With a focus on creating destinations that blend cannabis-based health and wellness with entertainment, Alternative Hospitality has added to its hotel pipeline as a result of the recent approval of a casino in Kings Mountain, NC.
According to veteran hotelier Roger Bloss, President and CEO of Alternative Hospitality—a division of MJ Holdings—the company is poised to begin construction on a dual-branded, midscale hotel across the street from the site of the casino.
The Catawba Two Kings Casino will initially open as a temporary 500-slot machine facility in July as the Catawba Tribe is still working to get federal approval on a larger permanent facility just off Interstate 85. Once approved, completion of the larger facility is projected to take up to two to three years.
According to Bloss, the hotel has been fast tracked and is needed primarily for hundreds of casino construction workers and salespeople. “They’ve asked me to accelerate the building of the hotels,” he said, adding a ground-breaking is expected to take place “almost immediately.”
While Bloss noted the two brands for the hotel have not yet been determined, he did acknowledge there is likely to be an extended-stay component.
The aforementioned project represents the second signed development deal for Alternative Hospitality—which was founded by Bloss in 2019. The company had previously announced plans to develop the 150-room Coachill Inn Resort in Desert Hot Springs, CA, site of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.
Bloss elaborated on the company’s core philosophy and how the focus on cannabis-based wellness has evolved through the events of the past 15 months.
“These destinations that encompasses entertainment, along with health and wellness, are what people are seeking out now. As everybody has gone through this pandemic people are looking for places to go, escapes, and things that they can immerse themselves in. I believed that before COVID but even coming out of it I think it’s magnified over and over again,” he said, further pointing out that cannibas was deemed an essential business by the U.S. government during the pandemic “because of the medical side of it.”
Bloss did acknowledge that Alternative Hospitality has had to pivot and modify certain aspects of development as a direct result of the pandemic. He noted, as an example, the company is now putting an emphasis on outdoor options for added flexibility.
“Everything I do now is incorporating an indoor/outdoor aspect. Everything is going to have a drive-thru, whether it’s a hotel, dispensary, or restaurant. In addition, all my public spaces—restaurants, beverage outlets, smaller meeting groups, workout centers—will all be indoor/outdoor open-access areas,” he said, adding that any hotels that are built will include balconies for all the guestrooms.
Meanwhile, many hotels have upped the ante on cleaning and safety protocols in the wake of the pandemic and Bloss emphasized that wouldn’t be an issue for Alternative Hospitality.
“My hotels will always be spotless. I believe in protecting my assets not just for COVID-19, but for whatever else might come my way in the future. It’s just part of the world we live in now,” he said.
Bloss said he is not yet sure when the groundbreaking will take place for the Coachill Inn Resort, which is expected to include an entertainment amphitheater, lazy-river pool and cannabis dispensary, among other amenities. The development deal was signed more than two years ago but has been pushed back as a result of the pandemic.
He noted the COVID delays have not dampened his enthusiasm for the destination, which could eventually include several hotel properties.
“It’s still a great project; we still love the project,” he said.
Bloss again reiterated his overall objective and why he believes the company will be successful.
“I am focused on health and wellness around the cannabis plant, along with entertainment, and it appeals to all demographics,” he said.