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By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

In February, members of the county’ Economic Development Committee voted to fund a hotel feasibility study, designed to determine if Trousdale County could support such a business.

Two smaller chains reportedly have contacted county government and the Chamber of Commerce about the possibility of expanding into Trousdale County. The study, which cost $7,500, is a necessary first step for any business in making such a determination.

Photo: Brian Stansberry / Creative Commons

Estimates were that the study should be completed in 30 to 45 days, and while results have not yet been returned to the county, officials are optimistic about the results.

The Vidette contacted Jessica Junker, a representative with Core Distinction Group, to explain the process of completing such a study. Core Distinction Group is the company hired to conduct the Trousdale County study.

Q; Please talk about the process of the study itself, how it’s done, etc.

A: The process can be summed up in a few steps. First we visit the community so that we can see all the wonderful aspects of it that you cannot see on the Internet. During our community visit, we tour the community and sit down with the local demand generators. After we visit the community we take all of the data we collected during the visit, as well as lodging data in the surrounding area and compile it. From this we make a determination if there is a need in the community that makes good business sense. We know that no matter how small the community is, there is a need for lodging. This need can be one room or it could be a hundred plus. You must have need for a certain number of rooms to produce a successful hotel.

Q: What criteria does your company look for in determining if a community is viable and how important are said criteria?

A: Need. One of the main reasons that communities like working with us is due to the fact that we sit down with community leaders and demand generators to gain a thorough knowledge of actual need.  Our company specializes in small communities because we build the hotel from the ground up when it comes to need. Day by day, we identify how many rooms are needed each day of the year to come up with an estimate of what business is leaving the area to surrounding communities.

Q: Can this study be used by/for other businesses?

A: The actual Hotel Market Feasibility Study cannot be used to bring in other business but a hotel does have the potential to bring in many new collateral businesses and jobs. For example, if your community has 30 people each night that are leaving to stay in a larger community 30 minutes away, besides the hotel room revenue, you are losing their dinner bill at the local dinner establishment, snacks and gas at the local gas station and all the other money spent in the other community. Bringing that revenue back to your community can make a huge impact.

Q: How does having a potential anchor client (like CoreCivic locally) impact the study?

A: Each market is different. Having a community partner like CoreCivic is a very positive boost to the community. They are having a positive impact on the study for Trousdale County. In other markets, if there isn’t a demand generator like CoreCivic, there may be multiple smaller demand generators that equate to the same need.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.