WYSOX - The sun was bright and warm in the late afternoon of Thursday, June 20; an accurate metaphor to describe the faces of the owners, employees, officials and business representatives that attended the grand opening celebration of the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Wysox at that time.

"With the natural gas business here in the area, we felt that it offered a great opportunity for us," Dan Hawbaker, CEO and president of Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. and owner of the hotel, said. "We feel that this is a significant event for us and the Towanda area."

The hotel, which opened its doors on April 5, features 88 rooms and a number of commodities, including a free complementary breakfast, 24 hour coffee and free WiFi.

Additionally, the hotel also contains an indoor heated pool, an exercise room and a conference room, which features equipment for presentations, a TV, fax and copying services and coffee.

Over 30 people attended the grand opening, which also held a brief tour of the hotel showing the attendees the rooms, pool, conference room and exercise room.

The hotel is also one of the first to feature the complete fourth generation interior design, which employs bright colors to lighten the hotel, reminding several of the attendees of a bright retro look.

All of the rooms contain commodities such as TVs, while the suites featured even more accessories like microwaves, still other rooms were also handicap accessible with the walkways of the room and the bathroom being larger.

Hawbaker's speech was followed by an official ribbon cutting, after which the attendees were treated to refreshments and appetizers.

Hawbaker also noted that the hotel, which employs approximately 20 people, was a step in the right direction for the local area.

"This hotel will help Towanda move forward," he said. "The Bradford County Airport has been growing, which helps us as it brings more people to the area that need a place to stay, and if it can grow to accept larger aircraft it will help us and Bradford County grow even more. But the Fairfield Inn is a good step and will continue to help the area move forward."

Johnny Williams can be reached at (570) 265-1639; email: jwilliams@northeastdriller.com.