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New Hotel in Lakewood: Local Firm Selected for Study

$7,000 feasibility study to begin by November, with some results expected by the end of the year.

The city officials took another step forward in a pursuit of attracting a hotel to Lakewood.

A review committee — made up of Lakewood community leaders — selected Lakewood-based Hotel & Leisure Advisors to conduct a $7,000 feasibility study.

“We are always interested in supporting local business, but more importantly, they’re proposal was far and away better,” said Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning ad development.

“It’s obvious from their proximity and from doing work all over the country from the perspective of Northeast Ohio, they had a much better handle on the needs of a city like Lakewood.”

Siley said that he hopes Hotel & Leisure Advisors — which volunteered in the early phase of the discussions to provide feedback — will have preliminary results by the end of the year.

The other applicant is CH Johnson Consulting, based out of Chicago.

Since this summer, Lakewood officials have explored whether the city could attract a hotel.

But first, city officials want to know if it could work.

“There’s been a lot of discussion anecdotally about the need for a new hotel in the center of the city,” Siley told Lakewood Patch earlier this year. “Instead of guessing, we need to do a hardline analysis.”

In August, city hall’s planning and development department issued a request for proposals that invited “qualified consultants to gather data, analyze and develop a feasibility study to evaluate the community’s potential for further development in the hotel and leisure industry.”

Hotel & Leisure Advisors in its submission noted that it had “performed market analyses of more than 1,000 hotels and resorts in more than 50 states and provinces” since 1987.

CH Johnson Consulting noted in its application that it “has extensive expertise in hotel analysis, especially those with unique characteristics.”

(Both applications are attached at the right)

Here’s some of what the city was looking for in its request for proposal:

In addition to traditional drivers of occupancy, such as business travel during the week we would be interested in the impact of non-traditional sources:

  • weddings
  • funerals
  • family visiting relatives at the hospital or senior care facilities
  • youth sports tournaments
  • events at our Civic Theater
  • the trend towards staycations and quaint getaways over bustling tourist traps
  • and the return to walkable, authentic communities

In July, city council unanimously OK’d spending $7,000 — from the city’s economic development fund — on a feasibility study.

Ward 3 city councilman Shawn Juris, who first pitched the idea to council in April, has been active on a committee that's been looking into the proposal for a few months.

The group talked about capitalizing on some of the development in downtown Cleveland — think casino and Medical Mart — as well as the development along Detroit Avenue in Lakewood.

A review committee — made up of Juris, Siley, Diane Helbig, representing the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce and Rick Beisel, representing the Lakewood City Schools — met Monday afternoon to discuss the submissions.

The committee reviewed several criteria, including the firms’ work experience, references and anticipated schedules.

Gerry Happensack October 20, 2012 at 06:21 PM
Ian King had a few good points. A theme would be wise and green another great idea. Think outside the box. Unique! Smart!
The original Bill October 20, 2012 at 08:12 PM
Another question is where would it go? I am not in favor of putting it on the east end since that would be too far away from downtown. How about the vacant lot next to Hixons? I see where it is for sale. Maybe even Hixons could be persuaded to sell. I do go in there for all my greeting and Christmas card needs but as the owners are getting up in years maybe they might be open to selling and retiring.
Susan Kaminski October 20, 2012 at 10:32 PM
That is a gorgeous hotel. While downtown Lakewood is a good idea, there's not much space available. One advantage lakewood has is convenience of the rapid to and from the airport. What about a spot on Madison?
Sin October 22, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Turn 14600 Detroit Ave into a hotel or a couple floors of it. Its more then half empty anyway. Great central location, parking garage next door, Pacers downstairs everything is within walking distance of a travelers needs.
Karen Shaughnessy October 27, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Why would I prefer to stay in Lakewood? Because that's where my relatives are. That's where I grew up. We have always stayed in the Crocker Park area - even before it was 'Crocker Park' - and it's nice but I don't drive all the way to Ohio for the chain restaurants or shopping. Plus, I would rather have my money stay in Lakewood.

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