More than 250 people turned out for a job fair in Nacogdoches, Texas, Wednesday that was arranged to help the more than 90 former employees of Hotel Fredonia. The owner of the 58-year-old landmark closed it last month citing cash-flow problems. Since then, the city, business and workforce agencies have banded together to try to remedy the situation, according to Michelle Smith, vice president of the Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation.
"I think everyone feels as though the Hotel Fredonia is the finest example of a boutique hotel that we have in Nacogdoches," Smith said. "The fact that it's located so close to downtown, it leaves a gaping hole in the smile if you will of our downtown offering."
December isn't a popular time for hiring among employers. But Smith was pleasantly surprised by the range of jobs that local firms were looking to fill. She said 36 companies participated in the job fair. The Hotel Fredonia's closing has drawn civic organizations closer, according to Kelly Daniel of the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce.
"Our city is now thinking creatively to figure out what we can do to help in whatever way we can. That's something I've always seen in Nacogdoches is we have great pulling together, volunteer efforts, work ethic and pooling resources to do the best for Nacogdoches," Daniel said.
Smith said Workforce Solutions of Deep East Texas plans to analyze the impact of the job fair and release data on it next month. Meanwhile, she said civic leaders are meeting to discuss possible new hotel owners and how to reopen a city gem.