First guest arrives as city’s newest hotel opens Thursday

Published 7:00 pm Friday, June 7, 2013

The first guest checked in 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

With that, a building that remained unfinished for years on Brookway Boulevard near Interstate 55 officially opened its doors for business.

“Anyone can walk in and check in,” said hotel manager Blake Butler, speaking from the hotel lobby Thursday afternoon.

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The hotel features 79 guest rooms, including standard and suite type rooms, said Cindy Breaux, regional vice president of operations for Jackies International.

The hotel also features meeting space which Breaux hopes will prove attractive to local groups. There’s a family reunion booked for this weekend.

Breaux said the company is glad the project is up off the ground.

“We’re excited to be in Brookhaven,” she said.

The Jackie’s International company obtained a building permit for the site in 2008 and, at the time, company officials floated early 2009 at the hotel’s opening date.

The project stalled later that year, though, and for years an unfinished building frame sat on the site.

City leaders got antsy to see some movement on the development project and Mayor Les Bumgarner formally said so by letter in the summer of 2011.

Construction began again intermittently in late 2011 and throughout 2012, leading up to Thursday’s opening.

Jackie’s International also owns the neighboring Lincoln Inn and Suites as well as Brookhaven’s Bumpers Drive-Inn and the Western Sizzlin.

Jackie’s International began from the Brookhaven Bumpers, according to the company’s website.