Lake Norman & Mooresville

Plan for extended-stay hotel in Mooresville moving forward

A plan to build an extended-stay hotel in Mooresville is moving forward, with commissioners approving a request to rezone vacant land in the western part of town.

The hotel, an Affordable Suites of America, would have two stories and 49 rooms.

Like others offering primarily short-term stays, it would generate occupancy taxes, though perhaps not as much. Those taxes are the only source of funding for the Mooresville Travel & Tourism Authority, which works to promote the town by directing that money toward things like billboards, brochures and social media.

Although the town is home to two other extended-stay hotels, “it is necessary,” Ron Johnson, chairman of the authority, said of the planned hotel. The authority is also known as the Mooresville Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We need all types of rooms.”

Hotel occupancy taxes are refunded to guests whose stays are 90 consecutive days or more, according to the state Department of Revenue.

While Affordable Suites gives priority to guests staying for longer periods, it offers daily, weekly and monthly rates. Guests at its nearly 20 locations stay an average of 20 days, said Tammy Hart-Coon, the company’s chief business development officer.

On its website, the South Carolina-based company described itself as an “all-adult property” catering to the “business traveler, transferred professional or temporary employee.”

A request to rezone the vacant property where the hotel is planned for conditional use was approved by commissioners at a public hearing earlier this month. The property is zoned for commercial use and totals about 1.5 acres. It is at the intersection of Executive Center Place and Straightaway Drive, near Exit 36 off Interstate 77.

The request came from Oates Ventures LLC, which has an address on Sailview Road, on Lake Norman at the southern end of Iredell County.

The hotel could open as soon as next summer, and the company hopes to begin construction as soon as possible, Hart said.

The town has already approved a site plan for the hotel. But it still must receive additional approvals from the town and county, which is responsible for issuing building permits.

One commissioner, Eddie Dingler, initially expressed reservation about the hotel, saying it might prove less beneficial to the tourism authority than a different one that would accommodate primarily overnight guests.

On the other hand, Johnson, the authority chairman, said that whatever the loss in funding for the authority, the hotel would have a positive economic impact on local businesses.

“If they’re staying here that long,” he said, “they’re spending a lot of money in the community.”

The planned hotel comes as another one is expected to arrive south of town.

That one, planned for Medical Park Road, near Exit 33 off I-77, would stretch four stories and contain nearly 100 rooms, some of them for extended stays, said Craig Culberson, a senior planner for Mooresville. Commissioners approved a conditional use permit for the hotel in January.

While Culberson said the Mooresville area is not seeing an unusual number of plans for hotels, the fact that at least two are expected to open here suggests that there is enough demand for them.

“That’s typically when we see them,” Culberson said. Noting that developers look at market studies to determine where to build hotels, he acknowledged that “nobody wants to build something that’s not going to be profitable.”

Jake Flannick is a freelance writer: