- Associated Press - Saturday, September 6, 2014

GLOSTER, Miss. (AP) - The former Glostonian Motel will soon be the site of a housing complex for workers drawn to southwest Mississippi by the area’s booming wood pellet and oilfield industries.

The Enterprise-Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1uoSMEc) the development on Mississippi Highway 33 would be called Loblolly Lodge.

It would have a total of 64 guest rooms, a restaurant and a meeting room.

Owner Renee Priest says the property has been idle for years.

Priest’s plans include renovation of the existing 16-room motel, followed by reworking the main building to house a restaurant, meeting room, administrative offices and a laundry.

The development’s final phase would be to add 12 modular buildings to create 48 guest rooms. Each building would have four rooms with kitchenettes.

Priest said the plan was prompted by construction of the Amite BioEnergy wood pellet mill in town as well as the growing Tuscaloosa marine shale oilfield activity throughout the region.

“We have more activity in this area than in the last decade,” she said. “There’s not a hotel within 40 miles, there’s not a large restaurant within 10 miles, and our community needs this.”

Renovation should start within two weeks, and the modular units should be available by the first of the year.

“It will be a small hotel,” Priest said. “My goal is to have clean, comfortable, moderate accommodations. Everything in the rooms will be completely new, what I call 21st century.”

The business will employ eight people.

Loblolly Lodge is named for the tall pine trees that grace the area and that will supply the pellet mill, which is owned by British energy company Drax Biomass.

“Drax Biomass is now having to hold their meetings in Baton Rouge, and people who come from England and all over the place are having to stay in Baton?Rouge and Natchez because they can’t even get a room in McComb,” Priest said.

McComb’s motels are often booked up because of demand from industrial workers.

Priest and her husband, Alan, own?Tatum Plantation, a hunting lodge near Centreville.?Renee Priest’s family also operated the Baton?Rouge Hilton for about 20 years.


Information from: Enterprise-Journal, https://www.enterprise-journal.com

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