'It's a whole different business sector that we had not even envisioned or imagined before'

A groundbreaking took place Thursday for a new boutique hotel in Brunswick County that officials said will benefit small businesses and bring jobs to the area.

It has been decades since the county along Virginia’s southern border with a population just shy of 16,000 has seen a project like this.

“There really are no words to describe the excitement, and the enthusiasm and the energy behind today's event,” Alfreda Jarrett Reynolds, the director of Brunswick County's Economic Development Office, said.

Reynolds is hopeful that Hotel Elle, which is slated to spur nearly 170 jobs for the area, will be a “catalyst to revitalize our economic development engine.”

“With our community college and high school, to be able to offer some hospitality pieces is astronomical,” Reynolds said. “It's a whole different business sector that we had not even envisioned or imagined before.”

The hotel, which will be built adjacent to US-58, aims to capitalize on its location.

“I have looked over 27 years ago and knew that there was something special about that piece of property,” Reynolds said.

That location will be a perfect fit for tourists heading to Lake Gaston and folks who flock to the Taste of Brunswick Festival, which celebrates Southern food, like the county’s famous Brunswick Stew that dates back to the 1820s, as well as music and hospitality. There is also the Brickyard 5k Race , the Lion's Club Seafood Festival, Jazz on the Square and BBQ on the Runway, according to a list of events on the county’s Visit Brunswick website.

Carla Bailey, developer of Hotel ElleCarla Bailey, a developer for the project, said the warm embrace of the community made it the perfect place for Hotel Elle.

“It was something that was warm and welcoming. And so it was her spirit, and just the community, just how I felt about it,” Bailey explained.

The 110-bedroom hotel will serve as a place of rest and relaxation for not only visitors, but to people who live in the county and surrounding environs, according to Bailey.

“We really want this to not just be our hotel, this is the community's hotel. A place where they can come and stay, and celebrate and eat, and just have a wonderful time,” Bailey said. “We are also looking at a rooftop restaurant and lounge and also an event meeting space.”

Bailey said many of the goods and services in the hotel will be supplied by residents.

“So we're going to be looking for that assistance on the front-end. And then on the back-end, after it’s [up and running],” Bailey said.

Alfreda Jarrett Reynolds, Brunswick County Economic Development DirectorReynolds called the groundbreaking "just the beginning.”

”People are elated, they're in tears, they're excited,” she said.

Construction is slated to begin early this summer. The hotel is expected to be completed in about two years in spring 2025.

More information about the hotel and the upcoming community engagement sessions will be posted on the county's website, officials said.

from WTVR.com

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