A dual-branded Marriott planned near the Mall at Fairfield Commons is the most recent move to add more than 460 rooms in Beavercreek, helping meet a growing demand for hotel space in Greene County.
The four-story hotel covering 2.82 acres of the parking lot outside the former Sears building, where The RoomPlace and Round1 Entertainment are expected to open later this year, will add 160 rooms when developed.
“The capacity hasn’t been here,” said Pete Landrum, Beavercreek city manager. “And I think the companies are now saying there is a niche here, there is a need. The Wright-Patterson Air Force Base growth, the defense contractors growth, the retail growth as well….the growth of (Interstate) 675 — I think it’s just now catching up.”
The new Marriott will have 84 rooms of Fairfield Inn & Suites, an economy chain, and 72 rooms of TownePlace Suites, designed for longer stays, said Beavercreek city planner Randy Burkett.
That adds to the 87-room, $9.3 million Holiday Inn Express & Suites approved in March on Esquire Drive and a 107-room Home2 Suites in the mall area expected to open Oct. 4. There are also 109 rooms that launched in June when a Tru by Hilton opened on Colonel Glenn Highway.
Wright-Patterson is the biggest driver for hotel demand, several area experts said. Jobs on base, defense contractors and other businesses in the area that are linked to the base require hotel rooms for family and business travelers.
Those travelers with business in Beavercreek have traditionally had to drive to stay near the Dayton Mall or in downtown Dayton because of the lack of rooms, Landrum said. That means many of their dollars were being spent in those communities, said Amanda Byers, president and CEO of the Beavercreek Chamber of Commerce.
“If they’re staying downtown, they may be spending money downtown, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing….If we can get them to spend dollars in our area as well, it benefits everyone. Everyone from small business up to big-box stores,” Byers said.
The recent hotel boom is also reflective of lower interest rates, said Brian Zilch, president of HiFive Development Services, which is working on the Marriott hotel and also built the SpringHill Suites in Beavercreek in 2016.
“This has been really steady and strong for the last, I would say, four years,” Zilch said. “When the interest rates were climbing in December and the stock market dropped, that sort of thing, you could feel a sense that basically things had a potential to slow down. But it seemed like as soon as they dropped those interest rates back down, the momentum picked right back up again.”
The population has also grown and Beavercreek is a central location close to Interstate 675 and U.S. 35, Landrum said. Events at the Nutter Center, the Air Force Marathon, soccer tournaments and the Dayton Hamvention in Xenia attract people from across the country who want to stay closer to their daily activities, he said.
They also want to be withing walking distance of shopping, bars restaurants and entertainment, said Terry Baltes, owner of Baltes Commercial Real Estate, which specializes in hotels.
Three of the new hotels are in the immediate area surrounding the Mall at Fairfield Commons, which has seen significant revitalization in the last several years with the new Round1 Entertainment and the RoomPlace under construction in the former Sears box and the outward facing restaurants that replaced the former Elder-Beerman furniture store several years ago.
The extra revenue from the bed tax is also a benefit for the Green County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Byers said. That revenue increased during the second quarter from the same time the year before, another indicator of increasing occupancy rates, she said.
“We want to meet the needs to continue our growth as far as a city and a destination place,” Landrum said.
But Baltes said worries the new construction is overbuilding the hotel need in Beavercreek.
While the new hotels likely won’t struggle to fill rooms amid growing occupancy rates, especially the extended stay TownPlace Suites that is meeting a demand for longer-term rooms, other older hotels in the region will lose customers to their new counterparts.
As occupancy rates drop from 3% growth each year to an expected 1% next year, those hotels could suffer traffic loss, he said.
“When you don’t have the money to keep your hotel up, a lot of deferred maintenance becomes unsightly, perhaps attracting a lower class of clientele…who then create more crime in the area,” Baltes said.
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