“Project Sky” is the alias I assigned to this project when I first became involved in the recruitment and process to bring it to Southaven in 2017! I called it this because I wanted to see something different here that changed the skyline. After countless discussions, Project Sky is about to become reality in Southaven, bringing the first-ever full-service hotel to Desoto County. This beautiful, skyline-changing, $65-million development will be a 7-story, 240-room hotel on 6 acres at Pepper Chase/Venture Rds with a 10,000 square-foot restaurant, 3,554 square feet of meeting space, fitness/yoga room, lobby workstation, lazy river, and resort-style swimming pool, all connected via covered walkway to a newly-expanded convention center at the Landers Center.
This entire project is a three-pronged partnership including the City of Southaven, Desoto County, and the Desoto County Convention & Visitors Bureau to incentivize private hotelier, Premier Lodging, LLC to build the private hotel development and attach it to the new convention center. The convention center expansion at the Landers Center was critical in attracting this high-quality hotel. Desoto County has agreed to issue bonds for $38.5 million along with a $17 million cash investment by the DCCVB for the new 275,000 square-foot convention center that will be built adjacent and just north of the current Landers Center facility, which will further connect to the hotel on the north end. The City of Southaven’s Board of Aldermen voted in favor of allowing the Mississippi Development Authority’s Tourism Rebate Program for a sales tax incentive to the hotelier to make the hotel financially feasible.
Construction of both the convention center and hotel are projected to begin simultaneously in the third quarter of 2023 with completion and opening projected in 2025. This will become the only convention center in the state of Mississippi with a hotel on site.
This project, along with Tanger Outlets, will become the cornerstones of tremendous future development in the Metropolitan District (Church Road from Pepper Chase to Elmore Rds) creating a new tourism draw for the entire county of Desoto that has never existed before as economic spillover will transcend Southaven. These are strong words, but I sincerely believe this development will positively impact Desoto County’s future more than any other.