New hotel in Medina eyes early March for grand opening

Photos by Tom Rivers: Todd “Booka” Hanes, one of the owners of the soon-to-open Comfort Inn & Suites on Maple Ridge Road in Medina, is shown today in a room where breakfast will be served. That room also will include a bar. In back is a conference room that will be available to the community.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 January 2022 at 7:07 pm

MEDINA – A new hotel on Maple Ridge Road, which has been years in the making, is expected to open in early March, one of the owners said today.

The hotel also will open as a franchise of Comfort Inn & Suites. That is a change from Cobblestone Suites. The 58-room hotel was going to be under the Cobblestone umbrella but the owners recently made a change to align with Comfort Inn, which operates about 9,000 hotels.

“That gives us a much bigger footprint,” said Todd “Booka” Hanes, one of the owners. “There is more buying power and access to Comfort Inn’s choice rewards program for customers.”

Hanes will be applying to the Village of Medina Planning Board and code enforcement office to change the signs to Comfort Inn.

The hotel otherwise is nearly completely done except for some “punch-list” items, Hanes said today at the site.

The rooms are all nearly furnished except for some bedding and the mini shampoos for the bathrooms. The mini shampoo bottles have been hard to come by due to supply chain issues, Hanes said.

Todd “Booka” Hanes said Covid restrictions slowed construction of the site, but he is very eager for the hotel to open in March. The hotel was originally going to be part of the Cobblestone Suites, which has about 125 hotels in smaller towns. Hanes and the other owners recently switched to make the site a franchise through Comfort Inn & Suites. The signage will be changed.

The Covid-19 pandemic has proven a difficult challenge the past two years. Construction started in May 2019. Restrictions on construction in 2020 stopped work on the three-story site for many months. Building supplies and furnishings were delayed.

Hanes and his ownership team have been determined to get the project done and the 39,000-square-foot hotel open. He is pleased with the interest from the community in 18 to 22 jobs at the Comfort Inn and interviews will soon start to fill the positions.

The Orleans Economic Development Agency has been pursuing a brand hotel for more than a decade. Gabrielle Barone, vice president of business development, connected with Hanes about six years ago at a conference. She pitched Medina as a site for a hotel, and Hanes and his partners saw the community as a good fit for a smaller hotel.

Barone praised Hanes and his partners for their tenacity and ability to overcome building a new hotel during the Covid pandemic.

Hanes and his partners own a Cobblestone Suites hotel in St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania. That 58-room hotel opened in April 2016. The top customer base there has been connected to the local hospital, with family members in town to see loved ones at the hospital. Visiting nurses and doctors also often stay at that hospital.

Hanes sees a strong tourism scene in the Medina area, many strong nearby industries, and wedding and events venues. He is very confident the Medina hotel will be in demand.

The hotel is nearly done. There are three stories and 58 rooms total.

The motel tax from the hotel will be used to support local tourism efforts, which should bring more visitors to the community. The hotel on Maple Ridge Road also will keep visitors in the community longer, and local businesses should feel that impact, Barone said.

Hanes said industry studies show the average hotel guest spends about $125 in the community, on top of their hotel bill.

The new hotel also includes a covered outdoor patio area. It has a conference room that will be available to the community.

The 58 rooms include 7 larger rooms for extended stays. Those rooms have refrigerators, a dishwasher and a stove.

The rooms all include ceramic tiles, carpet and granite countertops. The project cost $7 million to build. Hanes said the owners wanted to bring a high-quality hotel to the community.