Monday afternoon, local officials celebrated the opening of the new Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Marion.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in the front lobby of Marion’s newest and most modern hotel just two days before New Year’s Day. The ceremony included officials from the city of Marion, McDowell County, the Marion Business Association, the McDowell Economic Development Association (MEDA) and the McDowell Chamber of Commerce.
The ceremony was hosted by Prakish Kadire of New Jersey and Mark Sullivan of True Value Properties, LLC and their families. Kadire has the franchise for the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, which is located off N.C. 226 South and right next to Interstate 40. The new four-story hotel has 70 rooms, which includes 52 regular rooms and 18 suites.
It is located on a hill overlooking I-40 and is close to McDowell Technical Community College, the Waffle House, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Hardee’s and the Love’s Travel Plaza. All four sides of the hotel have rooms facing the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. The hotel covers around three to four acres of the 30-acre overall site.
“We situated it this way so that on all four sides there are nice views,” said Sullivan to The McDowell News. “You can even see Mount Mitchell.”
The Holiday Inn Express & Suites has a meeting room that can accommodate 21 people. It has a fitness room with treadmills and other exercise equipment. There is a patio where guests can relax and enjoy the views.
Already, guests have come to enjoy a stay at this newest and more up-to-date hotel for Marion and McDowell County.
Jenny Lyles of Elkin said she and her friends from her church group are staying there.
“I love it,” she said.
It will have an outdoor swimming pool, which is still under construction.
A total of 24 employees will work at the new hotel.
Even with this grand opening, Kadire and Sullivan are not finished. They are working to recruit a sit-down chain restaurant such as an Outback or a Longhorn steak house, some fast-food restaurants and a convenience store for the rest of the property. The overall complex is far from completion.
Kadire was the previous owner of the Marion Travel Plaza, which he sold to the Pilot Flying J company. In previous interviews, he said he owns several gas stations in Missouri, some overseas companies and a software consulting firm in New Jersey.
Sullivan is the real estate broker and marketing person for this project. Sullivan was the real estate broker with the Pilot Flying J project as well, according to previous interviews.
In 2017, the Marion City Council agreed to annex this 30-acre property off N.C. 226 South. Kadire asked for the annexation to get city services so it can be developed. Both the city of Marion and McDowell County worked together to help Kadire get a grant for sewer service.