WARREN - A national hotel chain is interested in raising their roofs in Trumbull County, a top county official said Tuesday.
Commissioner Frank Fuda said he's had discussions with a representative from Columbus-based Red Roof Inn, which he says is ''pretty interested'' in locating three or four hotels in Trumbull County.
The interest stems from the need in the future to house workers in the oil and natural gas industry when drilling begins in Trumbull County. Already, workers doing land title searches for the drilling companies are staying in hotels and apartments here, Fuda said.
What Red Roof Inn is looking for is local investment or investment by the oil and gas companies to build the permanent structures, said Chris Cua, director of development for Red Roof Inn.
What he says is happening in Canada and the western United States are the formation of ''man camps'' near gas and oil fields. Some communities in Canada are prohibiting that type of living arrangement for oil field workers, he said.
Fuda said Cua was in Trumbull County in late March for a meeting. Cua said he also spoke with some officials about building in the area. One is Girard Mayor James Melfi, who said the two have a meeting in the next two weeks.
''When he comes up, I'm going to show him some areas of the city that can be looked at by him and his investors,'' Melfi said. They are namely the busy Interstate 80 and U.S. Route 422 interchange and the area around the expanding V&M Star plant.
Cua also attended a meeting that day that had officials from across the county together to talk about protecting the county's infrastructure from the heavy machinery related to gas and oil drilling.
It's unknown at this point what areas could be targets for building, Cua said. Typically, it would in existing hotel markets or in areas near the drilling rigs.
''Anything new coming to the county is important, really,'' Fuda said. ''We know the need is going to be there, especially when the gas well drilling starts.''
BP Oil has the mineral lease rights for about 84,000 acres of property in Trumbull County to drill into the natural gas and oil Utica / Point Pleasant shale formation. It was last month the company and landowners agreed to a deal that calls for $3,900 an acre and 17.5 percent royalty on production.
Survey crews will be working in late summer or early fall, with drilling to start in early 2013, but it could happen sooner. The early drilling will be core samples at about 6 to 8 wells.
The company already has opened an operations center in downtown Warren, and has another office in Vienna, Commissioner Dan Polivka said.