Hotel construction was especially strong in 2017
Hotel development picked up steam in 2017 as the hospitality industry bounces back from nearly a decade of limited hotel construction after the recession.
Four of the busiest hotel developers in the midstate are locally based or from Pennsylvania.
They are Cumberland County-based Areya Management, York County-based Springwood Hospitality, State College-based Shaner Hotel Group and High Hotels, part of Lancaster County-based High Real Estate Group.
Here's a recap of new hotel projects each has taken on this year, plus other local development in the hospitality sector:
Areya tackling multiple projects
Areya Management has been especially busy with new hotel projects this year.
It is currently building an upscale Hotel Indigo, which will replace a former Wyndham Garden at 765 Eisenhower Blvd. in Swatara Township. When it opens in early 2018, it will be the first Hotel Indigo in Central Pennsylvania.
Hotel Indigo is part of InterContinental Hotels Group, or IHG, which is known for the Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express brands, as well as Candlewood Suites and Crowne Plaza. The boutique Indigo chain takes a customized approach, and tries to reflect the local community in the architecture and design of each hotel.
Areya has at least three more projects in its pipeline and is looking to establish management deals with owners of other hotels in the midstate.
Springwood advancing new brands
Springwood built two of the first six Tru by Hilton hotels in the world in Central Pennsylvania.
The two hotels, which opened this year, are located in Lancaster and York counties.
The low-cost hotel, whose rooms fetch $90 to $100 per night, is being called the fastest-growing new hotel brand in the history of hospitality by Hilton officials.
And Springwood isn't stopping there. The York County company has multiple Hilton properties in its plans, including more Tru hotels and others under the Home2 Suites brand.
Springwood was the first to introduce Home2 to Central Pennsylvania.
The company's Hilton portfolio also includes Hampton Inn & Suites and Homewood Suites hotels.
High growing in and out of market
High Hotels has been active in and out of Central Pennsylvania this year.
The company recently broke ground on a Residence Inn by Marriott hotel, part of the mixed-use Crossings at Conestoga Creek development across from Long's Park in Manheim Township.
Sister company High Construction was hired by Shaner to build hotels in Derry Township and at Harrisburg International Airport.
Shaner flying high
Shaner started on its long-awaited Fairfield Inn & Suites hotel at HIA this summer.
Shaner also has developed several Courtyard by Marriott hotels, including one in the Hershey area that opened in May.
The company is planning another Fairfield in Silver Spring Township in the Delta Pointe business park off Interstate 81. That project may not get underway until early next year and could take about a year to complete, officials said.
Shaner also has an option to build a second hotel on that site.
Other hotel development
Other hotels continue to take shape in Central Pennsylvania.
Here are some other headlines from this past year:
- Hospitality firm breaks ground on hotel near HIA: Restin Hospitality LLC, based in the Hershey area, kicked off construction in July of a Comfort Inn & Suites near HIA.
- Yorktowne Hotel reopening moves back as wrecking ball looms: The latest story on the renovation of the Yorktowne Hotel in downtown York.
- Hotel Lancaster renovations land $6.25M state loan: The Hotel Lancaster is in the midst of a major revamp as its owners look to modernize the 140,000-square-foot, 221-room building at 26 E. Chestnut St.
- Rock Lititz reveals hotel plans: Rock Lititz revealed plans in August for a five-story, independently owned hotel on its 96-acre campus. The 92,000-square-foot lodging will boast two penthouses for stars who use Rock Lititz's rehearsal studio, as well as long-term accommodations for their road crews.
- Large commercial development emerges off I-83, Pennsylvania Turnpike: A large mixed-use concept plan in northern York County was unveiled in July. The site could include three hotels.