Stephanie Jensen

Stephanie Jensen of Heyburn spins a wheel for a prize during the Hampton Inn by Hilton's grand opening of its new Burley hotel.

BURLEY — Burley’s newest hotel, perched on the banks of the Snake River, held a grand opening celebration Sept. 24 to show off the four-story, 80-room Hampton Inn by Hilton to the community.

“I think it’s amazing. I really, really like it,” said Maria Fernandez, of Burley, who came to the event to check out the features of hotel. “All of the people who work here have been so nice to me and I really like the view of the river, it’s beautiful.”

Mini-Cassia Chamber Ambassador Stephanie Jensen, of Heyburn, said the rooms are beautiful and “the patio is fantastic.”

“And I would have jumped into that pool if I didn’t have to go back to work,” Jensen said. The indoor salt-water pool and spa has an expanse of glass that offers “world-class” views of the sunset,” said General Manager Lindsey Scott, who moved to Mini-Cassia from Salem, Oregon.

The salt is filtered through chlorine, but there is no chlorine in the water, which is less irritating to the skin and has other benefits, like not leaving a chlorine smell on skin and clothing, making it easier to float and not drying out people’s hair like chlorine.

The exercise room, which has treadmills, elliptical machines, free weights and yoga equipment, is next door to the pool and has the same water and sunset views. The hotel offers guests earbuds for the exercise room so they can watch Netflix or TV or listen to Pandora while they work out.

Scott said the hotel opened on June 25 and offers a mixture of king and queen-sized rooms with the choice of either a mountain or river view. Today’s room rate, which can fluctuate, run from $112 to $209.

The hotel is expected to employ about 25 people and is part of the the 23-acre-River Bend Business Park.

“They did a great job of picking this location. We are lucky to be one of the Hampton hotels with views like this on the water,” Scott said.

The hotel has a large outdoor patio and there is a business nook inside, with computer access and a printer. The Snake River Room can be divided into two spaces, the Steelhead and Sturgeon rooms with a total capacity of 156 people and the space can be rented for meetings or conferences.

“We will be working with local businesses to provide catering,” said Scott.

The hotel offers a full waffle bar, fresh fruit island and smoothies or fresh juices along with traditional hot foods for breakfast.

The treat shop sells candy along with beer and wine — and fishing poles, for people who want to wet a line in the river.

“This has been just a wonderful team to work with,” said Penne Main, Mini-Cassia Chamber of Commerce president. “We are really happy to have them here. They are one more great addition to the hotels in the area. As the area keeps growing it becomes more attractive not just to tourists but to other business in general.”

Burley Economic Development Director Doug Manning said as the city completes the walking path that will run between the hotel and the river, and extends from Bedke Marina to the Idaho Central Park on the southwest side of the Overland Bridge, it will further enhance the area.

“I think this uses one of our best assets, the river, which has been neglected, and elevates this whole side of town,” said Burley Councilman John Craner, about the recent riverfront development. “This takes what local people have kind of taken for granted and gives us an opportunity to utilize this river.”

City Administrator Mark Mitton said the city will seek more grant funds to complete the Idaho Central Park with a handicap fishing dock.