Developer Likes the View

Robert Voelker is looking forward to the scenic view from the fourth floor of the Hampton Inn & Suites under construction at The Highlands.

Voelker, president and chief executive officer of the Gateway Hospitality Group, was on site Thursday to check on the progress of the building – a $7.5 million investment. Specifically, he wanted to make sure the electrical outlets would be installed in the correct places in each room.

”You don’t want people to have to crawl under the bed to plug things in,” Voelker quipped.

The hotel is being developed by RSV Wheeling LLC and will be operated by Gateway, based in Twinsburg, Ohio. The 123-room hotel is expected to be finished in the spring. It is being constructed by Maurer Construction and Kaczmar Architects of Cleveland. The Ohio County Development Authority sold the piece of land, about 3 acres, to the developer a few years ago. It is situated behind the Bob Evans Restaurant.

”We’re looking to get it under roof and the windows tightened before winter hits,” Voelker said as men worked above, framing the third floor.

While the view will be nice, he noted, it was not the main selling point for the site. It being located near Interstate 70 and on a high plateau of sorts will give the hotel a lot of visibility to motorists. And the Hampton brand has a loyal customer base, mainly business and leisure travelers who rely on rewards points offered by the parent company Hilton, he said.

”Fifty percent of our customers are Hilton points guests. … Hampton Inn fits this market,” Voelker said.

The hotel, located at 35 Bob Wise Drive, will feature a pool, two meeting rooms and a 700-square-foot fitness center, free hot breakfast and wireless Internet. Each room will have a 37-inch high-definition TV, in-room coffee, Internet, refrigerator, microwave, hair dryer, iron and ironing board. The hotel also is expected to be decorated with artwork and photography of sites from across the state.

Voelker noted another highlight of the hotel will be its bed linens – all will be crisp, clean and white and washed every day, including the duvet.