Bristol Hotel developer denies rape charge; construction still underway
BRISTOL, Va. - The Bristol Hotel Developer maintained his innocence of a South Carolina rape charge on Friday. Marcus McCall has been arrested in Greeneville, South Carolina. Police say he drugged and raped a woman. He is free on bail, pending court proceedings. McCall's company, McCall Capital, is a main investor in the Bristol hotel project. McCall's lawyer issued a statement, maintaining the accusation is false and will have no impact on the hotel construction. With city and state support tied to the project, city officials checked for re-assurance. "I spoke with McCall capital this morning, and as of now the hotel is still scheduled to open," Bristol, Virginia Interim City Manager Randall Eads said. The Virginia Tobacco Commission has $750,000 in the project and the city has provided tax incentives. "$1.2 million was agreed to be given back as a performance based reward to the hotel," Eads said. "That was agreed upon in May of 2015." The hotel is considered a major economic driver for the future of downtown Bristol. "Right now we don't have a development downtown for outsiders' lodging," Believe in Bristol Executive Director Maggie Bishop said. "We're having to either pull from other developments on the interstate or in other communities to really show them what we have to offer in downtown Bristol." Eads also said he could not speculate on whether the scandal would impact the hotel's future business. The hotel has cost more than $20 million to build. It is expected to open in June 2018.