EDA says developer interested in building new Medina hotel

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 June 2015 at 12:00 am

MEDINA – A developer is interested in building a new 49-room hotel in Medina on Maple Ridge Road, west of the Bates Road intersection, Orleans Economic Development Agency officials said.

That developer is currently working on a project in Pennsylvania. Once that is complete, the developer could commit to the project in Medina, perhaps in September, said Jim Whipple, the Orleans EDA chief executive officer.

EDA officials have been courting developers for a Medina project in recent months. The EDA had a consultant study the market in Medina to see if a new hotel would be financially sustainable.

The consultant, Interim Hospitality Consultants, said Medina could support a small hotel with 41 to 49 rooms. A hotel that size would see at least a daily occupancy rate of 60 percent, according to the report from Interim Hospitality.

Whipple said this morning there is interest in developers in the project. The EDA wants to submit the hotel project through the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, seeking that group’s blessing for state funding to help with an access road off Maple Ridge Road for the hotel.

Besides the usual $750 million state-wide in funding for economic development, this year the state has added $1.5 billion in the “Upstate Economic Revitalization Competition.” The $1.5 billion will go to three regions in the state that submit the best plans for economic development projects. Whipple said the hotel would be a boost for Orleans County.

Orleans could boost its sales tax and visitor spending with the hotel. Orleans County ranked last in the state among 62 counties with visitor spending, according to a state report in 2012. The state report, prepared by Tourism Economics, put the total visitor spending in Orleans at $21.13 million.

Currently the county is limited to many day-trippers because it doesn’t have a chain hotel, EDA officials said.

The EDA has been talking with Cobblestone Inn and Suites about the project in Medina. That company has built many hotels in small towns, typically working with investors in the host community.

The report from Interim Hospitality Consultants said about 30 percent of the Medina hotel visitors would be on business-related trips, while the others would be people visiting family, or in town for class reunions, weddings and other special events.