Hesperia's swankiest hotel to date, the 131-room Courtyard by Marriott, recently opened its doors on Mariposa Road near the I-15 Freeway and Main Street.


"What a beautiful addition to the interest in Hesperia this is," Mayor Thurston "Smitty" Smith said during last Tuesday's grand opening celebration in the facility's grand ballroom.


Not only does the four-story hotel boost Hesperia's curb appeal, but it represents a massive investment in the city's economy.


According to Steve Lantsberger, Hesperia's director of economic development, 100 jobs were generated during the facility's construction and 35 fulltime jobs have been provided since the hotel opened late last year.


The 82,000-square-foot hotel was developed thanks to a $18.1 million investment by the Patel family, which also owns the adjoining SpringHill Suites and Holiday Inn Express, located on the west side of the I-15 near Main Street. SpringHill opened in the summer of 2005; Holiday Inn Express opened earlier.


An estimated $4 million will be generated in Transient Occupancy Taxes, according to the city.


"We thank them for all their support and confidence in the economy," said Lantsberger, who served as emcee of last week's event, which had been postponed several weeks after Hesperia's snowfall.


Hotel officials are banking on the hotel's high-quality amentities, which are designed for a first-rate hotel experience.


"This is a new concept," said Janet Carr, Marriott's director of sales and marketing. "The lobby is inviting and relaxing. People can come here and connect with others."


The Courtyard experience begins with easy check-in followed by a colorful lobby with free wi-fi, and a large-screen "GoBoard" computer monitor featuring up-to-date news, interactive maps and other items of interest. A nearby business library area provides desks with computers for guest use.


There also is a coffee shop, bistro, indoor and outdoor pools and the conference center, which can be divided in two for smaller conference situations, and more. Each guest's handsomely-appointed room features a 32" LCD TV.


With the sizeable investment, the owners are crossing their fingers that the region's economic situation improves.


"We just hope that 2009 sails smoothly," said Mike Patel, owner of Sunshine Hotels.


The Hesperia Courtyard by Marriott is located at 9619 Mariposa Road, Hesperia. For more information, call 956-3876.