NEWS & PRESS RELEASES
PORTLAND -- After years of discussion and rumors that left some people wondering whether a new hotel would ever come to Portland after all, the groundbreaking for a new 73-room hotel is set for 10 a.m. Saturday. Scott Daniels of Stay Jay Hotels LLC announced Thursday that after about two years of planning, construction of a new Holiday Inn Express and Suites is set to begin soon at 1204 W. Votaw St. The address will be changed to 100 Holiday Drive at a later date, he added. The hotel should be completed sometime next summer. The hotel will include a pool, and a conference room, among other amenities. "It will be state-of-the-art," said Daniels, a Jay County native now living in Illinois. "We're very excited about moving forward with it now, after all this time." Even though Jay County is able to attract visitors by the thousands to many events at the Jay County Fairgrounds, the county has suffered from the lack of hotel rooms. There are about 160 rooms in the county. Some visitors to the annual engine and antique tractor show have to stay in hotels from Winchester to Berne and to Celina, Ohio. Some visitors have reported staying in hotels almost 100 miles away, saying that's as close as they could get. "Muncie gets a lot of our business, especially from our industrial and businessmen," said Gyneth Augsburger, tourism director for the Jay County Visitor and Tourism Bureau. "It will bring us in a quality national chain that is greatly needed in our community," she said of the new hotel. "It will give visitors additional choices as to where to stay, and choices are always important."