After months of delays, the Hampton Inn and Suites in Carrboro is now open, and local businesses are already reaping the benefits.
According to Barabara Leedy, sales manager for Atma Hotel Group, Inc., which manages the property, over Labor Day weekend, the hotel’s first weekend open, it housed five wedding groups and a bar mitzvah, bringing more than 300 people to the Carrboro area.
Milltown, 307 E. Main St., manager Tyler McAdams is excited about the hotel opening and thinks that it will increase business. McAdams said, “Hopefully it will do wonders for Milltown. I’ve already gotten several customers from the hotel.”
As the hotel’s occupancy increases with time, McAdams is confident that Milltown will be a go-to place for visitors because of its proximity to the hotel.
Baley Moore, a manager at Tyler’s Taproom, 102 E. Main St., also thinks that business will increase because of the hotel. Moore acknowledges that Carrboro is a very community based place, so they are working on building a partnership with the hotel and its management. She said, “We’ve had several meetings and a tour. It’s very, very beautiful.”
In an effort to attract guests, Tyler’s Taproom offers all customers who show their room key a free appetizer of their Four Square Garlic Fries.
From what she can tell, the community has been very receptive of the hotel. “I think a lot of the businesses around here are going to be very excited because it’s going to bring a lot of new people into our town. Hopefully, we’ll see a revenue increase.”
The 142-room hotel, located at 370 E. Main St., is already sold out for UNC-Chapel Hill Parents Weekend in September and Homecoming in November.
Leedy is working to get guests to explore Carrboro. “Our goal is to encourage guests to stay in Carrboro and eat and drink locally. The important thing is letting people know that even though they are a guest in the hotel, there are many reasons for them to go out and see a part of Carrboro.”
Even though the hotel has only been open for two weeks, Leedy said that there has already been positive feedback about the walkability of Carrboro and the variety of activities for guests to partake in. “Last week we had someone comment that they came in for the football game, parked their car on Friday and didn’t get back into it until they left on Sunday because it is so accessible staying here.”
In an effort to help guests get to know Carrboro, Leedy has been collaborating with town officials. “The more we learn about Carrboro the more we can get people out there. We’re working with Annette Stone, Carrboro’s community and economic development coordinator, on getting together a more comprehensive list local businesses that we could distribute to guests.”
In addition to bringing more people to Carrboro, the new retail space adjoining the Hampton Inn and Suites at the 300 East Main complex will bring new business. Three new restaurants, Hickory Tavern, East Main Meatball Shop and a tequila and empanada bar, will be opening this fall. Cameron’s, a specialty store, will also be relocating from University Mall.
Sid Keith, owner of Sid’s Surplus which is located right across the street from the hotel, is a fan of the new developments and said he thinks people need to be open to change. Keith said, “If you don’t change and grow, it’s like fruit, you’ll rot.”
Celebrating Tuesday’s Ribbon Cutting at the new Hampton Inn and Suites Carrboro, ribbons cutters include (left to right) Carrboro Mayor Mark Chilton, President of Atma Hotel Group, Inc., Manish Atma, Mickey Farmer and Marc Silverman.