SAN JUAN Father Amador Garza shared a story with the people in attendance for the ribbon cutting of the renovated Basilica Hotel about a woman who frequents the area and usually stays at the Basilica.

He didn't mention any specifics like names but he said that for as long as she could remember this woman would make the journey here every summer to visit the Basilica. Her parents first brought her to the Rio Grande Valley when she was a child and after her parents passed she felt she should continue the tradition of making it down south.

Lately though it was becoming more and more difficult for her to show up. For one the money was scarce and the long bus ride she would have to take was also taking a toll on her body. Needless to say she would come but the last few years she would make the voyage with a disinfecting spray.

Rooms at the hotel were in bad shape. So with the $1.2 million loan the hotel was renovated and when this woman made the journey this year she found a clean, remodeled room waiting for her. Best of all there was no need for the spray.

Some of the facilities that the hotel has is nonsmoking rooms, two room suites, free WiFi in the hotel and cafe (right next to hotel), free bus parking and a meeting space that accommodates up to 60 people.

For complete information about the hotel and how to check in you can (956) 787-0033 or visit www.olsjbasilica.org.