New Downtown Hotel To Open In Late September

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COLUMBIA - The Broadway Columbia, a Doubletree by Hilton Hotel will open behind schedule. Originally, the hotel was set to open in late August. Developer Dave Parmley says the current goal is to open in late September. The sidewalk in front of the Doubletree hotel is currently closed, with a wooden wall placed right by the street.

Downtown businesses say the construction, specifically the closed sidewalk, has affected their business.

Liza Babington, Alpine Shop assistant manager, said at one point the construction may have turned costumers away from downtown. Alpine Shop employee Ryan Gajewski bikes to work. He said the construction is dangerous for bicylclists because of the narrow roadways. Gajewski also said he hasn't felt as safe biking to work since the construction began.

Willie's Pub and Pool manager, Eric Marcille, said Willie's has seen a decrease in customers.

"I know our numbers have been down 5 to 10 percent since the wall has been up." Marcille said. "Our lunch crowd has been affected the most."

Marcille also says that he doesn't think customers feel safe walking from College because the sidewalk isn't available due to construction.

Downtown resident Ashley Jenkins said when picking a restaurant she will purposefully choose a restaurant that is away from the construction for the safety aspects.

"If you have to go over there, getting back and forth between Hitt Street and all the way up to College, it's just not safe." Jenkins said.

 Parmley said weather was a factor in the delay. He said he hopes to be open in order to catch the second half of the SEC football season.