Community leaders and local supporters arrived at Sleep Inn and Suites Hotel on Wednesday to celebrate its ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening.

The hotel is located at 1701 U.S. Highway 77 north.

As everyone mingled near the landscaped pool for refreshments, a steady flow of visitors continued throughout the morning to get an extended tour of the hotel or stay for the ceremony.

Co-owner Steve Harris expressed his gratitude toward all who supported the new addition to the city.

“I first want to thank everyone for coming out to our ribbon cutting ceremony,” he said. “And with your support, we look forward to getting this place up and running.”

Presenting Harris with the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce member 2007 plaque and special ribbon was chamber board chairman Teresa McNiel.

Owner R.C. Harris said he expects nothing less than what was given and received from the other home-owned and operated hotel, Holiday Inn Express.

“We are expecting and hoping this hotel to do as well as the Holiday Inn Express did,” he said. “Here, customer base is our industry so we’re hoping to do a good job in pleasing them. With help in doing that, we have the same staff we had at the Holiday Inn and that’s actually what made this opening an easy one.”

One of the newest attractions in Waxahachie, the hotel offers a variety of special features for guests in its 63-room and 16-suite facility.

“Each room is fully equipped with a 32-inch flat panel LCD television, microwaves, refrigerators and wireless Internet,” manager Teresa Novotny said. “In some of our rooms, we don’t have bathtubs, but we do have walk-in showers. And in all of our suites, the sofas let out into a bed, which is a good thing. We have a spacious lobby area, a nice meeting room and a lovely pool with a covered patio.

“We also have a morning medley breakfast, which includes bacon and eggs, sausage and gravy, biscuits and waffles to get the day started,” she said, saying the hotel’s “dedicated and hard working” staff sets them apart from everyone else.

“We have absolutely the most friendliest staff working here,” she said. “We strive for excellence and our staff strives to provide the best hospitality and best customer service always. This will be a place that all Waxahachie residents can feel comfortable and be proud of.”

The groundbreaking of the hotel was held Oct. 13 with the project completed June 14. New developments are being eyed surrounding the hotel to expand business.

“On the north lot, we have plans to begin construction for a TaMolly’s Mexican Restaurant within the next two to three months,” R.C. Harris said. “On the south lot, we’re hoping to get a steak house in the future.”

The Harrises have lived in Waxahachie since 1979 and were owners of the Holiday Inn Express for 3-1/2 years and owners of H&H Oil Company for 18 years.

E-mail Chicarra at chicarra.dense@waxahachiedailylight.com