New hotel approved for The Falls

BRISTOL, Va. — A new 107-room hotel is slated for The Falls development after a vote Monday by the city’s Industrial Development Authority.

The Bristol Virginia IDA voted unanimously to approve the transfer of 2.5 acres of land located between Texas Roadhouse and the former Cabela location to KM Hotels and KM-Bristol Hotel LLC, a development company hotelier based in Richmond.

KM representative Sunny Patel described the Bristol market as “hot”.

“We’re all along Corridor 81. We love Corridor 81, the traffic, the business,” KM representative Sunny Patel said after the meeting. “The most important thing in Bristol is obviously the casino helps, Amtrak helps but at the rate Bristol is growing we wanted to get into the market.”

The temporary Bristol Casino opened in July and the fully developed Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Resort is scheduled to open in mid-2024.

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“There are many older hotels in the area. I think he’s ready for a whole new look, a whole new style. And our management style, we respond to customer, customer, customer,” Patel said.

The company is currently getting approvals, but the property is expected to fly the Marriott Residence Inn flag.

They plan to open in early 2023 and open in the spring of 2024, Patel said.

The project is expected to cost around $18 million.

“With all of our different partnerships, we have 18 properties in our portfolio and we just sold two of them,” Patel said. “A lot in the DC area; lots in the Richmond area, then a bunch along the I-81 corridor. We’re in Lexington, Salem, Blacksburg, Radford — pretty much every college — and then one in Tuscaloosa [Alabama] and Austin [Texas].”

A previous attempt to develop a hotel on this same site failed when developers could not secure the necessary funding.

The site’s eastern boundary abuts a currently vacant 10-lot lot, where a 200-unit, $30 million apartment complex is planned.

Tax revenue generated from this parcel – designated as Lot 15 – will be used to repay tax bonds used to help fund part of the mall.

“That’s huge for the income bond that’s outstanding through IDA,” said Randy Eads, manager of Bristol Virginia City. “Taxes associated with Lot 15 will now help pay some of this tax liability. As we all know with Cabela’s bankruptcy, tax liability payments have struggled lately. This will help us continue to make payments on these revenue bonds.

In June, UMB Bank issued a notice of default after the city’s IDA failed to make the full annual payment on the 2014 series bonds due in May.

The full Hard Rock development — under construction four miles away at I-81 Exit 1 — should generate demand for even more hotel rooms, Eads said.

[email protected] — Twitter: @DMcGeeBHC

[email protected] | Twitter: @DMcGeeBHC

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