|By Trudi Gilfillian, The Press of
Atlantic City, Pleasantville, N.J.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Dec. 09, 2011--WILDWOOD -- Two hotel projects, which will add rooms and modern amenities for visitors to Five Mile Beach, won final approvals this week from the city's Planning Board.
"I hope we will have more projects like this on the horizon," said board Chairman Mike Porch about the significance of the projects.
Final site plans were approved for a new hotel, currently named the Grand Wildwoodian, to be built at the site of the long-demolished Rio Motel at the corner of Rio Grande and Ocean avenues, as well as expansion of the Days Inn Suites at 4610 Ocean Ave.
The Morey Organization plans to build a hotel that will adjoin the existing Starlux, a doo-wop themed hotel that opened in 2000. The two buildings will become one hotel with a combined 140 units along the city's main entranceway on Rio Grande Avenue.
The hotel is expected to cost more than $10 million, and would include a sixth-floor banquet facility, indoor and outdoor pools, and a restaurant.
Down the street, the Days Inn Suites, currently home to 79 units, will see the addition of seven new oceanfront suites.
Owner Nick Terenik said Thursday that the expansion is part of an ongoing plan to modernize the hotel and offer the features today's travelers want.
"We're trying to add more amenities," Terenik said, adding that the expansion should cost an estimated $1.5 million.
Terenik said the hotel will do away with several less-popular rooms in favor of the oceanfront suites. When the work is done, the property will have a total of 81 units, all one or two-bedroom suites.
The Days Inn was built in 1976, with additions being made in 1986 and again in 1999.
In addition to the new suites, the expansion features the addition of two new swimming pools, bringing the hotel's total to four pools.
A second-floor banquet facility is also planned, and Terenik said the hotel, which does not have a liquor license, will be purchasing one to go along with the expansion.
Terenik said it simply made sense to expand, given the hotel's location, across the street from the Wildwoods Convention Center.
The convention hall, built in 2002, is looking to attract new conventions, and the availability of year-round, modern rooms is key to drawing that business.
"With this expansion, we will have 18 indoor corridor rooms, and over time we will add indoor corridors," Terenik said. "If we're going to be in business here, we have to meet the needs (of travelers)."
Terenik said the Morey hotel project and his were examples of what can be done to improve offerings on the island.
"Hopefully, there will be bigger and better properties," he said.
The Morey Organization has said it expects construction could start in 2012 with a possible 2013 opening.
Terenik said construction would likely begin at Days Inn Suites in October 2012, with completion in the spring of 2013.
Porch said both are welcome additions to the island.
"For Wildwood to remain a first-class tourist destination, in a highly competitive environment, it requires we expand our amenities," Porch said.
Both projects, he said, should add jobs and ratables to the city's tax rolls.
"It's going to boost the economy and help the convention center," Porch said. "The economy will improve, and you want to have the facilities in place to take advantage of it."
Contact Trudi Gilfillian:
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