Big Bend Conservancy
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FORT STOCKTON Even with 80 mph speed limits, the drive between San Antonio and El Paso can be a sleep-inducer. And no one is taking advantage of that like Fort Stockton.Three new motels are scheduled to begin construction in the Pecos County seat within the next few months, economic development director Doug May said. The 180 total rooms will give the city of around 8,000 residents nearly 1,400 hotel rooms.“It just kind of upgrades what we’ve got,” May said.Along with the drive across West Texas, May said Fort Stockton is a major stopover for people driving between Florida and California.“We get a lot of out-of state traffic,” he said.Two of the motels, a 49-room Sleep Inn and a 63-room Comfort Suites, will be owned by Rachel Patel. A new Holiday Inn Express will be owned by Apollo Ventures Ltd., which May said is operated out of Abilene and Amarillo.Both of Patel’s motels will be indoor access with indoor swimming pools, she said. The Comfort Suites, which has not had its interior design finalized, will be the more upscale of the two.“The Sleep Inn is simple and clean cut,” she said.The Sleep Inn will also have flat-screen televisions in each of its “king” suites, Patel said.The Sleep Inn should open before December, Patel said, while the Comfort Suites should be open by February 2008.Repeated attempts to reach Apollo Ventures officials this week were unsuccessful.However, May said that the three-story Holiday Inn Express will have around 70 rooms.Patel currently owns a Holiday Inn Express in Fort Stockton. However, she said it would be converted to a Quality Inn in 2008.With so many motels opening in Fort Stockton, May’s primary concern is keeping enough construction workers with the area-wide shortage. He said it would take “creative management” to make sure crews remain staffed.May expects more restaurants like the IHOP that recently opened to take advantage of Fort Stockton’s location on Interstate 10. He said that even though Fort Stockton is the nation’s smallest community to have the pancake house, it has already exceeded national sales figures by 10 percent.More motels and other businesses are also expected, May said.“As the year goes on, you’re going to see some big announcements,” he said.
Linda Bailey Potter 14.JAN.07ALPINE – Chevrolet-Buick car owners will no long have to travel miles to have their warranty work done, they can do that now at Mountain Motors and soon they will enjoy the benefits of a new autoplex along with new franchises that will be forthcoming.Owner Roy Enderlin and General Manager Bob Harper announced plans this week to build a state-of-the-art Chevrolet-Buick dealership 8/10th of a mile east of Alpine on the south side of Hwy 90. The 4.82 acres was recently purchased for the location of the autoplex, which will be a full service dealership with show, service and pick-up and delivery.The complex will be 15,000 sq. ft., expandable, with an estimated cost of $250,000. The company will increase the number of their employees from their current level of eight to an estimated 12.“We are used to a state-of-the-art facility and volume sales, with an emphasis on service,” Harper said with enthusiasm regarding the proposed autoplex.To better serve their customers, Mountain Motors will move in the next few weeks from their current location at 2501 E. Hwy 90, into two different temporary locations. One site will serve as a sales and warranty office which will be located in the “old Texaco station” across from SRSU; and the second will accommodate general vehicle maintenance located at 102 N. 8th Street, in a vacant building that previously was a small engine shop next to “BAM’s.” Enderlin and his wife Judy live in Fredericksburg and have been investing in the area since March 3, 2005, when they purchased Pierce Motors in Marfa. Last year they moved the business to Alpine and renamed it Mountain Motors. The original minority owners of the company are no longer part of the operation. The Enderlin’s have recently purchased property here to build a “home away from home.”“I plan on being a hands-on owner,” Enderlin said. “We are going to put a sign on the autoplex property with We’re going to sale to you coming or going.” He is also involved in an up-scale market at Austin Ranch, Plano, Texas, with his youngest son.Harper, who lives in San Antonio, has been coming to the Big Bend area for years and accepted the challenge to be the general manger for Mountain Motors for his friend, Roy Enderlin because he loves the area. He retired after 38 years of being successful in the car business during which time he owned nine dealerships in three different states. “We came here because we are fascinated with Alpine but never dreamed of having the opportunity to live here permanently,” Harper said. “We have a family connection in Marfa and my oldest son graduated from Sul Ross State University in 1978, he now works for a large automobile manufacturer in Torrence, Calif.”Harper and his wife Margaret, who is president of Aerflite International, Inc., a software company that she owns, will be moving to Alpine in the next couple months where they plan on building a home.
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