Report says Medina could sustain chain hotel

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 October 2014 at 12:00 am

MEDINA – A consultant has studied the market for a hotel in Medina and concluded a small hotel with 41 to 49 rooms would be profitable.

The Orleans Economic Development Agency hired a consultant, Interim Hospitality Consultants, to do a feasibility study for a new hotel in Medina. The firm, led by Edward Xanders, sees a project as a success in Medina with at least an average daily occupancy rate of 60 percent.

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

The project is Medina would need about $1.6 million in investment, said Jim Whipple, EDA executive director. In addition to the hotel rooms, the project would have a swimming pool, conference room and a gym.

The EDA thinks a spot on EDA-owned land on Maple Ridge Road across from GCC would be an ideal location because the site already has infrastructure access within the village.

“It has water, sewer and power,” Whipple told the EDA board of directors this morning. “It could ramp up quickly.”

Investors would be needed to make the project a reality. Those investors would ultimately determine the location for the hotel, Whipple said.

Gabrielle Barone, the EDA vice president for business development, said Cobblestone has worked on projects in smaller communities than Medina. A chain hotel would be a lift for the area, boosting bed tax for tourism, sales tax for the county and state, and other spending in the community, Whipple said.

Orleans County ranks last in the state among 62 counties with visitor spending, according to a state report in 2012. The state report, prepared by Tourism Economics, puts the total visitor spending in Orleans at $21.13 million.

The county doesn’t have a chain hotel. That limits many visitors to day trips when they come to Orleans. With a chain hotel some of those visitors would be more inclined to stay overnight, spending more money in the county.

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.

Cobblestone prefers the site in Medina versus Albion because it’s farther away from competition in Batavia, where there are numerous hotels by the Thruway, Whipple said.

For more information on Cobblestone Inn, click here.