|By Lauren Garrison, New Haven Register,
Conn.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Nov. 20, 2007 - --SHELTON -- Bridgeport Avenue will soon be home to a new high-end hotel that its developers say will fill the needs of business executives and others visiting Shelton.
The developer, LodgeWorks of Witchita, Kan., is scheduled to break ground on the Sierra Suites Hotel in early spring, according to Michael Daood, vice president of development for LodgeWorks.
Daood said he expects the hotel to be open by May or June 2009.
The hotel, whose final design plans were approved last week by the Planning and Zoning Commission, will stand four stories high and have a "contemporary feel," said Daood, similar to the other developments on the site: Commerce Bank, Chili's Restaurant and Longhorn Steakhouse.
The hotel's 127 suites and rooms will offer "spa-like amenities" in the bathrooms, highdefinition plasma televisions, iPod docking stations and fancy linens, said Daood.
"We believe we'll be at the top end of the hotel market within greater Shelton," he said.
Mid-week rates will be about $200 a night, he said.
Daood noted that his company has been looking at Shelton "for a long time as a great corporate market."
"We finally feel we've found the right site in the market and the timing is right," he said.
Some in Shelton's business community saw the same need for such a hotel.
"There's continued growth in the office market that will support the need for these hotel rooms," said Bill Purcell, president of the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce.
"I think that time will be the judge, but I think the fundamentals are good and I think all the hotels will continue to thrive with this new addition."
According to Purcell, there are five hotels in Shelton, all concentrated between exits 11 and 12 along Route 8. Combined, these hotels contain 662 guest rooms.
During the process of approving the new hotel plans, "Some of the (existing) hotels were saying they thought there was enough" hotel capacity in town already, said Anthony Pogoda, a Republican member of the Planning and Zoning Commission
"Then we heard some hotels say they were pretty well booked."
Other concerns raised during the approval process related to parking, according to Pogoda.
This was resolved by the decision to create additional parking underground at the hotel, he said.
LodgeWorks is a small private group that develops, owns and operates hotels across the country. It owns or operates 20 hotels, but has developed more than 100 during the past 25 years.
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