Holiday inn

OPINION: Bristol’s Holiday Inn hotel has gone from opportunity to horror | Editorial

Washington County News

For someone who has just visited State Street, the half-finished purple-colored structure on the hill above downtown looks like a sign of progress – a brand new hotel being built to bring more tourists to enjoy the twin town.

A closer examination of the site reveals evidence that the building partially collapsed over a year ago. Part of the structure is missing. The electrical conduit is bent to the ground and additional supports are in place to stabilize what remains of the building.

Since the initial collapse, the site has remained largely static. Metal and concrete materials, shattered and twisted by the collapse, were placed in a heap. The purple drywall outside has faded in the sun and weeds have grown around the exterior.

Right now the hotel should have offered more rooms downtown for people to stay. Visitors to the city would have an excellent line of sight down the heart of State Street to the Bristol sign. Putting a hotel on this site was a great idea. It’s a shame that something went wrong, which caused a collapse and put the project in jeopardy.

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The half-finished hotel is rapidly changing from a sign of progress to an unwelcome eyesore as the company behind the project hasn’t revealed what the next steps would be for the former and possibly future Holiday Inn. A year after the collapse, townspeople and officials are all wondering what the next step will be for the proposed hotel and when that next step can be taken.

Hotel officials did not call journalist Joe Tennis last week when he inquired about the site’s future plans. Apparently, the Codes Administrator and City Manager of Bristol, Tennessee are also left in the dark regarding the future of the half-finished purple juggernaut.

Presumably, the next steps are related to insurance issues and litigation. Hopefully this will all be resolved soon and a timeline for moving the project forward or starting over is established.

Until that happens, it would be nice if those controlling the property could provide city officials with an update on the status of the situation.

The hotel occupies a prominent place in the State Street landscape. Another year of a half-finished hotel quickly becoming an eyesore would not be a welcome sight.

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