When Belmont Days Inn & Suites General Manager Michael Kimerline worked at hotels in North Dakota's oil-rich Bakken Shale, drillers and pipeliners kept telling him that the next major boom would come in Ohio's Utica Shale.
By opening the new Days Inn Thursday - directly across from Union Local High School along Ohio 149 - Kimerline and his staff find themselves right in the heart of Belmont County's Utica Shale rush.
"It has been hectic, but we are open," he said during a tour of the facility. "There is great demand for rooms in this area."
"This is an incredible, up-and-coming area in the oil and gas industry, and we are excited to bring our accommodations to business and recreational travelers alike," said T.J. Jefferies, owner of Jeru Real Estate, which operates the Days Inn. "Days Inn & Suites sets a new standard for travelers. I am proud that we are able to offer the Belmont area a new hotel with a great design and style, quality accommodations and reasonable rates."
This particular Days Inn is a new company prototype that offers a three-story interior featuring a meeting room, fitness center, business center, locker room and laundry center.
The rooms have everything you would expect, and there are a limited number of two-room suites intended for extended-stay guests.
The Days Inn is the latest in a line of new hotels to open across the Upper Ohio Valley over the past two years in response to the demand created by natural gas drillers, pipeliners, frackers, abstractors and others working in the fields.
Sky Hospitality operates hotels in the Bakken Shale, Marcellus Shale and Permian Basin, and will be managing the Days Inn. Lori Brookshire, director of sales and marketing at Sky, believes this gives the hotel an edge over others.