The Herald Bulletin

December 21, 2013

Editorial: Alexandria should make room for hotel

The Herald Bulletin

---- — Local folks don't always notice a hotel until they need it. Like when the power goes out and you need a warm place to stay. Or when relatives suddenly drop by for an unannounced weekend visit.

Or when your hometown starts bringing in so many visitors and tourists that a hotel is a viable business venture.

Lots of Alexandria residents may be hoping for the latter as a way to help justify a hotel proposed to be built on the site of the former Willows Nursing Home. Though it's just one hotel, it offers an exciting prospect as well as a challenge for Alexandria leaders.

Cobblestone Hotels, based in Neenah, Wisc., is proposing to build its third hotel in Indiana. The 36-room hotel would have a pool. It would replace the vacant nursing home on Ind. 9 south of the city.

It's very close to Gaither Family Studios, the gospel studio and gift shop that draws from a worldwide fan base and brings in busloads of tourists.

The fact that the city administration shared a concept for a gospel museum and auditorium is a sign that Alexandria wants to find new ways to boost its economy.

With the announcement of a proposed hotel, Alexandria leaders now have further incentive to develop weekend destinations for the city. In addition to its Small Town festival and county fair, citizens can rally behind creative events that draw tourists to northern Madison County.

Certainly, it's not up to Alexandria residents to have thier taxes directly support a hotel or, for that matter, activities that keep the hotel rooms full.

But everyone in northern Madison County should take some delight in knowing that an outside developer is considering the fact that Alexandria may soon have enough to offer that tourists may make the area a weekend destination.

They'll come if there's something to see and do.

In summary The prospect of a hotel in Alexandria opens up a number of tourist possibilities.