State College-based Shaner Hotel Group
, a hospitality developer behind three midstate Courtyard by Marriott hotels, said Thursday that it will open its $14 million Fairfield Inn & Suites at HIA on Aug. 29.
“Excitement has been building,” Shaner President Plato Ghinos said. “I think the Middletown market has been undersupplied and we are bringing the right product and quality for that market.”
Construction of the 123-room, four-story hotel, which will include 37 suites, has been underway since last June.
Plans for a hotel at the Dauphin County airport have been in the works for a few years.
Ghinos said he expects the Fairfield will attract business and leisure travelers using the airport, as well as people driving into the area to visit Hershey attractions and other regional destinations.
Other demand should come from Penn State Harrisburg and from companies in the Harrisburg area, including those doing business with the state.
Shaner also is betting on steady passenger growth and cargo growth at HIA. Frontier Airlines recently returned to HIA, while other airlines such as Allegiant Air and Air Canada have been expanding their operations.
About 1.2 million passengers came through HIA last year. The airport also houses extensive FedEx and UPS facilities and it serves as a take-off and landing practice runway for presidential airplane Air Force One.
The new Fairfield will have about 1,600 square feet of meeting space and a full-service bar, Ghinos said. The larger suites are designed to accommodate family travel and extended stays in the area. Room rates will range from about $129 to $169 per night, officials said.
The hotel is connected to the airport terminal via a walkway. It is Shaner’s fourth hotel in the region, joining Courtyard projects in Lower Allen Township, Shippensburg and Derry Township. East Lampeter Township-based High Construction Co. built the Fairfield for Shaner.
If HIA continues to expand, Ghinos said it is possible another on-site hotel could be needed in the future. A Comfort Inn & Suites hotel opened in June about three minutes from the airport.
For now, though, Shaner officials will turn their attention to a Fairfield they plan to build in the Delta Pointe business park off Interstate 81 in Silver Spring Township. That project could get started in the fourth quarter or first quarter of 2019, Ghinos said.
Construction would take about a year.
Shaner has an option to build a second hotel on that site.