La Quinta Hotel
Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have delayed the opening of the new La Quinta Hotel at Copper Sky. Photo by Jay Taylor

The long-awaited opening of the first hotel to operate in Maricopa in 66 years will have to wait just a bit longer.

Originally slated to greet travelers at the end of March, the La Quinta Inn & Suites at Copper Sky is now looking at an opening date in late April or early May, according to its owner.

Originally slated to greet travelers at in the summer of 2020, the La Quinta Inn & Suites at Copper Sky is now looking at an opening date in late April or early May.

“COVID had a pretty large impact on the construction,” owner Andy Bhakta said. “According to the general contractor, their materials did not show up in a timely manner.”

In addition to keeping visitors in town for sports tournaments and other large events, the hotel will be a boon to city coffers. The city’s special projects director, Josh Bowman, said the hotel will generate about $300,000 per year in direct and indirect revenues.

An impact study by Applied Economics, a business valuation firm, predicts the hotel will generate $235,000 annually in new sales, lodging and property tax to the city. Additional indirect tax revenue from employees and visitor spending is estimated at $63,000 annually.

The hotel will employ about 20 people, according to Bhakta, who also owns La Quinta franchises in Holbrook and Williams. He said local residents can expect to see a “Hiring Now” banner flying sometime in April, after the parking lot is graded. Front desk attendants and housekeeping, laundry, janitorial and maintenance staff will be hired.

The hotel will feature a pool, jacuzzi, fitness center and meeting rooms. There will not be a restaurant on the property, but Bhakta said guests will have access to a hot continental breakfast daily once COVID-19 guidelines allow it. Room rates will start at $99 per night and reservations can be booked for dates starting June 15.

“We are live to book, however only after June 15 for now,” he said. “As we get closer to completion, we will move the date for earlier bookings.”

Despite the delays, Bhakta said he is ready for opening day.

“We are so ready to open,” he said. “We are very excited; it’s around the corner.”