Everyone knows this is a great place to live, but just visiting is about to get easier, too.
Fort Mill is set to get its first hotel.
The project was able to move forward after the town council annexed some land near Lowe's last month. The hotel will be built across from Baxter Village adjacent to Lowe's Home Improvement just off Carolina Place Drive, said Andy Merriman, the town's planning director.
The hotel, close to I-77, will be four stories and under the brand Country Inn & Suites.
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"It's fabulous," Merriman said. "It gives us an upscale hotel in town."
Since no hotels are anchored in the Town of Fort Mill, some visitors book rooms at hotels along Carowinds Boulevard. Others look to Rock Hill or Charlotte for hotel rooms. Soon, those traveling for pleasure or business can bunk down within minutes of downtown Fort Mill.
"It will bring people, business and industry into Fort Mill," Merriman said. "The town will be able to compete now."
The hotel, off Hwy. 160 West, is scheduled to open early next year, according to KC Udani, who will build the hotel and use his 15 years of hotel industry experience to manage it.
"Fort Mill is an area where there is a need for a hotel," he said. "There is a lot of demand. My hotel will fulfill the need. It will be a very nice, upscale hotel."
The father of two previously owned a South Carolina hotel, he said, and plans to move to Fort Mill as soon as the hotel opens. Country Inn & Suites is anchored in Columbia as well as in Rock Hill, where a two-story hotel sits just off Cherry Road.
And soon Fort Mill will join the lineup.
The 50,000-square foot hotel won't be short on amenities, he said. It will offer 82 rooms and showcase an indoor pool, spa, fitness center and a 900 square-foot banquet room. That large room is earmarked for corporate meetings, family reunions and church gatherings, Udani said.
Standard rooms will run about $100 nightly while suites with Jacuzzis will run about $120, Udani said.
The hotel and its prime location should bring foot traffic to the Town of Fort Mill as opposed to neighboring Rock Hill, Carowinds Boulevard or Charlotte.
"The town will be able to compete now," Merriman said.
Specific plans were presented Tuesday to the town planning commission.
The commission's approving nod means the hotel's proposed look mirrors Fort Mill's architectural flavor, he said.
"We want to make sure it's in keeping with the architecture of Baxter (Village)," he said.
The commission was scheduled to meet Tuesday and could make a decision this week.
Hotel brings perks
The hotel means money for the Town of Fort Mill, thanks in part to the hospitality and accommodation tax. That money is earmarked for tourism-related expenses, such as sidewalks and beautification projects such as landscaping, recreation, play areas and associated green spaces, Merriman said.
But the ultimate benefit is more foot traffic for local businesses, he said.
"It will bring people into downtown Fort Mill, patronizing our shops and playing in our parks."