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Chillicothe Gazette, August 29, 2015
CHILLICOTHE – Local developer Pat McAllister says that, through the years, you learn to trust your gut feeling when it comes to involvement in new projects, particularly hotels.
“As I’ve gone along and you’ve seen me build hotels through the years, it’s kind of a feel that you know it’s ready (for something new),” said McAllister, of CP Management Company Inc. “We can see from our occupancy (rates in other local hotels his firm manages) that it’s ready.
“Like any other business, it has its ups and downs and you have to be prepared for that, but currently, I think the trend is that we in this area can support another hotel.”
That hotel will be a new Marriott-branded Fairfield Inn & Suites, which will join the CP-managed Quality Inn, Christopher Inn and Hampton Inn in the area along North Plaza Boulevard. The firm also manages the Rooster’s restaurant in the same complex.
The ground that will hold the actual hotel structure behind the Applebee’s and BP station that face North Bridge Street has already been leveled, with an official groundbreaking ceremony slated for 11:45 a.m. Tuesday (Sept. 1, 2015) at the site.
McAllister and his son, Curt, said late last week that they felt the market had proved it could support another hotel property, so about a year ago, they started looking for a franchiser that would be a nice fit.
Since Chillicothe did not yet have a Marriott-branded hotel, they turned their attention in that direction.
After what the pair described as a fairly extensive review of CP-managed properties and the management approach used on those properties, the firm was designated a Marriott master franchisee, which allows it to tackle not only this project but also others in the future with the brand, giving the company control of the properties it develops. “That was a big coup for us,” McAllister said.
Working with Marriott, the decision was reached that the company’s Fairfield Inn & Suites brand was the best fit for Chillicothe’s market. The developers were pleased with the fact that, since a new prototype for the Fairfield brand was just developed in 2014, the new construction will be the most modern version of the brand to date.
The roughly $10 million project will feature 50,000 square feet of space and 81 guest rooms over four floors. It will include such amenities as an indoor pool, fire pit gathering space behind the structure, breakfast area, exercise room and meeting space.
McAllister said he expects the hotel will employ around 25 people when completed.
The work piggybacks on a $3 million renovation of the Hampton Inn property that was just completed in May that Pat and Curt McAllister both said created, in essence, a “new” hotel on that site that was just relicensed with Hampton through 2032.
All told, the pair said about $5 million in renovation work has been done on the properties in the North Plaza Boulevard area in the past three years.
They also said the investment is worth it to not only keep the properties themselves viable and successful for the “long haul” but also benefit the city as a whole.
The current properties handle about 110,000 room nights annually and, the McAllisters said, play an important role in providing a positive first-impression for business and leisure travelers and corporate executives looking at the local area for future business dealings.
There is also the direct economic benefit, they added.
“The hotels in Chillicothe have become a valuable source of revenue for the City of Chillicothe and Ross County,” states an information sheet about the new project. “The hotels in the complex will generate in excess of $200,000 to the City of Chillicothe’s General Fund annually, not including all the business income tax and individual income tax generated.”
The McAllisters are working with the city on addressing issues with where North Plaza Boulevard itself runs near the property in an effort to get some changes made, and they hope to have the new hotel accepting guests by sometime next fall.