|By John Nolan, Dayton Daily News,
OhioMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Apr. 30, 2008 - DAYTON -- The city's plan to demolish a 38-year-old hotel at Dayton International Airport next year and attract a developer to build a new hotel at a different site on airport property will attract interest, executives in the commercial development industry said.
Middletown Hotel Management Inc., which owns and operates hotel properties in the Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus areas, has made initial contact with Dayton to inquire about the city's plans, said Bob Ritter, the company's vice president for operations.
A new hotel at the airport likely would appeal to business travelers during the work week and to flight crews looking for a convenient overnight stay, Ritter said Monday, April 28.
"I think it would be strong during the week," he said. "I'm not sure about weekend business."
Middletown Hotel Management would do its own study to gauge the market before it would proceed with any formal proposal, Ritter said. His company, which despite its name is based in Centerville, is building a Hilton Garden Inn scheduled to open in July at 3520 Pentagon Blvd. in Beavercreek.
The city has received some initial inquiries from developers but there is no agreement with any of them, airport spokeswoman Marci Wright said. A new hotel for the airport, provided that it would be affiliated with a national hotel chain, could be successful at the airport, said Eric E. Belfrage, a vice president with CB Richard Ellis Hotels, which helps to sell existing hotels and find potential hotel sites. A potential developer would want to know what the occupancy rate of the current Dayton Airport Hotel has been and what the airport's passenger traffic patterns are before deciding what size hotel to build and what rates to charge, he said.
Air travelers who might drive from another city to take advantage of a lower ticket charge in Dayton might be willing to pay mid-market rates, but not premium, to stay overnight at the airport before boarding a morning flight out, Belfrage said.
The city of Dayton, which owns the airport and the current hotel, wants to demolish the hotel about a year from now to make room for a parking lot, Iftikhar Ahmad, the city's aviation director, said on April 10. The current two-story hotel lacks a brand name or an elevator, has no affiliation with a national reservation-booking system, and nearly one-third of its approximately 150 rooms aren't fit to be rented, Ahmad said.
The parking lot would bring more revenue to the airport and fill a projected need for more airport parking as passenger traffic increases in coming years, Ahmad said.
DAYTON AIRPORT HOTEL
It was privately built in 1970. The city of Dayton bought the building out of court-supervised receivership in 2000. It has been operated since then for the city by CWB Property Management, a company based in suburban Columbus.
The new hotel would be built on a site of up to five acres along the airport access road, on the opposite side of the road and south of the current hotel, according to the airport administration.
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