Oak Ridge North breaks ground on city’s first hotel

City officials and Avalon Hotel Group representatives participate in the groundbreaking of the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Oak Ridge North Conference Center on July 28. City officials and Avalon Hotel Group representatives participate in the groundbreaking of the Crowne Plaza Hotel and Oak Ridge North Conference Center on July 28.[/caption]

Oak Ridge North city officials and residents gathered July 28 to officially break ground on The Crowne Plaza Hotel & Oak Ridge North Conference Center.

The hotel project, which will be developed by Avalon Hotel Group, has been in the works for almost four years and city officials said they are excited for upcoming construction. The hotel will be constructed just north of the Sears Home Appliance Showroom on the east side of I-45 and south of Robinson Road.

“This project started over 3 1/2 years ago and has taken a lot of time, very hard work and patience,” Mayor Jim Kuykendall said. “This is the start of the reward. The reward will be in 18 months when we see a beautiful hotel. It’s going to be the crown jewel of the I-45 business district.”

The 154-room hotel will feature a restaurant, lounge, roof terrace, video conference room, business center, an endless swimming pool and a fitness center. The Oak Ridge North Conference Center will connect to the hotel tower and encompass 10,500 square feet. About 75 new jobs will be created as a result of the project and partnership between the city of Oak Ridge North and Avalon Hotel Group.

This has been years in the making,” said James Walton, president of the Oak Ridge North Economic Development Corporation. “The hotel will be a vocal point for our city on I-45. I want to thank Avalon for choosing [Oak Ridge North]. You know, and I know, they could’ve chosen a lot of other places. We’re blessed they chose us.”

Aaron Patel, founding member of the Avalon Hotel Group, said he was excited to partner with Oak Ridge North and is also looking forward to the upcoming project.

“We would like to thank the mayor and City Council, the Oak Ridge North Economic Development Corporation Board and city staff for their support and the opportunity to partner with them on this significant new development to benefit the community,” Patel said.


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