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New Joplin airport hotel proposal - KOAM TV 7

New Joplin airport hotel proposal

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At least 60 acres of land near Joplin's airport sit undeveloped, now that FEMA'S mobile housing area is gone.  Joplin is already planning on building a new fire and police training center in this area.  But now, the city's airport manager is adding a proposal for a hotel development.

53,000 people flew in and out of Joplin's airport last year.  "Sometimes, it might be easier for people to come in, spend the night here," says airport manager Steve Stockam.

The airport is near busy roads.  "There's probably nearly a little over 20,000 cars that come up and down 171 per day," says Stockam.

And Stockam says in the middle of all the action is open opportunity.  The former site of FEMA'S mobile housing area.  "There is a good possibility that we could generate enough both drive-in and fly-in traffic to support a hotel development on this side of town," says Stockam.

The site of the proposed development is 11 miles to the nearest hotel on the south side of Joplin, 29 miles to the nearest hotel in Pittsburg, and 13 miles to the nearest hotel in Carthage.  

City leaders near this piece of land say a new hotel here would be beneficial.

"Families have people come in from out of town and they have no place to stay.  If you have a large family reunion, or something like that, people have to stay all the way on south Rangeline to be able to have families in town.  So its just inconvenient," says Carl Junction's city administrator Steve Lawver.

The city of Joplin hasn't yet done any feasibility studies over the proposal.  "We're really concentrating more on things that we know," says Stockam.

Officials say by air or land, there's a growing demand.  "Those are draws for the area," says Lawver.

Stockam is also proposing a "big box retailer" developing near the airport, the proposed hotel, and safety training academy.  Right now, city officials are still talking with developers.

Click the associated video for more on a proposed timeline for this development.

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