|By David Wethe, Fort Worth Star-Telegram,
TexasMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Aug. 29, 2007 - Irving will be one of the first cities in the nation to get one of the hip, new hotels known as Element.
Inspired by the Westin Hotels & Resorts chain, Element is being marketed as an upscale, extended-stay hotel geared toward business travelers.
Sava Holdings broke ground a couple of weeks ago on a 123-room hotel at the southwest corner of Belt Line Road and Interstate 635, just northeast of Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.
Suhas Naik, managing partner of Sava, said he was attracted to the site because of the growing corporate presence in that area. The hotel will sit in front of a new Citigroup office building. Corporate tenants Nissan and FedEx are also nearby, he said.
For the hotel to be successful, Naik said he is counting on it to be 35 percent to 40 percent full of extended-stay travelers, who generally occupy a hotel room for at least 11 days. These could be tech workers who are brought in to a nearby office for training, or workers who are relocating to the area but don't have a home picked out yet.
Naik hopes to fill the rest of the hotel with other corporate travelers, some leisure travelers and amateur sports teams coming into the area for tournaments.
Maura Gast, executive director of the Irving Convention & Visitors Bureau, said because the city is so heavy with corporate travelers, it's working on developing more entertainment amenities to encourage them to stay through the weekend.
She cited a recent survey from PhoCusWright that said one-third of all business trips include an average of four additional leisure days of travel.
firstname.lastname@example.org David Wethe, 817-685-3803
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