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Columbia to get Clarion hotel

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Downtown Columbia is getting a Clarion hotel, one that will be dubbed Clarion at the Chip Factory Hotel.

Columbia-based real estate firm Cimarron Investments LLC, which holds Clarion franchise rights for the area, is developing the hotel in a former potato chip factory.

Murphy Hospitality Management, which is owned by the same group of people as Cimarron Investments, will own and manage the hotel.

"We’re excited. It’s another positive step for Columbia," said Don Murphy, president of Cimarron.

The project is expected to be completed within 12 to 18 months, Murphy said.

The multi-story, 60-room hotel will be located at 12 North St.

Built in 1876, the former factory building was a hardware store before becoming an umbrella factory and then, in 1940, a factory for Becker Pretzel Bakeries – Potato Chip Division.

Cimarron plans to preserve and reuse much of the building's original structure. However, Murphy said some older parts will have to come down.

The hotel will offer a full-service restaurant and bar with local craft beers, liquor and wine. It will also have a rooftop bar area.

The property will be equipped with meeting and event space, catering services, fitness facilities, a business center and an on-site parking garage.

Murphy declined to disclose the cost of the project.

There are more than 300 Clarion brand hotels currently open or under development worldwide, including one in Lancaster County, two in Dauphin County and one in York County.

Clarion is owned by Choice Hotels International, Inc. Choice Hotels has over 6,800 hotels franchised in more than 40 countries and territories. Other hotels operated by Choice Hotels include: Comfort, Sleep Inn, Quality, MainStay Suites and Econo Lodge.

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Shelby White

Shelby White covers banking and finance, law and Lancaster County for the Central Penn Business Journal. For tips, email her at swhite@cpbj.com.

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