Marriott hotel slated for vacant lot in downtown Lexington

LEXINGTON, SC (WIS) - A plot of land that has sat vacant on Main Street in downtown Lexington for years will soon be home to a Marriott hotel.

Lexington Hospitality group purchased the 1.4-acre plot of land and is finalizing the sale this month. Greater Lexington Chamber of Commerce President Otis Rawl said the hotel will likely boast 80 to 100 rooms and be three or four stories high.

"The conversation has been ongoing for a while and within the last few months we've done all the necessary testing and such to ensure the site is ready for construction," Rawl said.

Lexington Hospitality owns two other hotels located on Main Street, according to Rawl. Even so, he said the revitalization of downtown Lexington and its growing population have created a shortage of hotel rooms.

"So much is going on with lacrosse tournaments, soccer tournaments, softball tournaments, the lake and the new amphitheater," he said. "People are coming in and it's a real asset to have another anchor on Main Street to go along with the amphitheater."

On Thursday nights the town offers a free concert series at the amphitheater that can attract 1,500 people. With the addition of the new hotel, Rawl said people can make a weekend out of the concert, taking time to enjoy what the town has to offer.

"Stay in Lexington, experience Lexington, experience the eating facilities continuing to expand on Main Street," he said. "It really gives downtown what a lot of other small towns across the state and nation have."

In addition to the hotel, numerous restaurants and small businesses have opened along Main Street. Matt O'Hara is part owner of O'Hara's Public House, an authentic Irish Pub located across the street from the future hotel.

"We've only been open about three weeks, but there's a level of energy on Main Street that hasn't been here in the 15 or 18 years I've lived in Lexington," he said.

When he was on the hunt for a lease, O'Hara said he along with other new restaurant owners were kept in the loop about the plans for a hotel.

"There was a vision the town had that I could see playing out and was excited to be a part of," he said. "It's kind of a dining destination for the town of Lexington that we didn't have 12 or 18 months ago."

O'Hara said he is excited to be a stone's throw away from the new hotel, set to open in 2019.

"The opportunity for guests at that hotel to have our little version of an authentic Irish pub across the street from them… it's a great fit for the hotel and certainly for us to be neighbors with that kind of incoming traffic flow is exciting," he said.

Rawl expects the groundbreaking to take place sometime this summer.

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