Residents welcome new inn
The new Best Western caters to CEOs, families, and pets and their owners.
By NANCY TULLIS
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
HUBBARD -- For months, retired LTV Steel worker Tony Perry watched the new three-story Penn-Ohio Inn & amp; Suites rise up from the vacant lot at 6828 Commerce Drive while he drank coffee at the nearby McDonald's.
On Friday, Perry was among the throng of people to tour the new Best Western during a ribbon-cutting and open house. Owners Ashand Sue Kochhar welcomed visitors with warm smiles, cocktails and a light buffet that included sandwiches, chicken wings, cheese and crackers, and a mountain of shrimp cocktail chilling on a heart-shaped ice sculpture.
Motel is 'fabulous'
Perry, 85, has lived in Hubbard 46 years and spends part of his retirement days working as a school crossing guard. He said the Best Western is a much needed and welcome addition to the community.
"It's fabulous," he said. "We really need this. When I first came here, there was nothing here. You couldn't even find a place to buy a hot dog."
Ash Kochhar said he was attracted to the Commerce Drive location because it is similar to the West Middlesex, Pa., area, where the family owns a Super 8 motel. He said they liked Hubbard's combination of a small town in a high-traffic area.
The inn has double-king and single-queen rooms, hot tub suites, business suites and two meeting rooms that seat 30 to 50 people. Each room has wired and wireless high-speed Internet access. The parking lot has space for trucks and recreational vehicles.
Sue Kochhar said the new Best Western caters to CEOs, families, and pets and their owners.
"Many people have pets and they shouldn't leave their pets behind," she said. "If they bring their pets when they travel, their pets shoul not have to stay in the car," she said.
George Gerhart, executive director of the Shenango Valley Chamber of Commerce, said the new Best Western is a shot in the arm for the area, and a hub from which business travelers and tourists can go in many directions.
Hubbard Mayor Art Magee said the motel will hopefully open the door for more business to move to the area.
Patrick Mahon of Sharpsville, Pa., was the front desk clerk on duty during the open house. "There is a lot to attract people to stay here," he said. "I enjoy showing it off to people."
Dick Price, owner of Dick Price Construction, and his wife Judy are long-time Hubbard residents who can't wait for their children and grandchildren to stay at the new inn. In the past their daughter visiting from Syracuse has stayed in Hermitage, about a 20-minute drive. The Best Western is about three minutes from the Price home.
The Prices also enthusiastically purchased fitness memberships, which allow locals to use the inn's indoor pool and fitness room.
The Rev. Mike Byus, pastor of Hubbard Church of the Nazarene, is new to the community and was pleasantly surprised to find the Best Western in his back yard. He said the inn will be a good location for his church to conduct meetings, and a close place for visiting evangelists, missionaries and other guests of the church to stay.
"It has all the things you expect from a big chain, and it's three blocks from the church," he said. "This is great for Hubbard, a small town that's ready for big things."