Mayor David Combs said the new Homewood Suites by Hilton will certainly help alleviate the shortage of hotel rooms in the area. The Rocky Mount Sports Complex on 600 Independence Drive has proven successful with youth baseball and soccer tournaments drawing outside people to the area. In 2015, the Sports Complex attracted 92,000 tournament visitors. But sometimes people are having to go out of the area to find somewhere to stay overnight, Combs said. Rocky Mount over the years also has been a central location for many family reunions throughout the year, which generates a lot of traffic and hotel accomodations for people, Combs added. “We don’t have enough hotels in the area right now, and certainly this new hotel being constructed is going to be a huge benefit,” Combs said. Combs said the new Rocky Mount Lidl grocery store will be part of the Germany-based supermarket chain’s first stores in the United States opening up Thursday. A new upscale assisted living facility is also in the early stages of being built on Halifax Road, Combs added. “The larger our tax base can get hopefully with new development that means our tax rate can stay low,” Combs said.