Throughout local history, Bountiful and its neighboring towns have been known primarily as a bedroom community to Salt Lake City.
But if you needed a decent hotel room, you had to drive to Salt Lake City or Ogden.Now south Davis County has its own little "hotel room community."
Within a few weeks, crews will complete work on a 120-room Motel 6 in Woods Cross, on the west side of the freeway near the Woods Cross exit.
That motel will join the 116-room Cotton Tree Inn, in North Salt Lake on the other side of the freeway, which was completed three years ago.
Together the two hotels can "leave the light on" for more than 350 visitors.
Though the hotels aren't in Bountiful city limits, officials there are happy to have lodging nearby.
"It's great for us," said Tom Hardy, Bountiful city manager. "I think it's neat because it opens up a lot of recreational opportunities for people. We've got a great golf course and recreation center, we're home to soccer tournaments, and we host national and regional competitions for (figure) skating."
The $3 million Motel 6, which was built where an elementary school once stood, will provide an equivalent of 20 full-time jobs, said Rusty Miller, vice president of development for Motel 6, which will now have four motels in the Salt Lake market.
Miller said the company chose the Woods Cross location because it is near the I-15/I-215 interchange, about a mile south.
"We've had our eyes on this part of the market for quite some time," Miller said. "Most of our customers come from the highway. This gives us an opportunity to catch people coming south before they hit the I-215 split."
The national motel chain was also interested in capturing business travelers. "Hill Air Force Base is only 15 miles to the north. Utah Power & Light, Mountain Bell and Unisys are all within 10 miles of this site," Miller said.
Can south Davis County support two hotels? Cotton Tree owner David Petersen said he was surprised Motel 6 built such a large motel, which will double the number of rooms in the market. But he said he believes the two motels will survive because they cater to two different clienteles: the Motel 6 to budget-oriented customers and the Cotton Tree to "middle-of-the-road" spenders.
"Any new motel rooms in a market will hurt you, but I think the Motel 6 clientele is different than ours, so it won't have a major impact on us," Petersen said. "We'll be better able to tell you in a year or so."
A single room at the Motel 6 will cost $25.95 per night. A single at the Cotton Tree Inn, a Best Western motel, goes for $45 to $49.
The Cotton Tree also offers four suites, with king-size beds and sunken hot tubs, that range in price from $95 to $125. In addition, the Cotton Tree has a 16-seat boardroom and two 100-seat conference rooms.
Petersen said his motel has been averaging 60 to 65 percent occupancy over the year, with most of the business coming during the summer. The motel captures a lot of tourists traveling between national parks in southern Utah and northwestern Wyoming, Petersen said.
Motel 6 officials refused to discuss occupancy projections.
"But obviously, we wouldn't build one if we weren't confident in the market," said Hugh Thornton, executive vice president of development.