By TOM PINNEY Staff writer
Maryville Daily Forum
The process of opening a new hotel at Mozingo Lake Recreation Park is mostly complete.
Tuesday morning, surrounded by various members of the Greater Maryville Chamber of Commerce, city officials, and other community members, Boulders Inn and Suites general manager Sharlet Dumke cut the ceremonial ribbon to announce the completion and opening of the 40-room hotel.
The hotel has been open for a couple of weeks, according to Dumke, and has reached full capacity each weekend it’s been open.
“There’s been lots of events to keep us filled up on the weekends,” Dumke said. “This weekend, for instance, we have the track meet, and we were able to book the officials and one of the teams.
“There’s lots going on around here, like the extreme cowboy competition at Mozingo last weekend, so we’re not really hurting for business. During the week we aren’t filling up, but over the weekend we’re full.”
This is Dumke’s first foray into hotel management, but it’s not a new area for her.
“I needed a change, I was in catering since 1999 and I needed to do something new,” Dumke said. “I wanted to stay in hospitality, and I had done internships at places like Tan-Tar-A, so I felt this would be a good transition for me.
“It’s familiar enough that I didn’t need to do too much to come into the hotel business. I’m still planning events, working with brides and other event planners, but instead of planning the food, I’m planning the lodging.”
Dumke said there were still things in the hotel being worked on and finished up, and that there are three rooms she can’t rent out yet because of minor issues, but she commended the people working on the hotel for their ability to “get stuff done.”
The ribbon cutting was attended by a large amount of people, ranging from Chamber members to community legends, and included representatives from Boulders’ corporate team. Chamber executive director Lily White said it was the biggest ribbon cutting in her tenure as director.
“We had so many people here that we couldn’t go around and introduce everyone because it would’ve taken too much time,” White said. “It’s exciting to see that the community supports the hotel so much and wants to see it succeed.
“It’s also great to see the amount of business the hotel is receiving. Usually it would take awhile to start talking about expansion, but we’re already discussing expanding the hotel.”
Maryville mayor Jason McDowell added that the fact Boulders is frequently full speaks to the quality of the hotel chain and the value Maryville has as a destination.
“There’s lots of things going on in Maryville,” McDowell said. “We hope that we can attract even more people to come up here.”