ASHLAND, Ky. — Andy Spiros and Jim Nizzo are following through on their vision of creating a beautiful, upscale hotel in downtown Ashland.
The owners of WB Hospitality LLC walked through the under-construction hotel this past week, offering a tour of the high-end rooms and future locations of luxurious bars, a restaurant and fitness center. The vast majority of the hotel is now expected to be complete by early Spring, transforming the old Ashland Plaza into a newly rebuilt Delta Marriott on Winchester Avenue.
It is a project that was on the developers’ radar for years.
“We’ve always been aware of the hotel,” Spiros said. “The first time we came here 14 or 15 years ago we stayed here at (what was formerly known as) the Ashland Plaza. Back then, we spoke about it, saying, ‘Hey, this could be a nice place.”
The developers believe when the hotel is finished it will have a dramatic impact on downtown commerce.
“You are going to have a Class A product in downtown Ashland,” Spiros said, adding “In my opinion is it’s going to create great growth, great traffic. A lot of tourism and visitors. I believe the shops in the area are going to thrive.”
The project — made possible by a taxpayer backed Tax Increment Financing agreement involving the city of Ashland and Boyd County, has had its challenges, though.
Once the hotel was purchased and construction started, the developers said they found the architectural plans for the building and the actual infrastructure of the hotel were far different.
“What we first thought needed some TLC and some certain work turned out to be much more than that, much greater than that,” Spiros said. “It needed a lot more than that.”