Bertie County seeks national hotel chain

Published 8:34 am Tuesday, December 29, 2015

WINDSOR –According to Bertie County Economic Development Director Steve Biggs nearly 500 people visit the county each month; with most of them just ‘passing through’.

That may be about to change.

For the past two months, Biggs’ office, in cooperation with the town of Windsor, has been diligently seeking a national hotel chain to locate within the county.

The site, though only in the preliminary stage, would be on nearly three and a quarter acres of land located on the US 13-17 bypass in Windsor, and would have two roadside entrances.

ElectriCities of North Carolina, a 50-year old non-profit management services organization headquartered in Raleigh, and known more as a public power company located in North Carolina cities much like Roanoke Electric does in rural areas, is assisting Biggs and company with the project.

“They (ElectriCities) have an economic development group that works with them,” Biggs told the county’s Board of Commissioners at a recent meeting.

Biggs said the manager of ElectriCities’ economic development team, Brenda Daniels, has agreed to work with the Bertie group; and has even brought along the company’s Senior Retail Development Specialist, Jennings Gray.

“We’re trying to engage a consultant,” Biggs added. “He (Gray) is one of her hotel ‘gurus’ and she was gracious enough to extend him to us.”

At the Dec. 7 Commissioner’s meeting, Biggs told the Board that Gray had visited Bertie County earlier that day and met with members of the local community, as well as members of the business establishment to the practicality of a feasibility study regarding the proposed hotel.

Seeking to gather as much information to assist with the project, Biggs said his research has noted the top employers, the area’s regional tourist destinations, as well as the number of visitors (approx. 494) to the county. All these he cited as factors that would be attractive to a national hotel chain in the county as the other nearest national hotel chains are located across the Roanoke and Chowan Rivers in either Edenton or Williamston.

“I’m trying to make our case,” Biggs said with a smile. “Since we met we’re working to get that done; to have the documentation that says ‘Yes, we can support a hotel’, we just need the ways and means to market it.”

After some discussion by the Commissioners, a consensus was reached by the Board to participate in a feasibility study per Biggs’ recommendation to sight interest as well as a location for a hotel in the Windsor area.