| Sarasota Herald-Tribune
NORTH PORT — Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton is hosting a job fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today through Saturday to hire staff in anticipation of opening the hotel in early December.
The 100-room hotel at 5664 Tuscola Boulevard will be the first new hotel in North Port since 1973.
“What we’re looking forward to and me specifically, I’m looking forward to bringing people in, putting them to work here in town, getting this hotel open and really providing something for the community,” said General Manager Dan Harrison, who is looking forward to the way the new hotel can help shape the city’s economic development path. “We want to be able to provide jobs, we want people to have a great place to work and a great place to stay.”
The hiring event will be conducted outdoors and follow all COVID-19 social distancing protocols. All attendees must wear masks.
The hotel will be hiring full-time positions for housekeeping, front desk and food and beverage jobs, including people to staff the breakfast service and bartenders.
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Medical, dental and vision insurance, a flexible spending account, as well as a 401K, employee travel and vacation, sick and holiday pay are offered.
Most of the interest so far has come from the local community, Harrison said.
That’s no surprise to Virginia Haly, president of Visit Sarasota County, who noted that a lot of people who work in the hospitality industry throughout Sarasota County already live in North Port and could cut their commute to work down to 10 to 15 minutes.
“They’ll have a lot of appeal,” she said.
The anticipated early December opening is welcome news to Haley, too.
“You know how long I have wanted to have a national branded hotel in North Port and it’s almost here!” she said.
Lodgco Hospitality, a Mount Pleasant, Michigan-based family-owned hospitality chain, actually took a bit of a chance in deciding to build in North Port, since traditional economic formulas call for more homes in the area.
But that was somewhat offset when the Atlanta Braves relocated its spring training complex to CoolToday Park in the Wellen Park neighborhoods of the city.
On top of that, the North Port City Commission both crafted an ordinance to allow Lodgco to defer paying city impact fees for up to two years and waived some design standards that may have otherwise pushed construction costs too high for investors.
The four-story hotel is a new prototype for Hilton. Lodgco currently operates three other properties in the area, including a Home2 Suites in Nokomis and Hyatt Place hotels in Lakewood Ranch and near Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.
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One example of a new service available in North Port is that the dining area adjacent to a 12-place bar in