ASHLAND, Ky. — In what is viewed as a landmark day for Ashland, the Delta Hotel by Marriott will open for guests on July 3.

Nonstop work on the hotel is now almost complete. Renovations have transformed the property from the Ashland Plaza into a top-notch, upscale hotel offering much needed hotel rooms in downtown Ashland. Workers are currently adding finishing touches to the building and a ribbon cutting is planned for July 2.

Guest will be welcome to stay in the hotel the night following the soft opening.

“This is going to be a major boost (for the city of Ashland) because there is no full service hotel for people to stay at,” said co-developer Jim Nizzo. “With Braidy (Industries) coming to town and both hospitals we are expecting a significant occupancy.”

Nizzo and Andy Spiros purchased the property in September 2017 for $3.6 million. They city helped with construction cost and 1/4th of the total investment through a $4.5 million 20-year Tax Increment Financing, or TIF program.

The developers faced several obstacles since renovations started.

“We really didn’t know the full scope of what we were buying,” said Nizzo. “We’ve overcome the obstacles and everything has been repaired. As you can see we’re almost ready.”

The hotel formerly known as the Ashland Plaza Hotel will include 152 guest rooms, free high speed internet, hydration stations on every floor, a fitness center and an elite pantry for the Marriott Elite members.

There will also be one restaurant, two bars and a Starbucks. The bar on the first floor is shaped like a guitar. The restaurant is scheduled to offer a fine dining experience through Winchester Steak, Seafood and Bourbon Bar on the second floor.

“I think this is game changer for downtown Ashland,” said economic director Christopher Pullem. “If you look historically what has been the biggest deterrent for tourism and travel in downtown has been the deteriorating condition of the hotel.”

Pullem said they have corrected this, and guests will not find a nicer, more state of the art hotel in the state of Kentucky. The Delta brand is expected to have 160 hotels by the end of the year.

“(This) is one of the nicest Delta hotels they have in the brand,” said Nizzo.

A grand opening for the hotel is being planned for the end of the summer.