Grand opening festivities mark arrival of Hannibal's newest hotel

Hannibal's newest hotel reflects the growth of America's hometown toward the west, as the Holiday Inn & Suites at the Medical Center is poised for visitors like employees and customers coming to Hannibal Regional and the forthcoming Mark Twain Behavioral Health Center.

Owner Spike Ehrhardt said he and his son, Scott, have worked together on hotels in communities outside Hannibal, but this is their first project in town. Ehrhardt said the process began in 2016 when the land was purchased from Hannibal Regional — for the next 2 1/2 years, he handled banking and building-related issues, while his son took care of computer-related parts of the project. Ehrhardt said he was excited to host neighboring business members and other community guests to an Open House and ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday, May 17 at the hotel at 120 Shinn Lane.

There is a lot of development on the west side of Hannibal, Ehrhardt said, citing the a $61 million expansion under way at Hannibal Regional, the new Mark Twain Behavioral Health facility nearby, Moberly Area Community College and other businesses that show that Hannibal is experiencing significant growth in the area.

He also noted that several physicians travel to Hannibal to work, staying a few days at the hotel as they provide care. With a location close to the medical campus, Ehrhardt plans to be able to serve many of those traveling physicians, nurses and other visitors — with direct access from Highway 36.

The grand opening and open house featured catering by Melanie Campbell with Fiddlestiks and drinks throughout the afternoon, and the Hannibal Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5 p.m. Rooms were open for visitors to view, as well.

Ehrhardt said he's excited about being able to open the hotel in America's Hometown amid a period of growth and westward expansion.

“It's an exciting time for Hannibal,” he said. “We're pleased to be a part of it.”

Reach reporter Trevor McDonald at trevor.mcdonald@courierpost.com