Four Lake County hotel projects check in at more than $50 million

Great to be a part of continued growth in Lake County, Ohio! Hotel & Leisure Advisors completed feasibility studies on five potential hotel locations in the county, and two have attracted developments.

Published by: Stan Bullard/Crain’s Cleveland Business

Published date: August 2018

Four new hotels will be checking into Lake County over the next two years.

Construction of an $11 million Hampton Inn started recently on a site at 171 Water Tower Drive in Madison Village that, once it reaches its four-story height, will be visible from I-90. It will join a $10 million Holiday Inn Express that will open in August on an adjoining site.

A 100-room Holiday Inn Express under construction on Gold Court in Concord Township is scheduled to open next year. In addition, a Home2 Suites extended-stay property is proposed for a site on Crile Road, also in Concord Township.

Mark Rantala, executive director of the Lake County Ohio Port and Economic Development Authority, said the projects have a total dollar cost exceeding $50 million.

“The hotel boom has spread east to Lake County,” Rantala said, referring to the hotel projects that opened the last three years in neighboring Cuyahoga County.

Rantala is tracking the projects, although the port did not provide financing for them.

Instead, Rantala said, the port seeded the idea in 2015 by engineering a $50,000 study of the Lake County hotel market. The report was funded by Lake County’s commissioners.

“We felt we might be able to get some new hotels because our existing hotels are getting older and there are holes in the market,” Rantala said. “With the amount of financing available for hotels, we thought it would be a good time to do a study.”

The report by Hotel & Leisure Advisors of Lakewood focused on five potential hotel locations in the county, and two have attracted developments. Rantala said a port-owned site in Fairport Harbor near that community’s iconic lighthouse is being readied for development after the study found support for a 300-room waterpark near the lake.

“We hope to get that ready to do a (request for proposals) for a developer to undertake that site,” he said.

A site in Willoughby has gotten no takers. Rantala said the opening for a hotel on the west end of the county was filled by the $10 million renovation of the 143-room Radisson Hotel on Curtis Boulevard in Eastlake. Dallas-based Stonehill Hotels is preparing to rename it as a Four Points by Sheraton property.

“Instead of a new hotel, we got a refurbished property that includes banquet space,” Rantala said.

Charlie Borsukoff, vice president of JCI Contractors of Ashtabula, said the study was “very crucial” for the decision to proceed with the Madison Hampton Inn, the family owned company’s first hotel through its Vineyard Hotel Group affiliate. He said the rise of the winery business in Lake and Ashtabula counties is attracting more visitors to the region.

To read the article at Crain’s, click here.