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A Louisiana Bank Leverages USDA Rural Development Funds to Build a Hotel and Create Jobs

Recently, about 150 people came out to show their support for the new Hampton Inn & Suites of Marksville at their grand opening in Avoyelles Parish in Louisiana. USDA Rural Development State Director Clarence W. Hawkins joined Thomas G. Christopoulos (owner) along with representatives from Cenla Chambers of Commerce; Daniel Decuir, Marksville Mayor Pro Tem; and other dignitaries to introduce the new 77 room hotel to the city. The hotel will provide an estimated 15 new jobs for area residents.

“Rural Development will continue to invest in the development of our rural communities throughout the State of Louisiana,” said State Director Hawkins. This new hotel will impact the Town of Marksville by creating jobs, furnishing accommodations for the overflow of visitors and it is the first brand name hotel to come to Marksville, Louisiana.

USDA Rural Development State Director, Clarence W. Hawkins and Thomas G. Christopoulos (hotel owner) in the newly opened hotel.

USDA Rural Development State Director, Clarence W. Hawkins and Thomas G. Christopoulos (hotel owner) in the newly opened hotel.

A key to the city was given to Mr. Christopoulos by Mayor Decuir. The local radio station was on site as well for live radio interviews with USDA staff to promote Rural Development programs and the event.

The lender for this project was Bank of Montgomery. Earlier in the week, bank President Ken Hale received on behalf of the bank, an award from USDA for Lender of the Year. USDA Rural Development funds totaling $7.5 million were used to purchase land and erect the hotel. John Broussard, USDA Rural Development Business and Cooperative Programs Director for the State of Louisiana, facilitated the process.

John Broussard, USDA Business and Cooperative Programs Director for Louisiana, discusses USDA’s business programs  and the hotel project in an interview with radio announcer E. John Ponthier, Avoyelles Country KAPB 97.7 FM radio.

John Broussard, USDA Business and Cooperative Programs Director for Louisiana, discusses USDA’s business programs and the hotel project in an interview with radio announcer E. John Ponthier, Avoyelles Country KAPB 97.7 FM radio.

The new hotel has 53 standard rooms and 24 suites. The hotel received a 98 percent Hilton rating. This is one of the highest ratings ever given for a brand new hotel according to Mr. Christopoulos.

USDA Rural Development helps rural business leaders achieve their goals every day. To find out more, click here.

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