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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.

Gina J. October 19, 2012 at 11:01 AM
I had family at days inn all last week and even though they cleaned walls and put up new curtains it still smells like a smoking wet dog. I was sooooo embarrassed and had no other alternative to offer except econo lodge and that place is just plain scary. They could have gone to another city but the point is they wanted to be in LW because they love LW and what it has to offer. They ate every meal at the Clifton Diner and Loved that too. To whom ever is out there during this survey please build us a new hotel..
Edger October 19, 2012 at 11:48 AM
We had family in for a birthday celebration & decided to have them stay at the Holiday Inn Express on Snow Rd due to the terrible options in Lakewood. We wish there would have been a Lakewood choice.
Missy Limkemann October 19, 2012 at 12:06 PM
I have a question on this hotel idea...Where are the people going to park? There is hardly any parking around most businesses in Lakewood as it is, and one would think a hotel would need a huge parking lot.
Pam Smith October 19, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Parking would certainly be taken into consideration, but it's not as big an obstacle as you might think, since we are talking about a small to medium sized hotel. (there aren't that many spaces at the Days Inn, although I hate to use that as any sort of an example). A hotel may be several stories high, leaving room on their plot for parking.
Renee October 19, 2012 at 04:16 PM
I am not opposed to the idea of a hotel in Lakewood, but I like the idea of a bed and breakfast style. I love the newer building that is Ennis Court Nursing Home. I could see a style like that made into a hotel B&B to be unique and stylish for Lakewood. And, as an aside I also would like to know why a representative of Lakewood City Schools is involved in this? I don't understand the connection between a Hotel and the school system? Anyone know?
Susan Kaminski October 19, 2012 at 06:30 PM
While a bed and breakfast is a great idea, it's probably not something that would sustain its owners - ie, make a steady income and profit. There is a smaller Hampton Inn on E. 9th Street that is always busy. A national chain with a smaller, boutique-style hotel (no bar, dining room, no suites) would be a good addition. There are two big empty lots on Detroit - east end - one across from the other. Parking may not be an issue depending upon the number of rooms. I too, have had family in town and Lakewood and have faced the same lack of options.
amykate October 19, 2012 at 07:12 PM
My visiting family stays in Westlake rather than Lakewood because of the lack of choice and convenience. Would love to support such a development in Downtown Lakewood!
ian king October 20, 2012 at 02:29 AM
Like most other comments here, when relatives/friends visit they stay at the Hampton Inn in Westlake/Crocker Park. They enjoy the renovated rooms, and easy walk to restaurant/nightlife/entertainment/shopping of Crocker Park during their visit. To see how a city has helped coordinate a new hotel in their downtown, check out CITY FLATS HOTEL in Grand Rapids, Michigan. (www.cityflatshotel.com) Not only is it a green hotel that has received a lot of national press, it also has outdoor seasonal dining. Lets think beyond the box - why would someone want to stay in Lakewood versus downtown or Westlake? Maybe a green - LEED Certified hotel that will be the first in NE Ohio? Maybe an inn with a Rock n Roll Theme? Just building another hotel that isn't unique is not going to be that sustainable over time. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX and make Lakewood more of a destination for visitors, family and friends.
The original Bill October 20, 2012 at 05:18 PM
That is a very attractive hotel
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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