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Sumter County Economic Development, The City of Wildwood, MPH Hotels, and TECO Peoples Gas worked together for several months to make the new Holiday Inn Express and Suites in Wildwood a reality. This successful project hinged on the ability to deliver natural gas to the site in order to meet the hotel’s needs for energy efficiency. Economic development projects like this 92 room, 55,000+ square foot hotel often depend on the availability and cost of utility connections. The City of Wildwood already served the I-75/SR 44 Interchange with municipal water and sewer service. The existing natural gas line the hotel needed to connect to was located on the east side of US 301, almost 5 miles away. Through multiple meetings and collaborations, a business case was made to bring the gas line to the hotel site. Many industrial properties along the route have now become more marketable as a result of the gas line extension. In addition, existing and future businesses at the interchange now have the option to add natural gas as an energy source. Commercial and industrial development diversify the county’s tax base and also provide new employment opportunities. The Holiday Inn Express and Suites will hold a grand opening on November 18th and we welcome them to the Sumter County business community.