Sleep Inn celebrates with ribbon-cutting ceremony

Sleep Inn celebrates with ribbon-cutting ceremony
Dave Mast

Attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the official grand opening event at Sleep Inn & Suites Mt. Hope were Casey Zabka, front office manager, left; owners Tonya and Dave Schlabach; general manager Jalen Miller; owner Tom Miller; Logan Huffman, sales director with the management company, Nivea Hospitality; and Robert Schlabach, owner of WB Services.


With the Mt. Hope Events Center hosting some type of activity or sale 50 weeks out of the year, travelers from afar would have to find lodging in neighboring towns.

That will no longer be the case as a new hotel has opened and is now operating at full capacity.

The local hotelier team of Dave Schlabach and Tom Miller are not new to the hotel business. They have built four hotels together including the Wallhouse Inn in Walnut Creek as well as two in Sarasota, Florida and one in West Virginia.

When the opportunity to create a fifth hotel arose when an option presented itself in Mt. Hope, the two didn’t hesitate.

“We felt like this was a no-brainer with what Thurman Mullet is doing with the Mt. Hope Event Center and the way Mt. Hope is growing right now,” Dave Schlabach said. “Mt. Hope is probably the number-one new driver in people coming to Holmes County. When it comes to hotels, it is all about people and traffic. This was just an ideal spot when it comes to taking care of the center’s customers. It is going to be a real convenience for them to be able to bring in their trailers and stay right there next to the auction facility.”

On Tuesday, March 19 they celebrated the official ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new Sleep Inn & Suites Mt. Hope, along with a large contingent of well-wishers, friends and even hoteliers from out of the area who wanted to see builder WB Services owner Robert Schlabach’s newest effort.

“To see something like this opening up and being in a wonderful community with great partners is the rewarding part of this,” Tom Miller said. “This is such a great fit in Mt. Hope.”

Robert Schlabach, Choice Hotels’ Builder of the Year in 2017, is well-versed in building hotels. He is currently building 15 hotels from Florida through the Carolinas to Ohio and Indiana. He said Choice Hotels has been excellent to work with, and the brand has been very supportive of his efforts.

WB Services’ crews put forth a monumental effort in getting this hotel done in a short five-month span, something many said couldn’t be done. Normally a hotel takes around nine months to build, so to see this one erected in such a short time span was possible only because the crews were so close to home. Because it is local, moving in equipment and personnel was an easy fit, making work go much quicker.

“With new sewer and water here in Mt. Hope, that only helps,” Robert Schlabach said. “What made this build easy is that Holmes County doesn’t have zoning and the people here are very easy to work with. We broke ground in June, and we’re already open. It is always a pleasure to build in Holmes County.”

Jalen Miller is the new general manager of both the new hotel and Wallhouse Inn, and he said this new endeavor will add a lot to the Mt. Hope landscape.

“We’ve got a great staff who will be shared at both facilities,” Jalen Miller said. “Our staff is professional and can handle a lot of the day-to-day things that come up. Even though we have been open for a month, this grand opening is kind of the final moment of letting people know we are ready to do business. Days like this are special because there is such a feeling of celebration.”

Jalen Miller went on to say what makes the new hotel such a drawing card for visitors to the auction facility is that a sidewalk allows easy access between the two entities, and the convenience of having large trucks and trailers and not having to move them is alluring to many visitors.

“People can come in for a show at the event center, park, walk over here and stay the night, eat a free breakfast, and head right back to the event center,” Jalen Miller said.

As a number of friends, family and professionals from around Holmes County gathered to enjoy the ribbon-cutting ceremony, they could partake in the pulled pork meal and wander around the hotel, where several rooms were open to the public for viewing.

“We wanted to keep this fairly simplistic and affordable because that is the style that best fits this community,” Dave Schlabach said. “We are excited to finally be able to officially celebrate the grand opening.”

The Sleep Inn & Suites Mt. Hope is located at 8050 state Route 241, just north of the Mt. Hope Events Center.

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