H&LA Development Update: Sandusky, Ohio

H&LA’s recent research for a project in Sandusky, Ohio revealed some exciting new hospitality-related developments happening in the area. These developments will have an impact on tourism, employment, and the general economy in Sandusky and the surrounding areas in 2022 and beyond.

  • In October of 2021, the City of Sandusky reached an agreement with Cedar Fair that will lead to the construction of a new causeway between the mainland and the entrance to Cedar Point. This $100 million project, slated to take place in phases over the next 20 years, will also create a dedicated lane for pedestrians, a new water taxi system, a new recreation center, and funds to support arts programming in downtown Sandusky. As envisioned, this historic investment will help to revitalize downtown Sandusky and bolster the region’s tourism industry for years to come.
  • In late 2020, Marous Development Group acquired the business and leasehold rights to Battery Park Marina in Sandusky. The Willoughby-based company has been involved in a number of other key developments in Sandusky in recent years, including the Columbus Avenue mixed-use redevelopment, the new City Hall, and the forthcoming redevelopment of the Feick Building. Marous Development was also the company behind the recent Falcon Point Lofts mixed-use development, which included the opening of the new BGSU Resort and Attraction Management School, a partnership between Cedar Fair and Bowling Green State University.
  • In May of 2022, the City of Sandusky released a request for proposals in the hope of finding a developer to build a roughly 120-room downtown hotel and conference center on a site near the historic Sandusky State Theatre. As of our research date, this proposed project was still in the early idea stage, and it is unclear when or if it will be completed.
  • Sandusky hosted the IRONMAN 70.3 Ohio competition in July of 2022, which included a 1.2-mile swim in Sandusky Bay, a 56-mile bike ride through Erie County, and a 13.1-mile run along the Lake Erie shoreline. The city is scheduled to host it again in 2023 and 2024. Roughly 2,500 athletes are expected to participate each year.
  • The Sandusky Mall, along Milan Road southeast of downtown, has seen a number of major changes over the past few years as it adapts to the changing retail landscape. Highlights have included a new Hobby Lobby craft store at the site of the former Sears; a relocation of the T.J. Maxx store to a 26,000-square-foot space formerly occupied by Macy’s; a new 10,276-square-foot Five Below discount store; and the new 5,100-square-foot Another Broken Egg Café, a breakfast-focused restaurant.
  • Shores & Islands Ohio, the official destination marketing organization for Erie and Ottawa counties, recently underwent a partial rebrand and is now promoting the area under the name “Shores & Islands Ohio.” This effort included the introduction of a new logo bearing the words “Cedar Point, Sandusky, Put-in-Bay,” meant to more clearly identify the area to potential travelers.