New Hotel Feasibility Study Completed; In-Depth Review Tomorrow

On Sept. 26, 2017, The Stephens County Board of Commissioners voted to split the $3,500 cost of a Hotel Feasibility Study with the City of Toccoa. According to the minutes of the meeting, it was pointed out by several commissioners that the feasibility study would be valid for about a year, possibly a year and a half, if “not much changed in the County.”

Since 2017, Toccoa/Stephens County has added businesses, industries, event venues, sports facilities and more – but has not seen a resulting growth in the lodging options in the community. While a 2021 study by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension showed that hospitality, travel and amusement businesses contributed $100 million dollars to Stephens County’s economy, accounting for 4.8% of the county’s output, and contributed $27.4 million dollars in earnings with 1,112, or 9.5%, of all Stephens County jobs, the county has failed to attract the attention of the major hotel chains. A part of the reason for that, according to Stephen County Development Authority President and CEO Brittany Ivey, is the lack of an up-to-date Hotel Feasibility Study – something that all prospective hospitality brands will want to look at before they even begin to consider locating in a community. 

Earlier this year, with that fact in hand, the Toccoa City Commission and the Stephens County Board of Commissioners voted to split the cost of a new Hotel Feasibility Study to update that 2017 document. 

Last week, Ivey received the finalized Study, and in tomorrow’s news broadcasts and on, WNEG News will provide an in-depth look at the results of that study, and what the findings mean to economic development in Toccoa/Stephens County.