A Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce official expects the addition of a Hampton Inn this year will increase Pekin’s visibility as a destination and will have a positive impact on the vibrancy of the city’s business environment.

Pekin city and Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce officials seem to be united in their desire to make Pekin a destination, with an important aspect of that goal being to ensure adequate lodging for out-of-town visitors. According to Bill Fleming, Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce executive director, Pekin currently has two motels and three hotels.

“The addition of the Hampton Inn will push the other Pekin hotel’s to up their game and improve their offerings,” he said.

Fleming added that the future hotel’s location at 3445 Court St. puts it in a particulalrly advantageous spot to attract visitors from out of the area who are attending events at the nearby Avanti’s Dome events and sports facility.

“The Hampton Inn will be ideally located to serve the families who are competing at sporting events at the Avanti’s Dome,” he said. “It is also an ideal location for contractors and consultants who service Pekin Insurance and the industrial businesses on the southwest end of Pekin.”

Pekin Mayor John McCabesaid he believes that a quality hotel is needed in the area because of all the activities that occur year-round at the Avanti’s Dome. He added that he hopes that increased public awareness of those activities and special events will bring more visitors to the Dome and, by extension, to Pekin.

“When that happens, we’re going to see those hotel rooms fill up,” he said. “If the Hampton Inn becomes a success for their business, it also becomes a success for the city because of our hotel/motel tax. It also means you’ve got people in town who are spending their money at other places.” 

Construction on the new hotel began in fall 2018 and is expected to be completed this fall, said John Lebegue, building inspections and development director for the city of Pekin. Construction appears to be proceeding smoothly.

“They’re moving right along,” said Lebegue. “The building shell is up, and they’re working on the inside. They need to do all the finish work, put in all the drywall, (and) all the electricity, heating and plumbing.” 

The hotel’s ownership group, Marigold Lodging Inc., is also the general contractor for the project. Marigold Lodging co-owner Navin Patel estimated the construction will cost between $7 million and $8 million. Among the amenities the 88-room hotel will offer are a complementary breakfast, a guest laundry facility, a fitness center and a pool with a spa. He added that the location sets Marigold Lodging up for success with its venture not only because of its proximity to the Avanti’s Dome but also because it will be in a high-traffic area.

“It looks like a good location,” said Patel. “It’s close to a lot of restaurants and shopping. And Hampton is a good brand.”

Lebegue said the location of the new Hampton Inn near a variety of restaurants is auspicious because people staying in hotels tend to look for places where they can enjoy a quick meal. He also hopes the presence of a quality hotel will encourage other businesses to come to Pekin.

“I think it’s a nice addition to that area,” he said. “When you look at what’s around it, there’s a lot of vacant land, so there’s potential for further development that can shoot off of this.”