WEBB CITY, Mo. – Turning a negative into a positive is the best way to describe the economic development taking place in a local community.
Few areas in Southwest Missouri have undergone as much change in recent years as the Centennial Retail and Industrial Park in Webb City.
The latest example is the 75 bed sleep inn hotel. In recent days, both the Webb City and Joplin Area Chambers of Commerce have held ribbon cuttings.
“We’re ecstatic, this is the first hotel on this side of town in many, many years, it’s a new market for us, which is kind of scary cause, you know, there hasn’t been a hotel here for us to compare ourselves against but so far it’s been great, we’re getting a great reception from the community, a lot of businesses coming in and asking a lot of questions, setting up room blocks,” said Anthia Harbin, Sleep Inn General Manager.
The hotel on the other side of East Street from Atwoods, is in the Centennial Park T.D.D. or Transportation and Development District, which in turn, paves the way for even more development.
“Anything sold within this in Centennial Park is an extra half cent sales tax that goes back into our infrastructure so um that of course helps our community no matter who comes in whether it be travelers or local business,” said Erin Turner, Webb City Economic & Community Development.
The property on which this hotel stands is part of a 300 acre tract of land that the City of Webb City purchased after the EPA cleaned it up.
The cleanup, which finished in 2010, was needed after decades of mining and smelting took its toll on the land.
The city then bought the property and formed the T.D.D. in 2007, and to prevent traffic snarls and provide access through the park, the city built the 171 roundabout as well as East Street, which spans the entire length of the park, back in 2015.
An investment city leaders feel was money well spent.
“To see the Sleep Inn be here and open and thriving is just an amazing thing for our community and our city is so happy to see that,” added Turner.