Downtown Dalton Development Authority elects officers

Jan. 30—The board of the Downtown Dalton Development Authority (DDDA) recently reelected to one-year terms Chairman T.J. Kaikobad, Vice Chairman Heather McEntire-Young, Treasurer John Davis and Secretary Chris Brown.

The DDDA helps downtown businesses qualify for state and federal business incentives, operates a program that compensates businesses and property owners for part of the costs of improving the facades of their buildings and helps businesses with any of the forms or paperwork needed to open a business downtown.

The board is elected by business and property owners in Dalton's downtown business district, which roughly stretches from Morris Street to Waugh Street and from Thornton Avenue to the railroad tracks.

The board members also heard reports from other agencies.

Davis, who also serves on the board of the Dalton Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), said that agency had a "record year" in 2023.

"We had, I think, 29 groups come to Dalton to hold events. The hotel/motel tax was up again. For the past 15 years, we've had a new record every year, excluding one year for COVID-19, and it just sort of flattened that year."

According to data provided by the CVB, total hotel/motel tax collections through the end of November were $2.233 million compared to $2.053 million for all of 2022.

"A lot of new groups came to Dalton to have events (during COVID-19) because we did not shut down," said Davis.

The CVB reports that 49,164 people attended events held by groups the CVB worked with in 2023, up from 34,926 in 2022.

""We look forward to having a record year this year," Davis said. "We are having some new hotels opening, such as The Carpentry. More and more people are staying here, holding events here. The future looks bright."

The Carpentry is a 41-room "boutique" hotel — smaller and more intimate with an eye on design, with more expensive furnishings and decorations — that opened earlier this month.

Owned and operated by Dalton businessman Kasey Carpenter, The Carpentry is on the site of a former bank building at the corner of the 200 block of West Cuyler Street opposite of both of Carpenter's restaurants, the Oakwood Cafe and Cherokee Brewing + Pizza Company. It is reportedly the first hotel in downtown Dalton since the Hotel Dalton closed some 50 years ago.

Carpenter partnered with Steve Herndon, a Dalton businessman who owns and operates hotels across the Southeast, on the project. They have an $8 million investment in the project, Carpenter said.

Assistant City Administrator Todd Pangle said city officials are "working on a rebranding effort."

"We hope to have something by April," he said. "We are working with Believe Greater Dalton and our other partners. This is not just a logo project but things like a common color, so that anywhere you are in the city, if you see a sign you know that you are in the city. We have high hopes for that."