TAVARES — The tourism industry is growing stronger in Lake County as the new 87-room Hampton Inn & Suites, located at 2200 E. State Road 50 in Clermont, opened Tuesday for business.
“We have a severe lack of hotel rooms in Lake County, particularly in South Lake County, and the addition of 87 rooms is a great boost to South Lake County, especially being adjacent to the National Training Center and all the requirements they have to house athletes,” said Greg Mihalic, Director of the Lake County Department of Economic Development and Tourism.
The four-story hotel features an outdoor pool, exercise facility, business center, complimentary hot breakfasts and high-speed Internet access. The South Lake Chamber of Commerce is expected to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony with the new hotel this month. Without much exposure, the hotel’s manager says the prospects are good in Lake County.
“The phones have already been ringing off the hook,” said Marcel Enoch, General Manager of the Clermont Hampton Inn & Suites. “Obviously, this has been a longtime coming. People are very excited about us coming here, and this was definitely needed in the Clermont area with the limited selection that was originally here.”
The Clermont location for the Hampton Inn & Suites is unique as it is near the National Training Center and adjacent to the new Carrabba’s Italian Grill. Enoch says the hotel will be working closely with the new restaurant to provide hotel guests with takeout opportunities.
“I expect are clientele will be varied,” Enoch said. “We will be working closely with the National Training Center to accommodate the athletic groups that visit the Center’s sponsored camps and triathlons. I also expect plenty of opportunities from the leisure market and business travelers.”
According to Hampton Inn & Suites corporate communications department, the chain is expected to open about 100 new hotels in 2006. For more information about Hampton Inn & Suites in Clermont or to reserve a room, call (352) 536-6600, log on to www.hamptoninn.com or call 1-800- HAMPTON.