|By Doreen Hemlock, Sun
SentinelMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Nov. 21, 2012--A new hotel is soon to rise at a busy intersection in northwest Broward County, a 105-unit Hampton Inn & Suites.
Morlin Hospitality Group plans to invest $13 million to build the hotel at the junction of Sawgrass Expressway and State Road 7 in Coconut Creek. Construction should start this year, and the six-story inn is scheduled to open late next year, said Seth Fellman, principal of the Miami-based group.
The moderately-priced hotel will cater to travelers visiting the nearby Seminole Tribe casino as well as business parks and residents in the burgeoning area. The inn will offer meeting space to accommodate weddings, family reunions and other gatherings, Fellman said.
Analysts are upbeat because the hotel will be the first in Coconut Creek and one of only a few in that northwest Broward area that has been adding medical facilities, education centers and homes.
"There's really nothing of the quality level of a new Hampton Inn in that area from Interstate 95 to the curve of the Sawgrass Expressway," said hotel analyst Scott Brush of Brush & Co. in Miami. "They ought to be able to do well with a hotel there."
Morlin has a successful track record, Brush said. In 2007, it opened a 107-room Holiday Inn Express in West Kendall in southwest Miami-Dade County.
Fellman said he got the idea for the Broward inn while driving from Miami to visit family in Boca Raton: "It came into my head: How come there's no hotel in this area, which is bursting with commercial activity?"
The Morlin group approached several chains and opted to link with Hampton Inn, part of the Hilton family. Fellman figures rooms in the new Coconut Creek hotel will fetch in the low $100s per night.
The new development underscores the rebound in tourism in South Florida and statewide since the depths of the recession in 2009. Florida is on pace for record visitor arrivals this year.
Still, many travelers aim to stretch their budgets, seeking out more moderately-priced hotels than they did before the recession. Banks also are more open to finance limited-service hotels and renovations of existing properties than to fund new full-service resorts, hotel analysts said.
Hampton Inns are highly regarded in the hotel industry, receiving high marks from customers for value received, such as hot breakfasts, and also from owners for profitability, Brush said.
Other select-service properties recently opened or planned in South Florida include the new 134-room Hyatt Place, opened this summer in Delray Beach, and a b2 hotel announced by Weston's B Hotels & Resorts at the site of the former Continental Bayside Hotel in downtown Miami.
The Seminole tribe of Florida has proposed a 1,000-room, 20-floor hotel in Coconut Creek, part of a larger complex to include an expanded casino, shops and a 2,500-seat theater. But it's unclear whether the project will be built, partly because of uncertainties over Florida gambling laws, a Tribe spokesman has said.
(c)2012 the Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
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