -- The hotel industry in Mt. Vernon is going through some changes. The newly remodeled Drury Inn opened this month, and two new hotels are set to come to town next year. 

"The hotel chains have seen a solid market in Mt. Vernon in terms of the amount of traffic that we have," explained city manager Ron Neibert.  
The Drury Inn spent nearly a year upgrading and expanding, adding 20 additional rooms after knocking down the original building.  
"We are seeing a net growth in the amount of available rooms as well as a growth in the quality of rooms available in Mt. Vernon," said Neibert.  
The city will be adding a Holiday Inn Express north of the existing Holiday Inn, which will be remodeled into a Double Tree. Both multi-million dollar projects are expected to be complete by next year.  
"They have all conducted their due diligence to see if Mt. Vernon can support their facilities and they absolutely felt that we could," explained Neibert.  
New tourist attractions, a growing population and more than a half dozen new businesses in the last year, have all contributed to the growing need for hotels.  
"We have 1,125 rooms of hotels, the Holiday Inn Express project should take us over 1,200 rooms," said Neibert.  
The city made more than $800,000 in hotel taxes last year. That amount is expected to rise next year. City leaders say the new businesses could attract even more hotel chains
"I have spoken with other brands that have interest in Mt. Vernon," said Neibert. "They want to see what the two new hotels are going to fare before they make a committment."  
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