New downtown hotel could help the area

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News 12 First at Five / Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013

Holiday Inn Express Augusta

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Downtown business owners are hoping the construction of a new hotel will continue to help change the image of the area. The Holiday Inn Express is set to open Masters week next year.

Haircuts and shape-ups happen every day at Kenny's 24 Barbershop. Owner Kenneth Bryant is hoping new construction will give the whole neighborhood a new look.

"It's good for the area and this is a main street," said Bryant.

Other business owners say the corner of 4th and Broad streets is plagued with prostitution. They're hoping this $7.5 million facelift will also encourage the wrong element to move out.

"It's not really a high crime rate in this area. Those that get in trouble are passing through or at that gas station," said business owner Chiquita Jones.

"When I see people standing up and loitering in front of my shop, I tell them, you won't do that in front of the bank, so why is it OK to do that here?" said Bryant.

"I can say that this will bring in new customers, which is a plus. As far as criminal activity, I'm not sure, but whatever happens, RCSO will be there," said Sgt. Michael McDaniel.

Richmond County deputies already work specials to provide security around the city. Business owners in the area are excited about what the new hotel could bring.

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