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Hotel Weyanoke will get grant incentive

State Secretary of Commerce and Trade Todd Haymore will make a “major tourism announcement” for downtown Farmville on Wednesday, March 8 at 11 a.m. regarding the Hotel Weyanoke renovation project’s involvement in the state’s Tourism Development Financing Program (TDFP).

According to a press release from the Town of Farmville, the announcement will take place at 202 High St. — the site of the multi-storied hotel, which is undergoing an extensive renovation and restoration.

“The secretary will be joined by Mayor David Whitus, elected officials and tourism partners for this announcement,” the town said in the release.

According to the Virginia Tourism Corp., the TDFP is a partnership between a developer, a locality’s economic or industrial development authority and the commonwealth of Virginia and is “a two-tiered gap financing program for qualified tourism development projects in Virginia.”

According to the town and Virginia Tourism Corp., the grant incentive is based on the sales tax generated by the hotel within a certain time period, and will be matched by the state, town and the TDFP.

The hotel, at the corner of North and High Streets across from Longwood University’s French Hall, is undergoing renovation of its existing rooms and the addition of 43 more, according to Ross Fickenscher, one of the owners of the historic building.

Owners plan to finish renovations and additions by March 2018.

Combining the two additional hotels under construction in town, the additional lodging will provide 245 new rooms in Farmville once all three projects are completed.

“We always felt we needed more hotel rooms, because with events at Longwood and Hampden-Sydney (College), there were periods of time throughout the year everything was booked,” Town Manager Gerald Spates said in a previous interview regarding the hotels. “If you look at a map, Farmville is centrally located in the state, so it’s a prime spot for a lot of meetings as well.”

“Once the project is completed and generating income, the locality works with the Virginia Department of Taxation to perform a quarterly review of state sales and uses taxes collected on the development project,” according to the Virginia Tourism Corp.’s website.