Hospitality and philanthropy

Two new hotels slated for south Chico; Liberty Cab gives back

For those visiting Chico, we have a few swanky hotels, some nice and reasonably priced places to stay, and a whole bunch of budget motels. Considering all of the amazing attractions—Bidwell Park, Chico State, community events, the arts scene—our accommodations don’t add up. Not to bag on anybody, but when my parents come to town, there are really only a few hotels that fit the bill of being both not too spendy and nice enough to leave them with a good impression of Chico.

So, I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that the Holiday Inn, which recently vacated its location on Mangrove Avenue (that hotel is now a Ramada), will be returning to town. In fact, Holiday Inn & Suites will be the first of two new hotels to be built on the empty swath of land just east of WinCo on Springfield Drive.

According to documents obtained from the city, that first hotel will be four stories and contain 93 guest rooms, while the second also will be four stories but with only 76 rooms. The owners, Lotus Management out of San Jose, will begin building the Holiday Inn, whose design plans already have been approved, soon, says Jake Morley, associate planner for Chico. Construction on “phase two,” which as of yet has no name, according to Morley, won’t begin for another three to five years.

Not a lot of details, like whether there’ll be a restaurant or pool on-site, are currently available—an attempt to contact Lotus Management, whose website describes the company as one that “provides best-in-class affordable-luxury hotels for its guests, while offering healthy returns and a high retention of owners, investors, and associates …” was unfruitful. But two things are for sure: Chico certainly can use more hotel rooms, especially on busy weekends like Chico State graduation, and more options for “affordable luxury.”

Ride on! Gianni Caponera over at Liberty Cab informs me that his company held a fundraiser last week, dubbed Ride for Life, during which drivers signed up for one-hour shifts (for a total of 24 hours) and donated their fares to the upcoming Relay for Life. With a match from Liberty, in all they raised $1,374. “These sorts of drives are good morale boosters for our drivers while helping the community at the same time,” Caponera told me.

Relay for Life is a 24-hour relay that will be held May 14 at Pleasant Valley High and will benefit the American Cancer Society. Search “Chico Relay for Life” on Facebook for more info.

Mea culpa Last week, I wrote about checking out the new Hashi lunchtime Asian to-go restaurant run out of the Forcella space. Unfortunately, I printed the wrong name of Jon Meyer’s wife. Christina has put a lot of effort into the two enterprises and deserves proper recognition. My apologies.